Alberta government orders closure of Addiction Recovery Network
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:38PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, October 28, 2019 3:41PM MDT
CALGARY — In light of multiple complaints from patients and staff, the Alberta government has ordered the closure of an addiction recovery centre in central Alberta.
A 2016 CTV investigation into practices at Addiction Canada and its two Alberta facilities in Glendon and Sundre revealed allegations of unpaid wages and a lack of promised medical supervision.
Addictions Canada and its corporation, Addiction Recovery Network, later closed the Sundre facility, citing a tough economy.
Alberta Health said Tuesday that based on the number and nature of the complaints, Health Minister Tyler Shandro signed a ministerial order to direct Alberta Health staff to investigate the facility.
“Our government will not stand by while any company seeks to take advantage of families or individuals dealing with addiction or mental health issues,” said Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, said in a statement.
Current patients at the centre will be offered care at another facility.
In 2016, former patients of the two Alberta facilities told CTV they spent between $20,000 and $30,000 for treatment and were promised a five-star retreat equipped with medical doctors and nurses, nutritious food and amenities such as massage and yoga. All former patients said most of what was advertised on the Addiction Canada website was never offered.
Addiction Canada opened its doors in Sundre in February 2015. All it took was a permit to operate from the local county, just like any other business. Since then, former staff have complained of unpaid wages and patients questioned the quality of care. One family told CTV they felt the staff were not qualified to care for their son, who died by suicide 24 hours after arriving at the Glendon facility in 2016.
The Addiction Recovery Network also runs three facilities in Ontario.