About Portage


Portage Atlantic is pleased to announce that a brand new fitness centre will soon be built at Cassidy Lake, thanks to a very generous donation from the late Dr. William Lewis of Nova Scotia. It’s no secret that physical activity can help improve physical health, mental health, and academic performance, and this new addition to the 64-bed drug rehabilitation centre at Cassidy Lake will be a welcomed enhancement to the recreational programming provided to the residents.

The new Lewis Fitness Centre, which will be dedicated to Dr. Lewis’ parents, will house a gymnasium, a weight room, and a cardio room in which trained staff members will educate, encourage, and motivate residents to integrate fitness training into a healthy lifestyle.

Portage residents’ regular participation in on-site physical activities, such as judo, yoga, biking, and team sports, has many positive impacts, as they learn to have fun without drugs. Portage seeks to give residents a taste for these different activities, so that once they reintegration into mainstream society, they will have new healthy interests and pastimes. Through this physical activity programming, many of the youth rediscover activities and sports that they once loved to practice, but had abandoned because of their drug use.

Research demonstrates the important relationship between being physically active and abstaining from unhealthy behaviours:

  • Female high school students who are physically active are less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or engage in sexual risky behaviours when compared to inactive peers. (1)
  • Male high school students who participate in sports are less likely to use tobacco and illegal drugs or engage in sexual risky behaviours when compared to students who do not participate in sport activities. (2)
  • Adolescents who are more physical active are less likely to consume alcohol. (3)

Portage Atlantic is very grateful for this donation, which will help residents develop and maintain an active lifestyle.

(1) Kulig, K., Brener, N.D., and McManus, T. (2003). Sexual activity and substance use among adolescents by category of physical activity plus team sports participation. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 157(9), pp. 905-12.
(2) Pate, R.R., Trost, S.G., Levin, S., and Dowda, M. (2000). Sports participation and health-related behaviors among US youth. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 154(9), pp. 904-11.
(3) Tur, J.A., Puig, M.S., Pons, A., and Benito, E. (2003). Alcohol consumption among school adolescents in Palma de Mallorca. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 38(3), pp. 243-8.

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