MONTRÉAL, June 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Five youth currently in treatment at the Portage Beaconsfield substance abuse rehabilitation centre were celebrated today among friends and family for having obtained their high school diploma at Portage Academy. Not only have they been working to overcome their substance abuse issues at Portage, but the on-site school has also helped them to get their studies back on track and learn how to succeed at school.
Portage Beaconsfield is the only residential drug addiction treatment centre for anglophone youth in Québec. It has admitted more than 900 at-risk youth since the centre was opened in 2001.
One last celebration
Since 2001, the Portage Beaconsfield program has been housed in a building that belongs to Batshaw, which had been vacant for several years prior. In 2013, Batshaw notified Portage that it was repossessing the property for its own uses, and that Portage would need to relocate before December 2014. Portage has been searching for a new site for some time, but has been unsuccessful to date. Even if the communication channel are still open between the Agence de Montréal and the Ministry, Portage doesn't have any foreseeable solution for the relocalisation of this vital service.
The Portage Beaconsfield program is strongly rooted in the West Island community, and plays a vital role for the Québec anglophone community. It is imperative that the program remain in the West Island, to continue to serve anglophone youth with drug problems.
This last ceremony on the site is therefore a very special one, highlighting the therapeutic and academic success of all the residents who have been treated at the Portage Beaconsfield centre since 2001. The staff members, youth, and parents that have been touched by the program are all concerned about its uncertain future in the West Island.
Among the one hundred and thirty-five guests in attendance at the graduation ceremony were many of Portage's partners and influencial members of the anglophone West Island community.
Unique in Québec
Portage recognises that drug addiction is an important factor in high school drop-out rates. Studies show that cannabis consumption in early adolescence is a risk factor, and that regular usage is associated with academic failure and abandonment. There is therefore a correlation between drug usage among adolescents and failure at school. Portage's unique academic program, provided at each of its rehabilitation centres for youth, encourages residents to get their education back on track. The program is adapted to the needs of the residents by dedicated teachers, and is recognised by local school boards.
"We are very proud of our residents who, on top of working to overcome substance abuse, are also working to get caught up in school and obtain a high school diploma," stated Ernesto Felaco, Director of Portage Beaconsfield. "We would like to thank all those who helped these youth on their path to success."
Since 1973, Portage has helped thousands of people to overcome their substance abuse issues. It provides a variety of services tailored to the needs of its specific clienteles: adults, adolescents, mothers with young children and pregnant women, and people suffering from both drug addiction and mental illness. Portage operates eight substance abuse treatment centres in Québec - in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Prévost, Québec City, and Saint-Malachie. Three other establishments serve the adolescent populations of Ontario, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada.
For more information, visit www.portage.ca.
 Paglia-B., A. & Adlaf, E. (2007). La consommation de substances, les méfaits et les jeunes.
In Centre Canadien de lutte contre l'alcoolisme et les toxicomanies (Ed.),
Toxicomanie au Canada: Pleins feux sur les jeunes (pp. 4-13). Ottawa.
 Kalant, H. (2004). Adverse effects of cannabis on health: an update of the literature since
1996. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 28, 849-863.
For further information: Seychelle Harding, Director of Communications, Portage, (514) 939-0202 x 118, [email protected]