Investing in addiction recovery in southern Alberta

Premier Kenney joined by Associate Minister Luan (L) and provincial, municipal and First Nation leaders and partners to announce new addiction recovery supports.

The construction of two recovery communities will add 125 new long-term residential addiction treatment beds in Lethbridge County and the Blood Tribe First Nation. These are part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, which includes $25 million to support construction of life-changing recovery communities. These recovery communities, when completed, will play a critical role in supporting the health, wellness and long-term recovery of Albertans.

“This is a historic expansion of recovery-oriented services for people suffering from addiction in southern Alberta. Not only are we creating jobs by investing in key infrastructure projects as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, but we are continuing to expand access to treatment and recovery for everybody in Alberta.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

Sixteen new publicly funded medical detox and transition beds will also be added at the Foothills Centre in Fort Macleod plus an additional 15 publicly funded medical detox and transition beds will be added in Lethbridge to increase access to recovery supports for people struggling with addiction in southern Alberta.

“These two recovery communities will bring 125 much-needed beds to southern Alberta. In addition, new publicly funded detox spaces means that Albertans struggling with addiction can access a range of services in southern Alberta. The time has come for the full continuum of care to be available for all Albertans.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

Five recovery communities are being built across Alberta. Recovery communities, also know as therapeutic communities, are a form of long-term residential treatment for addiction, used in more than 65 countries around the world. 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.

Recovery communities 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.

“The Blood Tribe has worked hard to support members who want to live free from addiction. With a recovery community right on their lands and another nearby in Lethbridge, those fighting the ravages of addiction will have new resources to change their life. As we know, recovery is possible. Being close to their lands, traditions, culture and family will make all the difference for all involved.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“The Government of Alberta has committed to an investment to support those with addictions and social issues in Lethbridge and southern Alberta. The impact of addictions has had devastating effects in our community and this crucial announcement will help those affected by addiction access the treatment and recovery they need.”

Chris Spearman, mayor, City of Lethbridge

“This is a welcome announcement for our region. Increasing capacity will reduce barriers to treatment and provide improved access to recovery supports for people in southern Alberta who are experiencing addiction. These additional resources are needed and will benefit the entire community.”

Lorne Hickey, reeve, Lethbridge County

“Foothills Detox Centre plays an integral part in the first steps towards recovery. The additional funding will allow for 16 medical detox beds at our facility to enhance our capacity, allowing us to assist more individuals in southern Alberta with their recovery journey. We are extremely pleased that the province recognizes the need to increase funding and enhance service delivery for addiction services.”

Valerie Campbell, executive director, Foothills Centre, Fort Macleod

“I’m pleased to see Alberta’s government continuing to take bold action to take care of those in our communities recovering from addictions. Recovery is possible and takes a special kind of care. This is very welcome news for southern Alberta.”

Grant Hunter, MLA for Taber-Warner and Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction

“Right from the beginning of the election period in 2019, I have been advocating for a new, better, more responsible plan for the compassionate care, recovery and treatment of individuals trapped in addiction. The announcement of two recovery communities in southern Alberta, with one in Lethbridge, is the strongest possible statement by our government making that plan a reality and truly making life better for all Albertans. I am immensely proud of being part of that vision for a better future for some of our most vulnerable.”

Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East

“Mental health and addiction services are extremely important to the overall well-being of Albertans, especially in times like these. These recovery communities, along with the increased detox capacities, will be a great and better-suited treatment resource for our communities in Cardston-Siksika and all of southern Alberta.”  

Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika

“The creation of two recovery communities in southern Alberta brings hope for recovery to those suffering from addiction in our area, and the additional detox capacity being funded shows our government’s holistic approach to addictions treatment. This is good news for all of our communities in southern Alberta.”

Roger Reid, MLA for Livingstone-Macleod

This historic infrastructure investment complements government’s ongoing commitment to create 4,000 addiction and mental health treatment spaces in the province.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefitting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts

  • Ongoing operational funding for the recovery communities will be provided by government to ensure all Albertans have access to these spaces.
  • Alberta’s Recovery Plan provides a total of $25 million in capital funding to build five recovery communities across the province. The 50-bed Lethbridge location and the 75-bed Blood Reserve location will cost up to $5 million each.
  • This project 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

Alberta's Recovery Plan


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