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 »

The more I used, the more I resented everyone on the planet


My life before Portage was chaos. I wasn’t living, I was surviving. I experienced perinatal bereavement, but never really faced up to it. Then my father passed away and I completely lost my footing. And so began my descent into hell. What followed was an interminable succession of stupid, ill-considered decisions that destroyed everyone I… Read more »

Freedom from addiction gave me a new lease on life


Before substance use crept into my life, I was a veritable ray of sunshine! As a youth, I excelled at sports and did brilliantly at school. But a shadow fell insidiously over the seemingly gleaming canvas of my life. The consequences of my new habit impacted my motivation to the point where I completely abandoned… Read more »

Overcoming addiction, a family matter


Portage helped my son gain a better understanding of who he is. It gave him back his pride and his sense of value. It helped him find new ways of dealing with his issues and challenges. By the time he entered Portage last April, I was exhausted, but for the first time in a very… 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 »

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 »

Sivahar, Youth program, Elora, 2023


From a very young age I was looking for a way out, I felt trapped, but I always remained hopeful that there would be a way out, I just needed to get older. For a long time, that was all that was on my mind so all I was trying to do was get by…. Read more »

May, Mother & Child Program, 2022


I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 13. I lost both my parents while I was still in my teens, prior to which I had experienced abuse and neglect from them. The relationship I had with my parents paved the way for accepting to be treated in a similar way in my… Read more »

Samuel, Mental Health and Addiction Centre, 2017


Perseverance and Determination This is the story of the journey that saved my life: I had always enjoyed partying ever since I was in high school. I started using when I was about 17 years old. I gradually moved on to higher doses and stronger drugs. Over time, I became addicted to several substances and… Read more »