Finding the Right Residential Treatment Centre (Rehab) in Alberta

Finding the Right Residential Treatment Centre (Rehab) in Alberta

If you or a loved one in Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary is experiencing addiction, you may be wondering if it’s time to look at residential drug or alcohol treatment centres. These facilities, commonly known as detox or rehab are designed to stabilize and treat people working to overcome mild to severe substance or alcohol abuse issues.

A substance use disorder (formerly known as substance abuse or substance dependence) occurs when someone uses alcohol and/or drugs recurrently to the point the usage causes significant impairment, such as health problems, disability and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.

If your or your loved one’s life is careening out of control due to excessive alcohol consumption or drug use, and you need to find a treatment center to get off the addiction train before it crashes and wrecks or ends yours or their life. If drug-fueled reckless behaviour has prompted you to look for a treatment center for yourself or a loved one in Alberta, finding the right treatment program for a substance use disorder is crucial but can be complicated. 

A person who chooses to enter treatment may live at the rehab facility for up to several weeks or even months if needed. When thinking of rehab, people often visualize a hospital-like environment. While the detoxification process often takes place in a hospital-like setting since it can involve medications to help make it more comfortable, ongoing care typically takes place in a more relaxed setting. Some higher-end luxury treatment centres in Alberta and around the world may even have a resort or spa-like feel to them.

Overcoming a substance use disorder typically requires multiple phases, including detox, treatment and aftercare. For those in recovery, staying vigilant in their sobriety must be a lifelong commitment. Doctors and Therapists in Alberta often recommend some form of care or long-term treatment plan after rehab is completed.

Below are some of the most common questions people ask me regarding residential treatment centres…

How long will I be at the treatment centre or rehab facility?

rehab facility

The length of rehab varies on a case-by-case basis. Brief treatment involving detox, therapy and supportive care may be effective for some people, but treating substance use disorders is a complex process that could last years. While it may seem desirable to get through rehab as quickly as possible, research shows that longer stays in rehab lead to lower relapse rates.

Rehab is unique to each person, and length of stay depends on factors such as the severity of addiction and the rate at which progress is being made. For Alberta residents with severe drug or alcohol dependencies, or those with dual-diagnosis, co-occurring mental illness or PTSD or other forms of trauma; extended treatment may be needed. A quality treatment centre will offer clients a personalized plan that caters to their needs.

The length of rehab can vary depending on the type of treatment, the drug misused, the individual and their personal circumstances and other conflicting issues. Below is only the median lengths of rehab for Alberta residents.

  • Outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy 207 days
  • Outpatient treatment 130 days
  • Long-term residential treatment 90 days
  • Intensive outpatient treatment 88 days
  • Short-term residential treatment 27 days
  • Hospital residential treatment 16 days
  • Medication-assisted opioid detox five days
  • Detox four days

Are there rehabilitation centres that will treat depression, anxiety or other co-occurring mental disorders in Alberta?

A co-occurring disorder (also known as Dual Diagnosis) can be described as an illness that exists alongside alcoholism or drug misuse. This could include depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, Autism, Schizophrenia, personality disorder etc. whilst simultaneously abusing drugs and/or alcohol. In many instances, people in Alberta with co-occurring disorders typically self-medicate in a misguided attempt to treat their underlying co-occurring disorder.

When a person has a co-occurring disorder alongside an addiction, such a scenario makes treating the addiction more complicated. This is because the co-occurring disorder has to be managed alongside the substance misuse or alcohol issue. Fortunately, we work with many different types of drug rehab and treatment facilities in Alberta so caring for your or your loved one’s co-occurring disorder alongside the addiction isn’t a problem. Our Interventionists and recovery professionals can help you find a reputable, knowledgeable and accredited treatment centre in Edmonton. Calgary or Red Deer.

All our Addiction Specialists and Interventionists in Edmonton and Calgary will do a full phone screening or video meeting to assess your or your family’s specific needs and requirements before recommending any facility in Alberta or elsewhere.

Will I be able to take the medication in rehab?

taking medication

Yes. Many people receive medication in rehab. Upon arrival, a nurse will complete an intake that includes the medications a person is already taking, in addition to vitals and current medical needs. Those who are in need of detox from drugs or alcohol will be monitored by medical professionals, who can provide medication to assist with withdrawals.

Detoxification can be an uncomfortable and even painful process, because of the withdrawal symptoms that will manifest as your body rids itself of all drug toxins. Instead of enduring an arduous detoxification process, we can provide medically assisted detoxification that minimizes your withdrawal symptoms through the prescription of approved medical substitutes.

