Portage Atlantic centre during winter


All of the potential stresses of adolescence that may contribute to substance abuse can be compounded by a struggle with sexual identity. In order to better respond to the needs of clients who identify themselves as transgender, Portage Atlantic has put a pilot project in place at its residential drug addiction rehabilitation centre

At Portage, individualised treatment plans help to ensure that each client has access to support tailored to their specific needs. With the goal of providing a safe, non-judgemental, transgender-friendly environment, Portage Atlantic is working closely with a network of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, and transgender support programs in order to thoroughly train its clinical staff team to be able to provide customised support to this clientele.

Some logistics have been reviewed to ensure a comfortable environment for the whole community, such as:

  • residents can use the restroom that matches their gender identity (regardless of whether they are making a gender transition or appear gender-nonconforming);
  • shower schedules have been modified for additional privacy;
  • a bedroom has been dedicated to transgender residents.

While in treatment at Portage, transgender clients continue to have access to the outside professionals and support groups they need. Portage Atlantic’s on-site nurse takes care of all medical aspects for transgender clients, including the administration of medication or hormone treatment, based on what has been prescribed by a physician or psychiatrist.

In introducing this new initiative, Portage Atlantic is committed to ensuring that the entire community of youth in treatment are provided the same level of consideration and care that they have always received. Portage prides itself on providing a safe and comfortable environment in which its clients can overcome their drug addiction issues, with the use of individualised treatment plans that respond to each client’s particular needs.