Back to search

Programs & Services

Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program

Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program is a court mandated, medically supported detoxification program that helps children / youth whose use of alcohol or other drugs is likely to cause significant psychological or physical harm to themselves or others.

PChAD (Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program) is for legal guardians of children / youth under the age of 18 years who can apply to the Provincial Court of Alberta, Family Court for a PChAD protection order. If the court agrees, your child will be admitted to a Protective Safe House (PSH) for up to ten days, with a possible extension of up to five days. PSH's are located in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie.

While in the Protective Safe House, your child will undergo detoxification and stabilization as well as an assessment by an AHS Addiction and Mental Health Counsellor. Parents / legal guardians are expected to participate in programming at the PSH.

If a judge grants a PChAD Protection Order, parents / legal guardians will be able to request a bed at a PSH for their child. A bed will be placed on hold as soon as possible after a request is made; however, beds are not always immediately available. PChAD is not a crisis service, and admissions are carefully planned and coordinated.

Transportation to the PSH is the responsibility of the parent / legal guardian, however parent / legal guardians can request in their application to court for assistance from police to apprehend and transport their child to a PSH. It is the parent / legal guardian's responsibility to pick up their child from the PSH at the end of their stay. If unable to pick up their child, they must arrange for a designated adult to pick them up.

For additional information and resources about the PChAD program, call the 24-hour Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 and / or see our AHS webpage. You can attend a PChAD pre-application information session with an authorized addiction counsellor at your local Addiction Services office.

Service Providers May Include
addiction and mental health counsellors, family counsellors

Children / youth under the age of 18 years.
The child's use of alcohol / drugs is likely to cause significant harm to themselves or others, and the child is not willing to attend treatment voluntarily.

Referral Needed

Parents / legal guardians must meet with an Alberta Health Services (AHS) Addiction and Mental Health (AMH) Counsellor for a Pre-application Information Session. The AMH Counsellor will provide written proof of attendance once you have completed a Pre-Application Information Session, which is needed to apply to the court for a PChAD Protection Order. Parents / legal guardians will receive instructions from the AMH Counsellor at the Pre-Application Information Session about how to request a PChAD bed at a PSH after a PChAD Protection Order is granted.

Parent / legal guardians can access the court forms to make a PChAD application through the Government of Alberta website.

Service Access

Healthcare providers should consult the Alberta Referral Directory for service referral information.

Service Locations
Also Known As
Addiction Services - Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program (PChAD)