Portage Atlantic Testimonials
Before they came to the Portage centre in Cassidy Lake, New Brunswick, they were all suffering from substance abuse and asking themselves how they would overcome their addiction to drugs. Here, they share their experiences and offer their testimonials to help give you a better idea of what the Portage rehabilitation programs are like and how they have changed their lives.
Watch their testimonials:
- “I knew there were other people going through what I was going through, but I had never seen anybody come out the other side of it. That’s why I do these things. I didn’t have a problem with people knowing I was an addict. Everybody knew. So if I can show them I’m not the way I was, that’s an awesome feeling.” - Kassie, a Portage graduate at the Recovery Day rally in Fredericton.
- "I recommend Portage to anyone, I mean, even people that didn't deal with hardcore addictions. Portage brings the best out of you and teaches you values to be a better person. It gives you the tools you need to live a better life. I will never forget about Portage and I support them with all my heart and soul. Whenever they need me to do a speech, I go, no questions asked. I visit Cassidy Lake at least once a year. I plan on keeping that tradition with me for as long as I can, to remind me of where I came from and who was at my side when I needed help. Never forget your reality." - Fred, Portage Atlantic graduate. Read more...
- "As a Portage Atlantic graduate now working at Cassidy Lake, I would like to say how grateful I am to the volunteers who take time out of their day to help us in many different ways. A volunteer is someone who doesn’t just give their time, they also give their hearts and that is something that must not go unnoticed." – Amber, Portage Atlantic graduate and staff member
- “I almost died,” said Andrew, a Portage graduate who was celebrating his one year anniversary free from drugs at this years’ Recognition Ceremony. Before Portage, Andrew suffered a life of intravenous cocaine use and underage prostitution. “That’s what inspired me to change - you face death and you think ‘I’m not going to make it’…but I did, even though the doctors said I wouldn’t make it to 18. I’m alive.”
- “[Aftercare] makes me feel so comfortable and reassured because adjusting to life after Portage was really hard for me. Talking to someone who I know knows my issues and struggles and actually cares really helps me talk about things I normally wouldn't be able to talk about with people outside of Portage. If I didn't have access to all parts of the Aftercare program, I'm not sure I'd still be on the right track.” - Kelsey, Cassidy Lake graduate
- "It started when I was 12, with the people I was hanging around with and surrounding myself with. I started using. I didn't get along with my parents. I got into fights with them. When I was 16, I moved out on my own and things just went downhill from there. I struggled with attending school, using all the time, partying with friends. I didn't want to go home," said Shellee, a Portage Altantic graduate at the 2011 Recognition Ceremony. "When I first came here it was hard. It was really difficult being away from my son. But he was my inspiration and that's what I told myself every day. Portage gave me my life back, that's for sure. I don't think I would have my son back if it weren't for this place."
- “During my time at Portage, I have learned a lot about myself and about the issues that led to my drug use in the first place. Portage has provided me with the opportunity to get my life on track and re-connect with my family. Without Portage I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have a sound mind, I am healthy and happier then I have been in a very long time. I can never thank Portage enough for all they have done for my family and I.” - Brandon, Portage Cassidy Lake resident
- “I was one of the very first people to go to Portage Atlantic back in 1996. I cannot believe how much it has changed - it has come a very long way, that is for sure. I was really hard on everyone when I was there, and I was kicked out a few times, but always came back. Thanks to Portage, I am the person I am today. I have a wonderful 10 year old son, I work for the federal government and am loving life. Who would have thought that of me back then? Surely not me.
I look at pictures and videos of Portage Atlantic now and I am so happy that it is still there, and the size of it. Wow, so much bigger and better. I truly want to thank everyone at Portage for being there for me and helping me as much as you could.” - Amanda
- "Addiction for me, for everyone really, is a monster. It took me somewhere in life I never wanted to go. It was dark, depressing, and horrible," said Jared, a Portage graduate at the Portage Atlantic breakfast in Quispamsis, NB. "I'll never forget what Portage did for my life, it saved me."
- “I had nothing before I went to Portage and today I have contentment. It may not seem like a lot, but for someone who lived in total hopelessness and misery for years, to wake up happy is a big thing.” - Stephanie, Portage Atlantic Graduate at the Summerside, PEI Community Breakfast
- "I have wasted many years of my life because of my substance abuse problems. Portage has helped me realise that I want more from my life - I realise that getting an education is an important way to do that. The road ahead is long and costly, but now I am driven to follow through.”- A former Cassidy Lake resident and Portage Academy student who has now gone on to university
- Testimonial by Portage Atlantic resident Liam, at the Cassidy Lake Grand Opening Event, June 18, 2010
- "I came to the Portage program a 21-year-old boy. I didn't know who I was, I had no confidence. Portage gave me self-worth, it saved my life. Many youths have come to this program and have had their lives changed and saved." - Kyle, Portage Cassidy Lake graduate