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Cassidy Lake - Old facility s
Cassidy Lake - New facility s

The End of an Era

Cassidy Lake - Old facility demolitionResidents, staff, and volunteers have said goodbye to the final remnants of the former Cassidy Lake facility. The centre’s original main building was torn down in November 2011, after being replaced by the new centre, which was officially opened in June 2010. Although the demolition is a welcome final step in the centre’s transformation, Portage Atlantic staff members, youth, and board of directors all spoke very fondly of the old building as it was being taken down, reminiscing about memories of years gone by.
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Portage Atlantic helps to create awareness during Addictions Awareness Week

During National Addictions Awareness Week, which took place from November 16-20, 2011, Portage Atlantic did its part to help create awareness among Atlantic media and elected officials about the importance of drug addiction prevention and treatment.

Portage Atlantic sent out a news release to the media, as well as an Open Letter to all MLA’s in Atlantic Canada, describing the extent of the drug addiction problem in the region, and explaining how the Portage centre at Cassidy Lake, New Brunswick, can be an important part of the treatment network.
Read more…


Residents enjoying and learning from their Judo and Zumba classes
Physical activity benefits both body and mind and is an important part of the treatment program at Cassidy Lake.  The extracurricular activities offered at the centre help residents get some exercise, develop new interests, and put into practice the competencies that they are learning at Portage.
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 Cassidy Lake - Judo R 

Portage Atlantic Testimonial - Liam


“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.  Years into this suffering, I finally came to Portage, broken and hopeless. I had come to the realisation I needed to remove myself from the negativity which had surrounded me for the majority of my adolescent years.” – Liam, Portage Atlantic resident. Read more…

Second Annual Portage Atlantic Volunteer Reception

Portage Atlantic - Volunteer Reception 2011On November 30, 2011, Portage Atlantic welcomed its volunteers to the picturesque theatre room at Cassidy Lake for a holiday brunch, in recognition of all the good work they have done for the organisation over the past year.  Staff members and residents honoured the regional board members and other very special volunteers who have actively supported Portage Atlantic’s projects this year, including the Recovery Trail Project, the “Hands On” Landscaping Project, and the Annual Summer Kick-Off Benefit Concert.
Read more…
Pictured above: Lions Ron Evans and Bill Scott at the Portage Atlantic Volunteer Reception.

Portage Atlantic residents take on bullying

Potage Atlantic - Bullying videoMany residents seeking rehabilitation treatment have either been a victim of bullying or have been a bully themselves, events that have, in some instances, ignited or fuelled their drug addiction problems.  Portage centres for youth provide programming that deals with the issue of bullying, a significant hurdle for some residents to overcome on their journey towards sobriety.

As they discussed these issues, the boys’ community at Cassidy Lake decided to make a video about bullying, giving advice to viewers about how to deal with it.
Click here to view the Portage Atlantic video, “Bullied!”

Portage Atlantic takes its Community Breakfast series to Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Over thirty-five guests were in attendance at Portage Atlantic’s Community Breakfast in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, held at the Coldbrook Lions Club on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. An engaged and diverse group of community members were in attendance to participate in a discussion about substance dependency among Atlantic youth and to learn more about the Portage Program in New Brunswick.
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Portage residents enjoy the Annual Christmas Party with the Lions 

Portage Atlantic - Christmas Party 2011On December 4, 2011, Portage youth, staff members, and more than eighty District N1 (NB and PEI) Lions gathered at Cassidy Lake for the Annual Christmas Party with the Lions.  This festive celebration has become an eagerly awaited holiday event and all in attendance were proud to be a part of it.

One Lion suited up as Santa Claus and handed out gifts to all youth in residence at Portage.  The girls’ community provided the musical entertainment.  The residents gave a large card to the Lions Club, as a token of appreciation.

Portage Canada
Holiday Time at Portage

Portage AGM 2011Those in treatment at Portage during the Holiday period have a lot to celebrate: they have decided to take control of their lives and rid themselves of their dependencies, to work on their relationships with their loved ones, and to become active and contributing members of society.

Portage’s rehabilitation centres do their best to make the Holidays a special time for the residents.  Staff members organise all sorts of activities, including festive lunches and dinners, outdoor adventures, and Holiday craft workshops.
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Portage Canada
Portage’s 21 competencies

Throughout the substance abuse rehabilitation process, Portage residents are coached and encouraged to acquire Portage’s 21 competencies; tools to help them make the most out of a new life, free of drugs.

“The 21 competencies taught at Portage, as varied as patience, conflict resolution, being organised and orderly, and effective communication, are now pillars of our daily lives,” stated a graduate of the rehabilitation program for adults in Québec City. “We now have the tools to be able to live our emotions, both positive and negative, to really feel them and to be able to express ourselves in a constructive manner.”
Read more… 

Portage Canada
Annual General Meeting and Governor Recognition Reception

Portage AGM 2011- Roderick NolanOn November 24, Portage governors and staff members attended the 2011 Annual General Meeting and Portage’s first-ever Governor Recognition Reception.  Portage honoured six governors for the exceptional contribution they have made towards the organisation over the years.

  • Roderick Nolan, Portage Atlantic
  • André Chagnon, Portage Québec – Montréal Region
  • Yvan Caron, Portage Québec – Québec City Region
  • Michael Howlett, Portage Ontario
  • Robert and Susan Ruttan, Portage BC

Pictured above: Peter Howlett, President of Portage, presents an award for exceptional contribution to Portage Atlantic regional board member, Roderick Nolan, along with Dr. Russell King, Chair of Portage Atlantic.


December 10, 2011 – The Guardian
N.B. addictions centre has beds that could treat PEI patients: Aylward Read

December 9, 2011- CBC News
Addictions facility underused, says Opposition Read

November 28, 2011- CBC News
The need for access to addiction treatment after serving time for drug-induced theft Listen

October 25, 2011- Daily Gleaner
Helping Out Read


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


What’s New at Portage?

Portage in the News

Portage Atlantic publications

Interested in a career at Portage?  Become involved!


Portage 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 38 years.  Portage Atlantic was established in 1996.

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


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