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After much anticipation, Cassidy Lake’s new treatment centre is now officially open!

Portage ATL Newsletter_Cassidy Lake Old.jpgIn October 2006, Portage Atlantic’s Making Miracles Happen capital campaign was launched, seeking to resolve a critical need for improved accommodations and work spaces at Cassidy Lake. With the demand for drug addiction treatment services steadily increasing, Portage Atlantic desperately needed to move its classrooms, meeting rooms and dormitories out of its temporary trailers and into larger, more comfortable, and more productive spaces.

On Friday, June 18th, dignitaries, supporters, stakeholders, and volunteers gathered in the new treatment centre at Cassidy Lake for the Official Opening of the new buildings. 

Portage Atlantic resident Liam McCarthy spoke to the guests, expressing his appreciation for the treatment that he is receiving at Portage.

“My addiction to drugs and alcohol had consumed my life, destroyed my relationships, and brought me to the brink of death. Caught in a vicious downward spiral, I had lost all hope and love for myself and for those around me. I did not believe there would ever be a solution to my out-of-control substance dependency.”
Read the continuation of his testimonial…
Read the continuation of this article…

Photos: Portage at Cassidy Lake before (small picture on left) and after (larger picture above).

T4G’s Future Focus Foundation and Portage Atlantic are recruiting teams for the Stride for Success charity relay

Portage ATL Newsletter_Recovery Trail.jpgFuture Focus Foundation, the charitable organisation founded by technology company T4G Limited is raising money for Portage Atlantic’s Recovery Trail Project by seeking relay teams from New Brunswick corporations to participate in the “Stride for Success” charity relay. All money raised from Future Focus’ Stride for Success will go towards the Portage Atlantic Recovery Trail Project. Read more…

Photo: The proposed new Recovery Trail at Cassidy Lake.

Ayr Motor Express Summer Kick Off a
resounding success!

Portage ATL Newsletter_Summer
                                            Kick Off 2010.jpgPortage Atlantic’s 3rd annual Summer Kick Off
community fundraising concert was another first class event this year,
filled with great music, lively dancing, and lots of fun.  Approximately
1,300 people attended the concert on May 29th, enjoying performances by
Flat Top, The Common People, and Clay Harrison Band.  An incredible
$35,000+ was raised through ticket sales. All proceeds from the Summer
Kick Off go towards the Portage Atlantic Foundation to fund various
programs and services at Cassidy Lake. 

The Portage Atlantic Board, staff, and youth would
like to give special thanks to Ayr
Motor Express
for their commitment, passion and belief in the
young residents at Portage who have the courage to change their lives
and seek Freedom from Addiction. Thank you to Joe and Sandy Keenan,
Richard Jones at Signature Sound, John and Jean Maunder, and the many
volunteers who, every year, make this event such a remarkable success. 


As a family physician and the former Health Minister of New Brunswick, I have seen first hand the devastating effects of substance abuse on individuals, families and communities throughout Atlantic Canada. Problems associated with drug and alcohol use diminish the bright potential of far too many of our future leaders and skilled professionals, interrupting their personal paths to happiness and success.

I support Portage as an organisation offering hope to youth who have lost their way, guiding them towards recovery and reintegration into society.

I have seen for myself how the positive, skill-building approach of Portage works to foster self-respect and ambition among its participants. Most importantly, I have deep respect for the many youth who have worked hard through the Portage program to regain their freedom and live as vibrant, contributing members of their communities.

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Dr. Russell King,
Chair of Portage Atlantic



For more information, to participate in our activities, or to share comments, please contact:

Carol Tracey
Director of Development
Portage Atlantic

For Admissions information, please contact the Cassidy Lake Centre at:

Toll Free (from anywhere in Atlantic Canada): 1-888-735-9800
Tel.: 506-839-1200
Fax: 506-839-1210


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“I had nothing before I went to Portage and today I have contentment. It may not seem like a lot, but for someone who lived in total hopelessness and misery for years, to wake up happy is a big thing.”

