Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, April 10 & 11, 2024 - Recognizing the vital role of collective efforts between government, private agencies, and organizations in effectively addressing addiction issues, Portage Atlantic is proudly hosting its second solution-oriented symposium titled “Women and Addiction”. The symposium, held with the overarching goal of eliminating barriers to meaningful addiction treatment for women and their children, aims to enhance understanding of the impacts of social determinants of health.


“Women with addiction face unique challenges in the areas of stigma, trauma, co-occurring disorders, gender inequalities and motherhood. As such, we are proud to host this inter-sectoral gathering to make a positive difference in the journey of women with addiction, and particularly, their children.” –Peter Vamos, President of ICAA and Executive Director of the Portage Program


The journey of addiction and recovery for women unfolds along distinct paths. Challenges such as stress, fatigue, hunger, body image, and low self-esteem are further compounded for women, especially during pregnancy and while caring for children. Dr Sarah Gander, a presenter at the symposium, emphasized the importance of addressing problematic substance use in women, “Supporting women is also how we support children. It is through thoughtful goal setting, navigation and support we can meet women where they are in their journey and have a better chance to grow healthy babies and thrive as mothers


This year’s Women and Addiction symposium focuses on breaking the cycle of family addiction by prioritizing the well-being of children. Through the exchange of expertise and interactive Q&A sessions, participants will gain insights from experts regarding their experiences and visions for women's and mothers' recovery, with a focus on mitigating or ending adverse childhood experiences. While profound societal and systemic changes are imperative to better address addiction among women and their children, groundbreaking studies and innovative treatment approaches offer hope. Harnessing new data presents opportunities to develop gender-responsive treatment options globally. By consolidating knowledge and sustaining collective efforts, we aim to chart a path towards meaningful outcomes for women, mothers, and their young children.


During the “Wrap-up” session concluding the symposium on Thursday, participants will share actionable strategies to address and dismantle barriers. The overarching vision is to translate discussions into tangible actions.


About Portage:

Portage is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps people suffering from substance use disorders (SUD) to overcome their dependencies and live healthy, happy, and productive lives. Since 1970, Portage has helped tens of thousands of people to take back control of their lives with its specialized drug rehabilitation programs for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and mothers with children, the indigenous community, adults with mental health issues, and individuals referred by the justice system. The organization has helped establish treatment programs and has trained personnel in over 15 countries, including the United States, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, China, Bermuda and various Caribbean nations.  Portage is accredited by Accreditation Canada; most recently in 2022 achieving exemplary standing.


Portage Atlantic, in New Brunswick (Canada) helps youth between the ages of 14 and 21 at its 164 acre site at Cassidy Lake since 1996.

For more information and for media inquiries: Visit womenandaddiction.com


Carol Tracey
(506) 440-3284

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