The Red Deer Recovery Community is officially complete.
On Thursday, Premier Danielle Smith and other dignitaries toured the new 75-bed facility, which will begin accepting residents battling addiction next month.
“The completion of this facility is another important step forward in building a comprehensive, recovery-oriented system of care across the province,” Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Nicholas Milliken said during a press conference following the tour of the building, which is located in the city’s north end.
“Our government believes that every single Albertan living with addiction deserves the opportunity to pursue recovery. With construction now complete, more Albertans will be able to get the help they need in this long-term therapeutic recovery community – the first of its kind in Alberta.”
Residents can stay at the facility for up to a year, where they can access services that range from medical detox and opioid agonist medications to programs that help improve other aspects of their lives – from skills development and relationship building to employment, financial and housing supports. Treatment is free for all Albertans.
The operator of the facility will be Edgewood Health Network.
“It’s great news for Alberta to have a well-established, nationally-recognized addiction treatment provider operating our province’s first-ever recovery community,” said Milliken.
Dr. Christina A. Basedow, EHN’s Western Canada vice president, said the organization has begun developing relationships with local service providers.
“Especially in the business of connecting to individuals and saving lives, there’s no competition. We’re all working together,” she said.
EHN is currently building its admission process, Basedow said, adding admissions will be handled on site.
“We find a huge precursor to success is individuals who have choice in their own wellness,” said Basedow, emphasizing the Red Deer Recovery Community is a voluntary facility.
Mayor Ken Johnston said Thursday was a “pretty exciting day for” the City of Red Deer.
“We turned the sod outside on a sunny day in November (2022) and the vision then was to get something created in a year or so that would be transformational,” said Johnston.
“I still feel such a sense of excitement and hope today. Hope is really what is needed under the scourge of addiction.
“I welcome the operator, the crew and staff to the city today and assure them that this is a city that has formally adopted the hope and the restoration that this kind of facility can offer.”
A grand opening is expected to be held in the near future.