As part of Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan, $25 million will support the construction of life-changing recovery communities. More than 65 countries around the world use this evidence-based approach to substance use recovery, including the highly regarded Portuguese model. 

“We know recovery is possible for people struggling with addiction and mental health and that is why we are dramatically expanding treatment spaces in our province. Building recovery communities in our province will make it easier for Albertans to access a range of services and get on a lifelong path to recovery.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

Recovery communities (RCs) focus on the whole person and overall lifestyle changes, not simply abstinence from drug use.

Recovery is seen as a gradual, ongoing process of cognitive change through clinical and peer interventions. Program participants advance through the stages of treatment at their own pace, setting personal objectives and assuming greater responsibilities in the community along the way.

RCs encourage participants to examine their personal behaviour to help them become more pro-social and positively engaged citizens – considered to be based on honesty, taking responsibility, hard work, and willingness to learn. The goal is for a participant to leave the program not only drug-free but also employed or in school or training.

Recovery communities will be part of an integrated system that encompasses clients of the health-care system, justice system, and community social services system.

“As a person in recovery and an alumnus of a peer-supported community program, I'm a firm believer that for a person to achieve long-term recovery, community is essential. The Alberta model is a prominent model for success. Having like-minded people in recovery, living in the same community, makes perfect sense. With a recovery community setting, success rates will increase with long-term recovery.”

Earl Thiessen, executive director, Oxford House Foundation of Canada

“It’s important now more than ever that we support our communities to recover. When Albertans recover, not only are they better for it but so are our families. This will ensure that families and community are at the centre of the process so that everyone recovers.”

Lerena Greig, executive director, Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) Society

“This investment in recovery communities that focus on long-term health and wellness will help change lives of hundreds of Albertans. Evidence-based comprehensive care combined with support from peers in recovery will allow Albertans battling addiction to invest in their future, for themselves and their family.”

Sheldon Bailey, person in recovery

Construction of these long-term residential treatment centres is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.

Alberta’s government is helping create thousands of good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and returns investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Recovery communities will serve Albertans who require a long-term stay to support their addiction recovery.
  • About 400 people will be employed during the construction of the five recovery communities. Once operational, each recovery community will employ 35 to 50 people.

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