Fort McMurray program offers Alberta residents virtual addiction treatment support

Registration is now open for a new virtual addiction treatment day program run by the Fort McMurray Recovery Centre.

The two-week addiction treatment program will be provided via Zoom video conferencing for individuals 18 years of age and older who are experiencing negative consequences as a result of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and/or gambling. The program will combine structured workshops with group counselling sessions weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. with a focus on giving participants information and skills to help them recover.

“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.