Strengthening recovery-oriented services in Lethbridge

Conceptual rendering of the Lethbridge recovery community.

The new Lethbridge recovery community will be built on Government of Alberta land adjacent to Fresh Start Recovery Centre – Lethbridge, just east of the City of Lethbridge. The quiet, country-like setting will allow participants to focus on their health, wellness and long-term recovery.

In addition, Alberta’s government is supporting recovery by providing Lethbridge’s Southern Alcare Manor with more than $300,000 to add 11 publicly funded residential recovery treatment beds. These beds will add 44 annual treatment spaces in Lethbridge.

“Supporting recovery-oriented solutions that create real change is the top priority of Alberta’s government. The new recovery community in Lethbridge, as well as the new residential recovery spaces at Southern Alcare Manor, will give people struggling with metal health addiction a way out – one that will actually support long-term, holistic recovery.”

Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“This recovery community is an enormous step to getting our city on the road to recovery and ensuring that people who are struggling are getting the holistic supports they need. I look forward to seeing the transformation of our city now that the proper supports will be in place.”

Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East

“The construction of a recovery community, in my riding just east of Lethbridge, is welcome news and will be a great benefit to many suffering from mental health issues.”

Grant Hunter, MLA for Taber-Warner

Recovery communities, also known as therapeutic communities, provide holistic residential treatment for addiction and mental health challenges. Recovery is seen as a gradual, ongoing process of cognitive change through clinical and peer interventions aimed at improving a person’s overall well-being.

These recovery communities are the first of their kind in Alberta. Locating Lethbridge’s new recovery community adjacent to an existing addiction treatment facility will help promote a sense of community, mutual support and collaboration.

Construction of the recovery community is anticipated to start this fall. During construction, the project will create approximately 100 jobs. Once operational, it is anticipated the recovery community will employ approximately 80 Albertans on an ongoing basis.

“Lethbridge and area has faced challenges in supporting a growing vulnerable population. The renewed focus on recovery-oriented supports will be key to ensuring people can get the help they need.”

Lorne Hickey, reeve, Lethbridge County

“Thank you to the Government of Alberta for this funding. Your support for Southern Alcare Manor and our therapeutic, client-centred programming means more men and women will get the help they need to address their addiction.”

Ron Fromm, executive director, Southern Alcare Manor

“Fresh Start Recovery Centre – Lethbridge is excited to have a new neighbour. Addiction treatment plays an important role in supporting communities that are impacted by substance use. We expect this recovery community will become a key part of Lethbridge’s story.”

Stacey Petersen, executive director, Fresh Start Recovery Centre

Alberta’s government is building a recovery-oriented system of care that provides easy access to a full continuum of services. A $140-million investment over four years is supporting the addition of new publicly funded treatment spaces; the elimination of daily user fees for publicly funded residential addiction treatment; and services to reduce harm, such as the Digital Overdose Prevention System app, the introduction of nasal naloxone kits and the expansion of opioid agonist therapy.

This $140-million commitment is in addition to the more than $800 million Alberta Health Services spends annually to provide mental health and addiction services in communities across the province.

Quick facts

  • Mental wellness and addiction recovery is a priority for Alberta’s government:
    • $140 million over four years to enhance the mental health and addiction care system and create more publicly funded treatment spaces. This funding includes $40 million specifically to support the opioid response.
    • More than $53 million to implement more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery supports to make it easier for Albertans to access services from anywhere in Alberta during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Addiction Helpline, a 24-7 confidential toll-free service, at 1-866-332-2322, can provide support, information and referral to services.
  • Those struggling with opioid use anywhere in the province can call the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) seven days per week at 1-844-383-7688 to access same-day treatment.