Montreal, February 14, 2018—Portage marked today its 45th anniversary. Forty-five years of providing peer-to-peer support, proudly helping thousands of people recover from substance abuse, re-enter society, and lead healthy and productive lives. On this occasion, employees, residents and graduates from all Portage centres across Canada gathered to celebrate.
“I’m deeply moved to be here with you today, as we gather on the very spot where our first centre opened its doors, exactly 45 years ago. On Valentine’s day 1973, Portage welcomed its first ten residents and launched its rehabilitation program on this beautiful, 35-acre domain. Forty-five years later, this centre welcomes 194 residents in total: 90 adults and 64 adolescents. Other Portage centres have opened, offering eight programs and complementary services in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada,” said Mr. Peter Howlett, president of Portage.
Over 200 employees, residents and friends of Portage celebrated together during lunch time at Lac Echo and were treated by the head cook and the residents to an impressively sized birthday cake. “We are happy to host residents from all programs in the Greater Montreal area. Portage’s therapeutic model has evolved over time. We keep improving our services, and our model of care is all about mutual support, friendliness and sharing,” said Caroline Gélinas, director of the Lac Echo facility.
Short videos showcasing testimonials from graduates over the years have been produced specifically for the 45th anniversary. They will be put online through Portage’s various social media outlets during the week, so keep an eye out for them!
Portage also handed out gifts to thank its employees for their daily, unwavering dedication. “Portage could not accomplish its mission without its employees. They are at the heart of every intervention. Their empathy and their professionalism allow our residents to heal and graduate from our programs,” said Mr. Howlett.
As cannabis legalization is well underway, Portage wishes to remind all stakeholders in this matter that it is confronted every day to the devastating consequences of cannabis abuse. Of the 500 youth aged 14 to 18 years old who are admitted every year to Portage’s five centres for adolescents, 88% are addicted to cannabis. Portage’s adult population also suffers from cannabis addiction and its related mental health issues. It is Portage’s wish that we collectively remain vigilant, as legalization does not stop addiction.