It takes a community to raise a child, as it does to help a youth struggling with drug addiction to take back control of his or her life. Portage BC works with organisations across the province to ensure that the youth in treatment at its addiction rehabilitation centre are connected to their communities throughout their stay, so that they will have a solid local support network to reintegrate back into once they have completed the program.
Portage BC has developed relationships with various school districts, health authorities, First Nations groups, community service providers, detox centres, hospitals, youth justice centres, as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development and many counsellors and health care practitioners across the province. Representatives of these organisations are often both the referring agent to help a youth into treatment, as well as his or her key contacts and resources after therapy. Portage’s staff members also work with various service providers to help youth find housing, education, and employment suited to their needs in preparation for their reintegration back into their communities.
Recently, a group of community organisations in the Interior Health region met to discuss the needs of youth transitioning from Portage, in order to help Portage BC in the development and implementation of appropriate aftercare services. The main themes of the discussion were Aboriginal programming, reducing stigma, housing, education and employment requirements, harm reduction, help maintaining a drug-free lifestyle, and family counseling. Subsequent meetings will be held to continue these discussions around Portage’s aftercare services.
The partnerships that Portage BC has been developing with these organisations are contributing to building stronger and more resilient communities, as we work together to help these brave young men and women overcome their addiction issues and once again become productive and contributing members of society.