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Calgary addiction centre prepares for post-Stampede spike in people seeking treatment

Click to play video: 'Calgary addiction centre prepares for post-Stampede spike in people seeking treatment' Calgary addiction centre prepares for post-Stampede spike in people seeking treatment
All the partying that goes on during the Calgary Stampede can bring some tough temptation for people struggling with addictions. As Gil Tucker reports, a Calgary treatment centre is now getting ready to handle more people seeking help – Jul 15, 2022

All the partying that goes on during the Calgary Stampede can be some tough temptation for people struggling with addictions.

A Calgary organization that provides treatment for those individuals is now getting ready to handle an influx of people seeking help.

The Fresh Start Recovery Centre says it usually sees an increase of about 20 per cent in new clients in the days following the Stampede.

Read more: Struggling with an addiction in Canada? These resources can help

“Stampede is an incredibly difficult time for someone who struggles with substance misuse,” Fresh Start executive director Bruce Holstead said. “That party atmosphere: a little bit of vodka and orange juice, and some pancakes.”

It’s a problem Fresh Start client Logan Beaulieu is all too familiar with.

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Beaulieu says he regrets his years of excessive partying during the Stampede, with the drinking often starting in the morning.

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“Shot-gunning beer and a lot of tequila,” Beaulieu said. “It was used as an excuse: ‘It’s Stampede’.”

It led to some painful experiences for his family.

“When I would pick him up at the train station, he could hardly see where he was going,” Logan’s mom Janelle Beaulieu said. “I would cry and I would just wish things were different.”

Read more: Alberta wilderness addiction treatment program at risk of shutting down

The Beaulieus were among a large crowd at Fresh Start’s Stampede barbecue event on Friday.

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The organization expects to see the increase in people seeking treatment the two weeks following the Stampede.

“It might be the residual of some of the wrong decisions made, the impacts created as a result of the overindulgence at Stampede,” Holstead said. “The coming to terms with ‘What have I done?'”

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Logan Beaulieu is in recovery as a resident at Fresh Start’s treatment facility in northeast Calgary, He’s been sober since December 2021.

“It’s awesome,” Janelle said. “No partying. It’s just being together, being a family,”

Read more: Rehab playlist: 10 songs about addiction and recovery

Her son was also enjoying being at the Fresh Start barbecue with his parents and other family members.

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“It’s my first Stampede being with them sober,” Logan said. “It’s very beautiful.”

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