Montreal mothers celebrated for overcoming addiction by family, friends

20 Montreal mothers celebrated victory against addiction on Sunday. Oct 6, 2019. Dan Spector / Global News

There was a different type of graduation ceremony in Montreal on Sunday. Twenty mothers were recognized for successfully ending their addiction to drugs.

The mothers were celebrated for getting through the Mother-Child program at Portage, where drug-addicted mothers move into the rehabilitation centre with their young children.

“It’s a program where mothers who are drug dependent come – pregnant addicts as well come – and get their lives back.

“It’s a particularly dramatic program in the sense that it interrupts the cycle of dependence, while the children are cared for,” explained Portage President Peter Howlett.

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The kids are cared for during the day while the women go through treatment. At the end of the program, the mothers are awarded certificates in front of their friends and families, who gave a thunderous standing ovation. Their kids are given stuffed animals to mark the occasion.

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“First, when they arrive, they don’t believe they’re going make it to the end,” said Melodie Bouchard, who graduated from the program in 2015 and spoke during the ceremony. “To see that day happening, I think it’s so nice to live this moment with them and be there for them.”

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One by one, the women were called to the stage with their children, handed a certificate, and given a big hug by members of the Portage staff.

“It’s a very powerful experience to watch these women get control of themselves and be so certain and confident after long periods of dependency on substances,” Howlett said.

Portage has been helping addicts recover for more than 46 years.

WATCH (June 22, 2016):

Click to play video: '20th anniversary for Portage’s mother and child program'
20th anniversary for Portage’s mother and child program

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