Substance abuse rehabiltation: An investment that pays

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - As part of National Addictions Awareness Week, Portage, a non-profit organisation dedicated to reintegrating people suffering from substance abuse into the community, wants to emphasize the importance of investing in drug rehabilitation programs, particularly for our youth.

Indeed, in 2002, illegal drugs and alcohol abuse related costs in Ontario amounted to $8.2 billion. The majority of these costs stem from loss of productivity (57%), law enforcement costs (28%) and health care costs which alone amounted to 13.8% or $1.1 billion.

"A young substance abuser who goes untreated is likely to become an adult with serious health problems. All efforts that support them in their recovery and help them become an active member of society, will have a significant impact on government budgets," contends Jennifer Blunt, Director of Corporate Affairs and Development for Portage Ontario.

According to several conservative estimates, every $1 invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to healthcare are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1. Major savings to the individual and to society also stem from fewer interpersonal conflicts; greater workplace productivity; and fewer drug-related accidents, including overdoses and deaths.1

Founded nearly 40 years ago, Portage developed its specific rehabilitation programs to serve different clientele in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia and New Brusnwick. Portage Ontario specializes in helping youth aged 14 to 18 overcome their addictions. "Our personalized therapeutic community approach provides excellent results. We utilize positive psychology, self help and positive peer support to help substance abusers focus on their individual needs and strengths in therapy," explains Ms. Blunt.

A study conducted on Portage services between 2003 and 2008 demonstrated that 85% of adolescents who attended our centres had made significant and lasting changes in their substance use patters more than a year after having left our program2. "Based on the conclusion that 57% of substance abuse related costs stem from loss of productivity due to illness and early death, we can clearly see the relevance of investing in upstream activities as opposed to downstream ones in the fight against addiction," concludes Ms. Blunt.

Portage is a non-profit organization and one of the main service providers of assistance to substance abusers in North America. The organization has been helping people overcome their dependency problems for almost 40 years. Portage Ontario, located in Elora, is one of many Portage substance abuse rehabilitation centres across Canada, including seven Portage centres in Québec, one in British Columbia and another one in Atlantic Canada.

For more information about Portage's rehabilitation services, please visit

To read the story of an Ontario youth who overcame his oxycodone addiction at Portage, please visit

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Frequently Asked Questions
2 IGTResearch highlights. January 2003-2008. Research Department, November 2009.
Available on the Web site:

SOURCE Portage Ontario

For further information:

Jennifer Blunt
Director of Corporate Affairs & Development
Portage Ontario
Telephone: (416) 531-1333

Profil de l'entreprise

Portage Ontario

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