The Salvation Army in Canada

Posts Tagged: Addictions

Salvation Army addictions program at Winnipeg Booth Centrechanges lives

When Bad Things Happen to Good People


Less than a year ago, 52-year-old Neil arrived at The Salvation Army’s addiction treatment program in Winnipeg terrorized by flashbacks from his military days, he was addicted to alcohol and 50 pounds underweight.

 “There were behaviours I couldn’t stop—even though I desperately wanted to,” says Neil. “After more than a decade of battling PTSD and alcoholism, I had to save myself.”

The Downward Spiral

Five years after Neil left the military, PTSD reared its ugly head. In an attempt to numb the pain […]

Faces of Vancouver downtown eastside

Faces of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Jay’s story


We walk by the broken, the ones whose voices are rarely heard, and the ones whose struggles we cannot begin to comprehend. We realize that they are people, but never see them as a person as we place masks to hide the faces of the Downtown Eastside.

It’s time to take away the stereotypes associated with those that belong within the Downtown Eastside and strip away the masks that we have placed upon them.

Our series on the faces of the Downtown Eastside starts […]

Former addict shows others there is hope after addiction

A Recipe for Recovery


Once addicted to drugs, Susan Small now uses her passion for cooking to inspire others.

“If you had met me just four years ago, you would have taken one look at me and crossed the street,” says Susan.

At that time, Susan was addicted to painkillers and alcohol, and was facing time in prison.

“I was physically and mentally destroyed. I thought life could not possibility get any worse—and yet it did,” she says. “I hit bottoms I never thought I’d come out […]

Salvation Army addictions program helps Babe to face his problems and come up with healthy solutions

The Dark Reality of Addiction


Babe grew up feeling he didn’t fit in. By age 12 he was abusing alcohol and illegal drugs to numb the pain of rejection. When, as an adult, he lost two infant children, he couldn’t get past the sadness and his abuse became more of a problem. Babe’s life of addiction was dangerous, destructive and heartbreaking.

Babe was raised under the stern thumb of a stepfather who used aggression as a parenting style.

“There was no love and guidance,” says Babe, “just […]

Salvation Army Booth Centre in Montreal helps men in difficulty break the cycle of addiction

The Power of a Secret


Réjean had an ugly secret. He concealed it to protect a family member—but had no idea the depth of personal harm that would cause. Revealing the traumatic experience was the only thing that could set him free. And the longer he waited, the more destructive was its impact.

“At age 12 I was abused by a neighbour,” says Réjean. “I was afraid to tell my parents—my dad would kill him. That would mean prison and I didn’t want to lose my […]

Salvation Army offers life-changing support

Broken — But Not Beyond Repair


Nikki’s grandfather was supposed to protect her from harm. Instead, he drugged and sexually assaulted her. At age 24 this was a trauma hard to overcome and lingering consequences left Nikki broken and almost beyond repair.

“Facing the reality that my grandfather did this to me was devastating,” says 31-year-old Nikki. “In the heat of my pain and distress I turned to OxyContin, a dangerous and highly addictive drug.”

Tormented by shock, rage and disbelief, Nikki’s emotional suffering drove her to a […]

Transition House gives residents tools to get back on their feet

Supportive Housing Empowers Vulnerable to Regain Control of Their Lives


For 20 years Shawn participated in organized crime, battled drug addiction and hurt the people who loved him most. Today he is living proof that change is possible.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without The Salvation Army,” says Shawn.

Shawn grew up in the Ottawa area and suffered both physical and sexual abuse as a child. As a result, he felt insignificant and unprotected.

To numb the pain, Shawn turned to a lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse, and drug trafficking. […]


Trapped in Addiction


“I didn’t understand the danger I was in,” says Keith of his drug abuse. “I just wanted more and more.”

At age nine, Keith’s mom passed away. “That’s when things changed drastically,” says Keith. The family moved. His dad remarried. Then, after seven years of sobriety, his dad returned to active alcoholism. “He was a violent drunk and I got used to turbulent living.”

At age 13, Keith experienced his first beer. “I drank because others drank,” he says. One drink lead […]