– Stephanie Connell, Portage Atlantic Graduate at the Summerside, PEI Community Breakfast 

A growing reach for Portage Atlantic
Community Breakfasts

Portage ATL Newsletter_Community Breakfast.jpgPortage Atlantic added two more events to its series of Community Breakfasts over the past few months, hosting information sessions in Charlotte County, NB and Summerside, PEI. Read more…

Photo: Geordie Gould, Director of Portage Cassidy Lake, Tambrie Hicks, Admissions Officer, and Eric Buckley, Portage graduate, at the Charlotte County Community Breakfast

Portage Atlantic Annual Campaign

Portage Atlantic’s 2009-2010 campaign came to a close this month, having raised $115,000 for extracurricular activity programs, aftercare services, and continuing education for Cassidy Lake staff members. A great big thank you goes out to all those who supported Portage over this past year.   

A new document stating the Table of Needs for Portage Atlantic that will be used to promote the 2010-2011 campaign has been designed free-of-charge by a Moncton, New Brunswick marketing firm, Smithy Creative Group. This organisation is lead by Portage Atlantic graduate, Fred Laforge.  Motivated to give back to the community, Fred and his colleagues approached Portage Atlantic and offered their time to take on this re-conceptualisation project.  Smithy Creative Group is a reputable and dynamic new presence in the Canadian communications industry and their work on Portage Atlantic’s new Table of Needs is being greatly anticipated. 

For any questions or concerns about making a donation to Portage Atlantic please call the Portage Atlantic Office in Fredericton at 506-459-1284. Donations can be mailed to:  Portage Atlantic, 390 King Street, Suite 211, Fredericton, NB, E3B 1E3 or you can make a secure donation online

across Canada

The Accreditation Canada visit

                                            News_Accreditation2.jpgAll Portage centres participating
in the accreditation process had their Accreditation Canada visit during
the week of June 7-11.  Each of these centres had received the
Accreditation Primer in 2008 and 2009.  The purpose of this year’s visit
was to complete the accreditation process, demonstrating the continuous
improvement of the quality of Portage’s services, the competency of the
staff members, and the expertise of the organisation.

At the end of the week, the Accreditation Canada
surveyors expressed how delighted they were to have visited Portage,
thanking the staff members for their warm welcome and their patience. 
They noted the flexibility and adaptability of the organisation and the
very high quality of services and care offered to residents.  The
surveyors were struck by the devotion, passion, and creativity of
Portage staff members and praised Portage’s continuing efforts to
improve practices and measures to ensure the safety of residents.  They
were especially impressed by Portage’s focus on residents and their
families, enthusiastically highlighting the Recognition Ceremonies, the
official recognition of each resident who completes the Portage program.

Accreditation Canada’s Board of Directors will be
making their official decision about Portage’s accreditation status in
the coming days.  Portage is pleased to have participated in this
process and is committed to maintaining all the improvements that have
been made, while continuously bettering its service offering.

Portage across Canada
GAIN training

Portage Newsletter_GAIN training.jpgAt the end of April, a group of Portage staff members attended a training session on the GAIN questionnaire (Global Appraisal of Individual Needs) at the Chestnut Health Systems facility in Illinois.  Portage is currently preparing to shift to the GAIN system to assess new residents at the admission phase.

Established in 1993, the GAIN has received widespread recognition as an evidence-based assessment technique for both adults and adolescents.  It is a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment tool that supports a number of treatment practices, including initial screenings, brief interventions, referrals, standardised clinical assessments for diagnosis, placement and treatment planning, monitoring of changes in clinical status, service utilisation, costs to society, and subgroup and program-level needs assessment and evaluation. 


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is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people who are
suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their
dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is
a vital and progressive force in the drug addiction treatment field in
North America, with service centres in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario,
and British Columbia. Through drug addiction treatment best practices
and the therapeutic community approach, Portage helps residents develop
their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to
overcome addiction.

Portage has been
operating drug rehabilitation centres in Canada for over 35 years.  Portage Atlantic was established in 1996.

Read more about Portage’s mission, vision, and values.

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