Multi-million dollar recovery community opens in Lethbridge

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge Recovery Community opens its doors'
Lethbridge Recovery Community opens its doors
The brand new multi-million-dollar Lethbridge Recovery Community officially opened its doors on Thursday. Jaclyn Kucey has details on the facility's plan to help individuals on their lifelong recovery journey out of addiction. – Sep 21, 2023

The brand new Lethbridge Recovery Community, a free-of-charge addiction treatment centre, opened Thursday on the east side of the city.

“It’s been a long time since life looked this hopeful, that life looked this good,” Reid Metheral, a resident of the $19-million, 50-bed facility.

“This is a chance to get my life back.”

Annual operating costs of $3.4 million dollars will be paid by the province, while Fresh Start, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people out of addiction, will run the facility.

Clients can stay for up to one year and have access to services including opioid treatment medication, counseling, and financial and housing support.

Click to play video: 'Alberta researchers testing wastewater for presence of opioids'
Alberta researchers testing wastewater for presence of opioids

“In this place, all I feel is gratitude for it,” said Christian Morin, another resident. “I’ve got some really great people that care about me now, and some that I thought didn’t, and they love me. I’m getting to love myself and that’s the most important thing.”

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A Red Seal chef prepares meals and clients have the chance to build their resume.

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“(To) be able to learn about contributing back to the community, being part of the community and so as they progress through treatment, they’ll have the opportunity, if they choose to, to be able to work and serve in the kitchen,” said Fresh Start executive director Bruce Holstead.

Several government officials were on hand, including Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Dan Williams on Thursday morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the recovery community.

“We know that when addiction runs its course, it has one of two ends. It either ends in pain misery and death or it ends in treatment, recovery at a centre like this, and a new lease on life,” said Williams.

Holstead said he hopes to fill the full 50-bed capacity by the end of November and help up to 200 people per year.

The first 10 residents moved in last Friday. Holstead said they will help establish the culture and mentor the next cohort.

“The beds are open… If we build a solid foundation, the long-term outcomes will be far more successful,” said Holstead.

This is the second of eleven facilities planned to open across Alberta. Red Deer was the first city to have a recovery community open in May.


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