Drug and Alcohol Addiction Program

Just as addiction affects every area of someone’s life, we believe that treatment and recovery must similarly be holistic. This philosophy is the foundation of this 6 week program, which is based on over 30 years of research, experience, and client feedback. Clients enter this program seeking to free themselves from a wide array of substances, including alcohol, opioids, marijuana, stimulants, and others. Clients with co-occurring behavioural addictions (such as sex addiction or gambling) can receive specialized support for these issues while attending this program.

We are guided by a trauma informed, abstinence-based philosophy – we believe that, for our clients, a life free of addictive substances is the way forward. Clients progress throughout the program with the understanding that abstinence from all drugs of abuse will be necessary to secure their recovery. This exacting standard requires them to put in place a thorough and realistic recovery plan.

The program is structured around the following components:

Medical care

Each client is assigned a personal physician who is available to them throughout treatment to meet physical health and medication needs, and our nursing staff provide care at any hour of day or night. Clients may also access our psychiatrist to address any concurrent mental health issues as needed.


Understanding the addictive process is crucial to understanding and controlling one’s own addictive patterns. Using up-to-date research, our physicians and counsellors provide daily education sessions on the effects of substances on the brain and body, the multiple causes of addiction, trauma and other mental health disorders, risk factors for relapse, and other relevant topics. Clients begin to situate their own experience in a larger context.


Self-understanding is a goal of any form of addiction treatment. Through psychotherapy, clients gain insight into the causes of their addiction, a better awareness of the habits and patterns that sustained it, and begin the more practical process of planning their recovery. This is done through regular meetings with a primary counsellor, as well as in group therapy, a place to connect with other clients with similar struggles, stories, goals, and hopes.

Coping Skills

We draw from evidence-based therapies to ensure that clients are taught skills necessary to stay sober. We draw from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Solution Focussed Therapy and Mindfulness-Based approaches to give clients skills to identify and challenge problematic thinking patterns, change unhealthy behaviours, and manage intense emotions. Clients also take part in a 3-week relapse prevention program devoted to cultivating an awareness of their personal warning signs of relapse, and building a toolkit of mini-interventions for managing these risks.

Exercise and Self Care Practices

Establishing a habit of self-care is an essential part of recovery; often in active addiction basic hygiene, sleeping patterns, exercise regimes, and balanced diets are seriously disrupted if not completely abandoned. Clients work with our team of nutritionists, recreation therapists, occupational therapists, yoga instructors, and acupuncturists to achieve mental and physical balance. Clients also have access to on-site massage therapy and chiropractic appointments.

Clients are encouraged to invite family members to Bellwood’s Family Program. This is a 3.5-day psychoeducational program for clients’ family members centred around education about addiction and how they can support their loved one.

The full days of the Bellwood schedule ensure time for snacks, breaks, recreational activities, exercise, down time, and visiting hours. Clients are constantly surrounded and supported by a community of clients with similar experiences, who support, challenge, and inspire each other throughout treatment.