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Cannabis has evolved over the years. Its THC level (the active principle in cannabis) has increased significantly and there are now many ways of consuming cannabis. Portage wants to emphasize that cannabis use, especially at a young age, is not benign and can cause significant harm to the lives of individuals and their loved ones. Testimonials by former residents of our rehabilitation centres underline the extent of the damage done by cannabis.

Cannabis is an Insidious Herb

I started using cannabis around the age of 12, to deal with all the anger and the feelings of injustice I felt about what was happening in my home country, Morocco. Smoking weed helped me make new friends.

I started off by smoking once a week with older friends, and gradually got to do it more often. As I grew aware of my homosexuality and my community’s homophobia, cannabis became the only thing that would make me « happy ». It was my escape route and my tranquilizer.d look cool.



How Marijuana Destroyed Me

I took my first puff of marijuana in October 2014. I did that to get back at my ex and prove him something (to this day, I remain uncertain as to what I was trying to prove). I took my next hit during Christmas break of that same year. My consumption really only progressed the final week of my senior year, and it escalated faster than I even realized.

When I began College, I became very close to the smoking crew and started smoking cigarettes and weed everyday. Three years went by; I dropped out of College, lost three jobs, and what hopes I had of living a happy and healthy life. Marijuana destroyed me.

The Evolution of Drugs: Higher Concentrations, Greater Potency

Drug use has undergone many changes over the last few years. A growing drug supply, younger drug users and highly concentrated active principles are some of the factors that need to be brought to the forefront.

With the upcoming legalization of cannabis in Canada on October 17, 2018, one question has been raised repeatedly throughout the course of debates: what should be the highest allowable level of THC (the active principle in cannabis)? This is a vital question given the changes in drug composition and concentration. THC is the molecule responsible for the psychotropic properties of cannabis. THC temporarily alters brain function; the higher a cannabis plant’s THC level, the more aggressive its effects on the brain. Increasing concentration levels are accordingly one of the main issues surrounding drug use, especially for youth, who are particularly vulnerable to their effects.


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About Portage

Portage is a Canadian non-profit organisation that helps people suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

Since it was established in 1970, Portage has helped tens of thousands of people to take back control of their lives with its specialised drug rehabilitation programs for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and mothers with children, the aboriginal community, adults with mental health issues, and individuals referred by the justice system.

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Terrified, but safe


Catherine, Québec Day Centre, 2021


THERE ARE NO HOW-TO BOOKS FOR MOMS! For me, substance use is equivalent with loss of confidence, instability and confusion. As the mother of two young children, I looked to my parents to help me provide a healthy living environment for them. Because I was determined to take back my parental responsibilities, I made a… Read more »

Celebrating Graduates Across Canada


During the October 21-22 weekend, Portage celebrated its graduates at traditional Recognition Day ceremonies across Canada. More than 250 graduates received their diploma, symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.   50th Recognition Day Ceremony   Every year, Portage pays tribute to residents who have completed their residential program as well as… Read more »

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