I knew I was in an awful state. I could barely recognize myself.


I started using so I wouldn’t have to feel anything anymore. Unfortunately, all it did was make matters worse. I endured some unimaginable experiences: aggression, violence, heavy substance use. I severely neglected my physical well-being as well as my sense of self-esteem.  I stopped eating, convinced that I was overweight. My relationship with my parents… Read more »

It was time for me to change


My story begins in France, where I was born and spent my childhood and early adolescence. After my parents divorced, my mother got custody of me, so I grew up with her, my brothers, my sisters and my stepfather. I only visited my father when I was on holiday. When I was 13, I decided… Read more »

Terrified, but safe


I came to Portage as a teenager in 2011 at the west island program. I was lost and in desperate need of healing, my body and mind broken from the lifestyle I was living. When I pulled up to the building and was greeted by the staff and residents, I felt absolutely terrified. Terrified, but… Read more »

Regan, Adolescent Program, Cassidy Lake, 2021


Portage gave me my voice back Growing up I was around drugs a lot. One of my brothers started using when I was 6 years old. He didn’t know how else to cope, I watched his lifestyle destroy him and my family. He got arrested when I was 12 and he now has a life… Read more »

The Truman Show: Awakening, Finding Freedom and Redefining Oneself


Mr. Richard Mayrand, a generous donor and committed Portage volunteer, recently organized a special showing of the movie ʺThe Truman Showʺ for youth at the Lac Écho Centre. Residents from both adolescent programs enjoyed a pizza lunch before viewing the movie and taking part in a discussion workshop on the theme of the film.  … Read more »

School Graduation 2023 – Adolescent Programs at Lac Écho


On June 21, Portage Lac Echo hosted a heartfelt graduation ceremony for 6 residents from Portage’s anglophone and francophone adolescent programs. These graduating classes are part of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Rivière-du-Nord school boards, respectively. The ceremony took place on the beautiful grounds of Portage’s Lac Echo property, serving as a joyous celebration of the… Read more »

An academic program geared to youth in therapy


The start of summer marks the end of the school year at Portage. Did you know that all our youth programs in Québec, Ontario and Atlantic feature mandatory academic programs that are recognized by local school boards and adapted to students’ individual needs?  Youth who are dealing with dependency issues often see their education cut… Read more »

Antoine’s Testimonial, Youth Program, Saint-Malachie, 2022


Dear God, please give me the serenity to accept all the harm I have endured, the courage to continue fighting and the wisdom to help all those who are hurting.  My name is Antoine. I am 21 years old, I am an addict and an alcoholic, and I have been recovering one day at a… Read more »

Fred Laforge, Youth Program, Cassidy Lake, 2001


As a graduate of Portage Atlantic, I can confidently say that it changed my life. When I arrived at the center, I was young, lost and struggling with addiction. I didn’t know how to handle my emotions, and I constantly felt alone and misunderstood. However, my time at Portage Atlantic gave me the tools I… Read more »

A Three to Six Month Rehabilitation Program Tailored to Youths’ Needs


Portage has been tailoring its addiction rehabilitation programs to the specific needs of young people and their families for many years now. Its residential centres offer variable-length therapy programs that can last anywhere from three to six months, depending on each youth’s journey towards sobriety. Condensed program phases At Portage, therapy includes six phases that… Read more »