Montréal, November 4, 2007 – Portage this afternoon paid tribute to 159 graduates of its various drug-addiction treatment programs. The Recognition ceremony took place in Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts and was attended by the Honourable Pierre Duchesne, Lieutenant Governor of Québec and by Portage President, Peter A. Howlett, and Executive Director, Peter Vamos. The Lieutenant Governor declared in his address to the graduates: “We have reason to be proud of these people who manage to see hope after having been through a difficult period in their lives. By our presence, we want to show our support in their effort”. Mr. Vamos commended the efforts of the adults, adolescents and mothers who successfully completed their respective programs. “It’s always highly encouraging and deeply moving to see families reunited with members who have overcome their dependency and can now become participants in our community,” he said. “We’re proud of all our residents.”
This ceremony also provided an opportunity to highlight the work of young Portage graduates who took part in the It’s time project. It involved six youths producing a stageplay and taking part in each stage of the creative process to help them apply, absorb and build the numerous skills learned in the Portage program aimed at finding employment or reintegrating the school system. Today each received a $1,500 bursary for their participation and determination in carrying out the project.
Since 1970 Portage has treated over 33,000 substance abusers and their families, establishing an outstanding record of success. Portage provides help for some of the most vulnerable members of the community: young people, the mentally ill chemical abusers, substance-abusing mothers and their children and pregnant addicts. Portage graduates can benefit from the services offered by the MIRE (Mouvement pour l’intégration et la rétention en emploi) program organised in association with Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon.
Portage operates eight drug addiction treatment centres across Québec: in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Québec City, Prévost (the Laurentians) and Saint-Damien-de-Buckland (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two others serve Ontario and Atlantic Canada residents.