People entering rehab in Alberta may also meet with a psychiatrist, who can help determine if current medications are appropriate and whether new ones, if any, may be beneficial. Some facilities offer a holistic approach and vitamin support. Other programs use medication-assisted therapies to assist with abstinence. Some programs expect participants to be free of all substances.

Medication can be an excellent resource in your care, but it should not be the only part of your plan. Each facility will make all participants aware of protocols. There is nothing to fear. At Canada Drug Rehab again we will take your individual situation, requests and needs into consideration before suggesting any detox program.

What should I bring to rehab?

Most facilities suggest bringing comfortable day clothes and pyjamas for sleeping. Rehab participants will be sitting in a group setting for large parts of the day, so it’s important to be comfortable and relaxed. There may be exercise facilities, so bringing workout clothes may be a good idea. Toiletries and makeup are generally allowed, but at some facilities staff members are likely to search all bags. Items of concern include razors, mouthwash, perfumes, and shoes with laces. The nursing staff will hold on to and dispense any prescribed medications.

Some facilities allow smoking and caffeine, while some do not. You can ask this question upfront.

As long as you already know what you should bring inside a treatment facility, packing your belongings on your way will be easier than you think. If you are unsure what to bring, work with your Interventionist in Alberta or the treatment centre directly and just ask. While every rehab facility policy may vary, all of them will agree on the most important things you should bring inside. Among these essential items include.…

  • A directory containing all of the names and contact details of people who you want to be involved in your treatment (ex. family members, trusted friends, healthcare staff, 12-step sponsors, pastors/spiritual advisors, etc.).
  • Personal jewelry that you consider a necessity, such as a wedding band or a sentimental watch.
  • All of your prescribed medication including the dosage (given that it has a doctor’s prescription and contained in its original bottle with its label readable and undamaged. For liquid medications, it should still be unsealed and not used)
  • Extra cash for store runs, etc.
  • Credit or debit card
  • Identification such as passport, driver’s license, etc. Insurance cards as well.
  • Calling card for long-distance calls if required by the facility.
  • Journals or notebooks
  • Pens, pencils
  • Art supplies like pencil crayons or 
  • Activity books or Adult colouring books
  • Phone and charger (if allowed)
  • Laptop and charger (if allowed)
  • Photos of your loved one you can keep in your room or wallet.
  • Books
  • Tobacco products if you use it (if allowed, ask upfront)

Can my family visit?

family visit

Yes. A person’s family can generally visit them in rehabs in Alberta. Each facility will provide information on the days and times this is allowed if applicable. Loved ones are often encouraged to be involved in the treatment process. Many programs have a family weekend and include family therapy, both in person and/or via telephone. Some facilities have a closed-door policy for the first few days or the first month. These are certainly questions everyone has and we can help you answer them. We want you to be comfortable and secure in your chosen treatment facility so we won’t recommend one that does not meet your and your family’s needs and wants in Edmonton, Calgary or anywhere across Canada.

After-Care Programs in Alberta

The fight to stay sober does not end after treatment. Cravings for drugs or alcohol can occur at any time, and temptation is common. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US estimates that the relapse rate for drug addiction and alcoholism is between 40 and 60 percent. We want to work with you and your family to lower your chances of relapse and help you achieve the long-term recovery you so deserve and are worthy of.

Detox and a residential stay is only the beginning of a quality long-term recovery treatment plan. A discharge planner or addiction specialist should provide local resources and offer help connecting with services the week you or your loved one is scheduled to leave rehab. Once you work with us you and your family are never alone. We are here before, during and after the residential treatment process is finished to offer care and support to lower the risk of relapse.

Those in Alberta who may need more support may go to a sober living facility, hire a sober coach or sober companion in Alberta or relocate to another area entirely. Treatment aftercare plans depend on each person’s unique needs.

A typical rehab aftercare plan in Alberta may include (but is not limited to)…

  • Outpatient individual, or family therapy
  • Mutual support meetings (like AA, NA, SMART Recovery, etc)
  • Medication, drug, and alcohol screening
  • Job training
  • Sobriety coaching
  • Relapse prevention


This list is not exhaustive. If you are ready to seek help, you can begin by contacting us at Canada Drug Rehab to find the program that is the best fit for you and your family in Alberta.

We are here to take away the confusion and help you and your family choose the right treatment centre for you. At Canada Drug Rehab the private facilities we work within Alberta and throughout Canada offer top-notch support from expert and compassionate staff. We’re standing by to answer any questions that you might have and to aid you in finding the tools, courage, and support that you need to begin walking on your journey towards sobriety, happiness, and health. Call us today and one of our professional Interventionists or Addiction Specialists can meet with you or your family in Edmonton, Calgary or Red Deer within 24 hours.

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