Virtual addiction treatment day program open for registration

May 20, 2020

FORT McMURRAY – Registration is now open for a new virtual addiction treatment day program based out of the Fort McMurray Recovery Centre.

The two-week addiction treatment program will be provided via Zoom videoconferencing for individuals 18 years of age and older who are experiencing negative consequences as a result of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and/or gambling.

“Northern Alberta has been compounded by COVID-19, flooding, and economic uncertainty, which can make recovery from addiction more difficult,” says Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Albertans need timely access to addiction treatment and recovery supports now more than ever. This virtual addiction program will help more Albertans get well and find their path to long-term recovery. We are committed to expanding access to services for all Albertans, regardless of where they live.”

“With physical distancing restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19, our Addiction and Mental Health team at the Recovery Centre came up with an alternative to offer our day treatment program,” says Thomas Kannumkulabil, manager for Addiction and Mental Health services in Fort McMurray. “We will go through a variety of life skills, such as stress management and relapse prevention, as well as provide information on community resources, and create treatment and recovery plans for the participants.”

Participants must be able to abstain from alcohol or other drugs and gambling and commit to attending all sessions throughout the program. They would need access to a computer or cellphone, and an Internet connection to take part in the program. Because of the virtual nature of the program, anyone in Alberta can access this service. Organizers aim for groups of eight to 12 participants for each two-week session.

“This is an excellent alternative to our residential addiction treatment program and an innovative way for AHS to continue to provide service to those in need as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19 and the restrictions around physical distancing,” says Edith Zuidhof-Knoop, Addiction and Mental Health Director for AHS North Zone East.

For more information on the new Virtual Addiction Treatment Day Program being offered out of Fort McMurray, please contact the Recovery Centre at 780-793-8300.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.