Province creating 2,172 spaces for life-saving addiction treatment over next 3 years

CALGARY – The province is providing up to $4.3 million per year to fund treatment spaces at Fresh Start Recovery Centre and Sunrise Healing Lodge, both in Calgary, and Thorpe Recovery Centre near Lloydminster.

This historic investment will expand access to addiction treatment and supports to give Albertans more options for recovery.

“If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please know the Alberta government is working for you,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

“We will continue to add publicly funded mental health and addiction treatment spaces across the province because we believe all Albertans should have access to life-saving treatment, regardless of their financial situation.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, said these publicly funded treatment spaces were much needed.

“Our government is ensuring every Albertan who needs it can get the opportunity to get well and find their path to long-term recovery, regardless of where they live.”

Fresh Start Recovery Centre will receive up to $1.56 million per year to fund 294 more treatment spaces over the next three years.

Premier Jason Kenney, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan, local MLAs, and recovery advocates celebrate a historic investment in addiction treatment spaces.

“Over the course of my career in the addiction recovery field – spanning more than three decades – I have not witnessed this kind of government operational funding commitment,” said Stacey Petersen, executive director, Fresh Start Recovery Centre.

“This kind of support for abstinence-based treatment and long-term recovery is unprecedented. Not only is there a recognition of what it takes to support a recovery-oriented system of care, but decisive action and investment to supporting this system for Albertans. This is a game-changer.”

Up to $518,300 per year will fund 156 more treatment spaces over the next three years at Sunrise Healing Lodge.

“By dedicating funds to our already existing and historically underfunded recovery-oriented centres, our provincial government is allowing recovery-based treatment centres such as Sunrise and our brother and sister agencies to operate at full capacity, ensuring that we can make our services available to as many as possible,” said Leslie Big Bull, executive director, Sunrise Healing Lodge Society.

Thorpe Recovery Centre will receive up to $2.21 million per year to fund 574 more treatment spaces over the next three years. This includes both residential addiction treatment and medical detox spaces.

“We have been struggling with empty beds to fill and a waitlist over six months long, knowing we could be doing more for these people,” said Teressa Krueckl, chief executive officer, Thorpe Recovery Centre. “However, without a proper funding model, we were unable to support them. This announcement couldn’t come at a better time. We are so grateful to be a provider of treatment in Alberta and are proud to be helping more of our community in need.”

This initiative is part of the government’s $140-million commitment to recovery-oriented addiction and mental health care.

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