Montreal, November 21, 2016 – Every year, as part of Addiction Awareness Week, Portage highlights a specific issue. Be it prescription drug abuse, the twofold problem of mental health and drug addiction or drug addiction among women, Portage feels that it has a duty to raise the population’s awareness of these misunderstood issues that make up the everyday life of a large number of its residents. This year, that week runs from November 20 through November 26, and Portage has chosen to highlight the explosion of online drug purchasing.
The 2015 Global Drug Survey collected data showing that the proportion of drug users purchasing drugs online has grown from 1.2% in 2000 to 25.3% in 2014. That increase is troubling, particularly because it provides an opportunity to attract new users by making it easier to access drugs. By minimizing the risks associated with transactions, some feel that the online drug market could disrupt drug dealing in the same way that eBay, Amazon or PayPal revolutionised the retail experience.
“Purchasing drugs online is a very real concern for Portage. A general overview of our residents showed that 30% of them have already used the internet to get drugs. Among women, this number increases to 52%.This easier access concerns us, because any changes in the methods of procurement that make it easier to obtain drugs creates a shift toward a more general use of drugs, therefore toward a higher risk of addiction” said Caroline Gélinas, Campus Director of Lac Écho for Portage.
Each year, Portage uses Addiction Awareness Week to organize several awareness activities as well as information visits to several schools and organizations in order to meet with young and old alike. “Drug addiction is a serious issue in our society and the various sources keep changing. Portage feels that it is important to adapt to those new realities in order to better help our residents take back control of their life, free of all addiction. The reality of addicts has constantly evolved since 1973 and Portage works tirelessly to adapt to it and continue to provide its services to the people who need it” concluded Peter Vamos, Executive Director of Portage.
Since 1973, Portage has helped thousands of people overcome their substance abuse issues. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of adults, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers with young children, and people with mental illness. Portage’s services, offered free of charge, are recognised and accredited by Accreditation Canada with Exemplary Standing. Portage operates drug addiction rehabilitation treatment centres across Québec – in Montréal, Prévost (Laurentians), Québec City, and Saint-Malachie (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two other centres serve the populations of Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
For more information: www.portage.ca
 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2016, p.24