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New Port Centre marks 25 anniversary of providing residential addiction treatment in Niagara

Posted Dec 17th, 2013

Hundreds of Niagara residents are impacted by and struggle with addiction. The healthcare team at the New Port Centre of the Niagara Health System are using the centre’s 25th anniversary to remind the community that they are here and ready to provide support.  

Media Release Attachment New Port Centre marks 25 anniversary

The New Port Centre at the Port Colborne Site of the NHS offers residential and community addiction recovery treatment options to help people overcome substance use. This year marks a quarter century of providing residential addiction recovery services. 

“Addiction by its nature can be devastating for individuals and families,” says Dwayne Mountney, Manager of Residential Treatment. “Our team is here to help people during their recovery and to let them know that there is great hope for a healthy life moving forward; that was our message 25 years ago and it remains the same today.”

In fiscal year 2012/2013, 404 individuals received treatment at New Port Centre. Approximately 50 per cent of the clients are from the Niagara area; the remaining 50 per cent are from across Ontario. The short-term 18-day addiction treatment service is facilitated by a multidisciplinary healthcare team in a structured, supportive residential environment focused on stabilization, education, skill development, health promotion, and aftercare planning. Referrals can be made by drug and alcohol treatment providers.

Prior to the Centre opening in the spring of 1988, individuals from the Niagara region frequently travelled to the United States for residential addiction treatment services. “In our first year of operation we admitted 118 individuals and the need for service has steadily increased,” says Heather Scott, Program Director, Mental Health and Addictions, who was hired as the original director of the program. “New Port Centre was one of the largest programs of its kind in the province for many years. Organizations from across the country have looked to New Port as leading edge and a model when planning their own services. We are proud to be pioneers in this sector. When we opened 25 years ago, we had 15 beds and a team of five. The program has grown to 35 beds with a team of 26.”

New Port Centre has a history of being a leader in the province: it was the first residential treatment program to accept individuals on methadone; the first to offer treatment streams tailored to client needs; and the first to offer tobacco cessation as an imbedded component of treatment.      

“I feel blessed to have been a part of the history of New Port; to have met the people who have come through the doors, both clients and staff,” reflects Ms. Scott. “New Port Centre was and continues to be a good news story for Niagara; it has always been a shining light.”

The following programs and services are also housed at New Port Centre:

Hepatitis C Care Clinic
The Hepatitis C Clinic is the newest program providing service out of the New Port Centre. Opened in 2011, the clinic provides testing, treatment, education, individual and group counseling and support, and after-care case management.

The Niagara Eating Disorder Outpatient Program
The Niagara Eating Disorder Outpatient Program provides care for individuals dealing with eating disorders including psychotherapy, medical management, and referrals to more intensive programs as appropriate. The program promotes self-efficacy and empowerment of clients. In the fiscal year 2012/13, the Niagara Eating Disorder Outpatient Program served 196 clients.

Methadone Clinic
A Methadone Clinic is also housed at the New Port Centre. The clinic provides addictions assessment, treatment and counseling to help individuals navigate opiate withdrawal symptoms.  In fiscal year 2012/13 the Methadone Clinic had 3887 visits.

The Multilingual Problem Gambling Prevention Program
Problem Gambling Prevention Education provides services to multilingual communities including education and information about gambling issues. The web site provides 24 hour access to prevention education information and resources. Information is culturally appropriate and available in 12 different languages.


Media contact: Rebecca Slavik, Communications Specialist, 905-378-4647, ext. 43879,

Niagara Health System