The Protection of Children Abusing Drugs (PChAD) Act is an Alberta law that helps children under the age of 18 whose use of alcohol or drugs will likely cause significant psychological or physical harm to themselves or others. The law took effect on July 1, 2006. The PChAD program allows you, as a legal guardian, to ask the court for a PChAD Protection Order for your child. This Protection Order means that your child will be taken involuntarily to a Protective Safe House for up to 15 days for detoxification, stabilization, and assessment.
In order for a parent/guardian to apply for a PChAD Protection Order, they must first attend a PChAD pre-application information session with an Alberta Health Services (AHS) addiction and mental health counsellor.
In a PChAD pre-application information session an AHS counsellor meets with parents/guardians to inform them about the program, so that they can make the best decision for their child.
After completing the PChAD pre-application information session, the AHS counsellor will provide parents/guardians with a confirmation of attendance letter. Without this confirmation letter, parents/guardians cannot apply for a PChAD Protection Order to the courts.
Some of the information that may be reviewed includes:
PChAD is a planned admission process and not a crisis service. Bed availability changes, and there is no guarantee that a bed will be available when a parent/guardian calls. Sometimes there is a waitlist for beds.
The goals of the PChAD program include
The PChAD program is a 10 day program with the possibility of a 5 day extension to a maximum of 15 days.
You must attend a PChAD pre-application information session and receive a letter confirming your attendance before applying for every PChAD Protection Order – even if you have applied for a different PChAD Protection Order in the past.
You can attend a PChAD pre-application information session with an addiction counsellor at your local Addiction Services office. To find your local office, search the AHS healthcare locator or call 811 (Health Link) or 1-866-332-2322 (the Addiction Helpline).
If you have questions about the PChAD program, contact any AHS addiction and mental health services office or call the Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.
A print version of this website, called the The PChAD Information Series, is available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.