Portage is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps people suffering from addiction and mental health issues. Since it was established in 1970, Portage has developed specialized drug rehabilitation programs for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and mothers with children, the aboriginal community, adults with mental health issues, and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Portage operates nine addiction treatment programs based on the therapeutic community approach in Atlantic Canada, Québec and Ontario.
Portage Atlantic‘s adolescent program is a bilingual gender-specific residential treatment program for both English and French-speaking youth, ages 14 to 21. Located in the north Atlantic Canadian Province of New Brunswick, the facility is situated in a beautiful remote location on Cassidy Lake. It provides on-site schooling and plenty of outdoor recreation. Every client receives an individualized treatment plan that includes evidence-based methods like DBT and the 12 steps, in addition to holistic methods.
Accommodations and Food
The Portage Atlantic program has been at Cassidy Lake site since 1996, however, the entire facility was renovated in 2010. Set on 165 acres of wooded property and bordered by the lake, the 64-bed rehab is a group of three attractive, modern buildings. Clients reside in gender-specific dorms with up to eight people to a room. Each resident gets a twin bed, desk and storage cabinet. There are two large shared bathrooms in each residence hall. The bright, beautifully decorated facilities include classrooms, a library, a computer lab, medical offices and a dining area. There is also a game room with a ping-pong table and each residence has a lounge area with TVs. In April 2016, Portage Atlantic added a brand new fitness facility; which includes a gymnasium, a fully equipped exercise room and a room for yoga or meditation.
The residents are served three healthy meals a day that are prepared on-site. A staff nutritionist creates menus and dietary restrictions can be accommodated. As cleints progress in the program, they have the opportunity to learn life skills by working shifts prepping or serving food or washing dishes in the dining hall.
Treatment and Staff
Individualized treatment planning at Portage Atlantic is participatory, with the clients setting recovery priorities along with their case manager. It is also inclusive; encouraging participation from family members and significant others, as well as the network of service providers involved. Portage Atlantic Adolescent offers an average of three months in treatment but clients can stay up to six months if necessary. Detox is not offered in this program but for clients with co-occurring disorders, there is a nurse available 24 hours a day for medication management.
The program is entirely gender-specific with boys and girls separated into different sections of the facility for everything except school. There is a strong emphasis on a positive peer culture environment, with the senior residents serving as peer counselors. Daily group and weekly individual therapy employ CBT, DBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Clients become familiar with AA and attend several on-site meetings a week. Education is emphasized while in treatment and the clients are required to attend a fully-accredited on-site school. Many clients are able to advance a grade level or graduate while attending treatment.
The staff members of Portage Quebec Adolescent are a multi disciplinary team of medical doctors, nurses and clinical behavioral health counselors.
Clients have opportunities to participate in team sports, yoga, martial arts, hiking, canoeing, biking and cooking workshops.
There are family counseling services incorporated into each clients treatment program. Once the residential program is completed, clients receive free on-site aftercare support for up to two years. This includes meetings with aftercare counselors and the alumni community.
Portage Atlantic’s adolescent program offers comprehensive gender-specific care for young people in a beautiful, serene location. Clients have all the comforts of home within the structure of a therapeutic community. This is a great choice for young people in New Brunswick seeking substance abuse treatment that includes behavioral health support, medical services and an education program.
Portage Atlantic Adolescent
1275 Route 865
Cassidy Lake, New Brunswick E4E 5Y6,
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