About Portage


During the month of September, hope for recovery from addiction is being celebrated throughout the province of Ontario. Addictions Ontario launched a campaign to spread the message that help is available to people who are suffering with addiction, and that they too can turn their lives around by seeking drug addiction rehabilitation treatment.

Portage Ontario is a leader in the field, with an evidence-based approach to successful residential addiction treatment for youth. Portage has been running adolescent drug rehabilitation programs for more than twenty years and has helped over 4,000 Ontario youth return to society as productive and contributing citizens. Within the therapeutic community approach, residents are encouraged to help each other get well.

Several studies and research projects have been done that validate the effectiveness of the Portage treatment approach.

Most recently, a formal research project was carried out between January 2003 to October 2008 on the adult and adolescent residents who spent more than fifteen days in therapy at Portage’s Lac Écho centre in Québec. It was performed under the direction of Dr. Serge Brochu and Louis-Georges Cournoyer of the Université de Montréal.

The research demonstrates that:

  • After treatment at Portage, there is a high rate of sustained sobriety – excellent results in a field where relapse is expected;
  • After treatment at Portage, there is a significant reduction in the use of hard drugs;
  • After treatment at Portage, clients can better contribute to and participate in the community, which leads to harm reduction and increased benefits for society;
  • The longer the length of time in therapy, the greater the success.

The body of research and the testimonials of Portage residents and graduates demonstrate that recovery from addiction is possible. Portage Ontario has been celebrating this fact during Addiction Recovery Awareness Month, as it does every day of the year.|

Portage Ontario co-hosted an awareness breakfast in Waterloo on September 21, 2010, with several other addiction services groups. Jennifer Andrews, a graduate of the Portage Program and now a Caseworker at Portage Elora shared her story of recovery with the audience.

“My life had spiraled out of control because of my substance abuse,” she recounted. “I had lost everyone and everything I loved and was living a dangerous lifestyle. When I was admitted to Portage, it was the scariest day of my life, but definitely the best choice I ever made. I’m now a Caseworker at Portage Elora. I think it’s important that I know where the residents are coming from, that I can relate to them, that I understand all the feelings that they’re going through. In the end I can always assure them that this program has changed my life and that it can do the same for them.”

To read more about this event:
Guelph Mercury – Recovering from addiction: A message of hope

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