Montréal, February 13, 2015 – Portage is celebrating its 42nd anniversary this week. Forty-two years of helping people overcome substance abuse to once again become productive members of society is a real cause for celebration. Portage is proud to be celebrating this contribution to society with current residents and graduates from over the years.
Portage welcomed its first dozen residents in 1973, in Prévost, in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains. Today, the centre of lac Écho welcomes about 170 people (ninety adults and eighty youth). The Mother and Child, MICA, MIRE and adult and adolescent programs of Québec, Atlantic, BC and Ontario followed.
Since 1970, the reality of substance abusers has changed. Drugs have multiplied and become more dangerous. At Portage, we have seen an increase in the number of residents with mental health problems, ranging from depression to psychosis and schizophrenia, which we deal more specifically in our residential drug rehabilitation program for men suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse.
More than ever, the President of Portage, Peter A. Howlett, acknowledges the success and courage of the residents. “We’re very proud of all that Portage has accomplished as it has grown and evolved with our people over the past forty-two years. These adolescents, mothers, men and women who engage in this process for a better life are courageous and deserve our recognition. With them, Portage’s treatment program has evolved over the years to become a profoundly humane therapeutic process, based on mutual support and sharing.”