Skip to main content

Alberta investing $35M in Grande Prairie Recovery Community set to open in 2027

Grande Prairie. (Source: City of Grande Prairie) Grande Prairie. (Source: City of Grande Prairie)

The Grande Prairie Recovery Community, a long-term treatment facility for addiction and mental health challenges, is set to open in 2027.

The facility will have 50 long-term treatment beds that clients can stay in for up to a year to access counseling, opioid agonist treatment medications and support for skill development, employment, financial aid and housing.

"We've seen a gap in addiction services in northern Alberta, leaving many without support…limited access to specialists, insufficient resources," said Brian Peterson, the deputy reeve of Grande Prairie County.

"This initiative reflects our strategic commitment to fostering community wellness and safety by being collaborative partners in the development of delivery of vital programs and activities."

The province is investing $35 million in the recovery community, one of 11 being built around the province.

Last year, the recovery communities in Lethbridge and Red Deer opened to patients. Facilities in Edmonton, Calgary, the Blood Tribe, Enoch Cree Nation, Gunn, Siksika Nation and Tsuut'ina Nation are underway and another location will be announced, according to the province.

The government is also working to build pre- and post-treatment housing for patients, according to Dan Williams, minister of mental health and addiction.

The Grande Prairie facility will serve as a hub for northern Alberta, allowing patients to seek treatment closer to home.

"This is going to add capacity so that individuals don't have to travel down to Edmonton, there will be more beds available and it's going to be the highest possible quality of care," Williams said.

The province anticipates being able to treat 200 people a year through the facility.

"We don't want capacity to be a question," Williams said. "If somebody is looking for access to treatment, if somebody's suffering from addiction, we want there to be a clean and easy way out of addiction into treatment."

The minister added that if need be, the Grande Prairie facility could expand in the future.

Since 2019, Alberta has added 10,000 new detox and treatment spaces across the province and removed fees for publicly-funded live-in addiction treatment, according to Williams. Access to the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program has also been expanded.

In 2023, Alberta recorded its highest-ever number of deaths caused by drug poisoning, according to the NDP.

"One type of treatment does not work for everyone, especially when we're talking about rural and remote communities," said Dr. Jennifer Jackson, an assistant professor in the faculty of nursing at the University of Calgary and a registered nurse, in April. "What we need is health care professionals leading local decision making and creating local solutions."

Jackson called on the province to focus more on harm reduction measures such as supervised-consumption sites and free drug testing.

"Sobriety works for about nine per cent of the population," said Jackson.

"It's evident to me that if we have record levels of Albertans dying, we should not continue with the policy that has been in place while that is happening."

Bill 22, the health statutes amendment act, which passed earlier this week, will allow for the creation of Recovery Alberta, according to Williams.

"Recovery Alberta is an organization that is taking about $1.3 billion worth of mental health and addiction care delivered through AHS and we're going to no longer have it done off the side of the desk of other important files AHS is doing," Williams said.

"We're going to focus an organization that is 100 per cent committed to mental health and addiction."

Resources are available for people combating addiction here.

The Virtual Opioid Dependency Program can be accessed seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. by calling 1-844-383-7688. Top Stories

Stay Connected