Montréal, February 14, 2012 – It was on February 14, 1973, that the very first Portage substance abuse rehabilitation centre opened its doors to ten people, on a thirty-five acre property in the Laurentian Mountains, located 45 minutes from Montréal. Today, thirty-nine years later, the lac Écho campus in Prévost can accommodate up to 130 residents – ninety adults and forty adolescents, as they work to overcome their substance abuse issues.
Close to 300 members of the Portage community – employees and residents of the Portage centres in the Montréal area, along with board members and friends – will gather on the original campus today to celebrate Portage’s 39th anniversary. The day’s events will feature a talent show by the residents, a community lunch, plenty outdoor activities, and a bonfire.
“After providing thirty-nine years of service, Portage has many reasons to celebrate: our roots in the community, the dedication and commitment of our staff, and, above all, the success of our clients – tens of thousands of people who have been freed from their addiction problems,” states François Bourdon, director of the Portage Prévost centre.
Since 1970, Portage has helped tens of thousands of people to overcome their drug addiction problems. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of its various clienteles, including programs for adults, adolescents, mothers with young children, pregnant women, and people with both mental health and addiction problems. Portage operates seven substance abuse treatment centres across Québec, with facilities in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Prévost (the Laurentians), Québec City, and Saint-Malachie (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two other establishments serve the populations of Ontario and Atlantic Canada.