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Top Canadian Drug Rehab

How To Find Medical Addiction Treatment

Canadadrugrehab.ca is a free online directory listing of alcohol and drug rehab programs and other addiction-related services located in Canada.

Canada Residential Alcohol
& Drug Rehab Programs

Residential alcohol and drug programs are arranged geographically by province or territory:

What are Residential Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs?

In Canada, residential treatment is typically primary treatment or support recovery:

  Primary Treatment Support Recovery
Length of Stay < 60 days > 60 days to 2 years
Program Cost (1) high low to medium
Level of Supervision high low to medium
Amount of Therapy high low to medium
Clinic Staff Qualifications skilled minimal
Therapeutic Component high low
Medical Component medium to high low
Support Group Participation 2 or three per week often
Work or School Participation no varies (2)
Meal preperation/ Chores normal varies (3)
  1. (1)  Refers to operating costs not cost to client since some programs are government funded or subsidized.
  2. (2)  Some programs do not allow clients to work or go to school.
  3. (3)  Some support recovery programs provide meal preparation and housekeeping.

Primary treatment is an intensive program to treat those with alcohol or drug use that has progressed to dependence or to treat clients who experience sustained relapse following previous treatment episodes. Primary alcohol and drug rehab programs provide around the clock supervision, group and individual therapy, education, meals, and accommodation.

The length of stay in primary alcohol and drug treatment varies but is typically less than 60 days.

An important component of primary treatment is discharge planning. This service helps clients connect to support recovery services or outpatient alcohol and drug rehab programs in their home community as well as mutual support groups.

A common feature of primary alcohol and drug treatment is the Family Program: a 3 to 7 day intensive program which offers participants a better understanding of the nature of addiction and the recovery process. Family Programs provide an opportunity for family members to begin their own healing from the days and nights of living with a loved ones alcohol and/or drug use. Over the course of the program, families participate in education, written exercises, and non-confrontational group discussion.

The vast majority of residential treatment programs in Canada are of the primary treatment variety. Another term for primary treatment is inpatient treatment (typically in a hospital setting).

Support recovery describes a broad range of alcohol and drug treatment services which includes a:

  • room and board component
  • curriculum which provides for a gradual reintegration into the community
  • therapeutic milieu which is based upon the construct of "community"

Support recovery is provided to clients who have completed primary alcohol and drug treatment but require a greater level of support than what is available at home. In support recovery, the amount of time allocated to actual therapy, level of supervision, and qualifications of staff varies but is generally less than primary treatment (see chart above).

The primary goal of support recovery is to help residents develop the skills necessary to maintain an emotional, vocational, social, physical and spiritual balance. Support recovery provides time for reflection and self-discovery; structure to develop new life skills and living habits. This support encourages progress, builds confidence and promotes fellowship.

In support recovery, residents have more independence than is allowed in primary treatment. The curriculum in support recovery differs from primary treatment in that it focuses more on transitioning into the community and less on therapy. Residents may be required to go off-site to attend meetings, work or tend to other approved activities.

It is important to note that not all support recovery programs allow clients to work or go to school (especially full time). Some programs believe that the negative impact of these activities on the peer group outweigh the benefit to the individual.

Clients and their families are recommended to carefully research support recovery programs before making a decision. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you have counselling staff?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • Do you have a weekly schedule for clients?
  • Are you licensed?
  • How much on-site supervision is provided?
  • Are clients allowed to work or go to school?
  • What are your house rules?
  • Is it possible to do a site tour?

A good program should be able to support their answers with documentation. If a support recovery program is unable or unwilling to allow a brief tour and document the qualifications of their program, you may want to look elsewhere.

Some programs that call themselves support recovery are little more than boarding houses where residents pay rent in exchange for a bed. These facilities often have minimal supervision, no clinical staff and very little programming. These programs are rarely licensed and some have been accused of taking advantage of clients by discharging them early for drinking or using drugs, forfeit their rent and deposit, then free up a bed for the next unsuspecting victim.

Other terms for support recovery include supportive recovery, sober living, transitional living, half-way house (*), recovery home, Oxford house, ¾ way house, senior house, second stage house (or housing), intermediate care and peer-led house.

(*) Note: Canadians typically dont use the term "half-way house" in an alcohol and drug treatment context since this term is typically associated with minimum security correctional facilities.

Locating a Residential Alcohol and Drug Rehab Program for Adolescents

When locating programs for adolescents, remember that the age of majority (18 or 19 years of age) varies from province to province. Also, some adolescent programs accept young adults up to the age of 25 years. The term "wilderness program" is often used to describe residential programs for adolescents that provide outdoor education as part of program curriculum.

Some residential adolescent programs provide General Equivalency Diploma (GED) programs for those intending to complete high school. For more information contact The American Council on Education which has a list of GED Administrators in Canada.

Disclaimer: Inclusion or omission of an organization or agency in this database does not imply endorsement or non-endorsement by canadadrugrehab.ca. In no event shall canadadrugrehab.ca be liable for any decision or action taken in reliance on information provided by this referral service. Any questions regarding an alcohol and drug rehab program listing should be directed to that organization. If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or your local crisis hotline .

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