Family Support for Gambling Addiction in Alberta

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Blog, Process Addiction | 0 comments

This family has dealt with their brother’s gambling problem before. He racks up huge debts and then becomes overwhelmed. The last time they bailed him out he didn’t gamble for about 10 years.

They want to have an intervention and confront him, but do not have a plan for afterwards. We advised that they might want to hold off on an intervention until they have some options for treatment. That way they can offer him solutions for treatment during the intervention process. We provided the following information:

  • Intervention resources
  • Family resources
  • AHS public programs
  • Private non 12-step programs

Intervention Information:

Here is the contact information Catherine MacDonald:

Website: Phone: 1.613.722.1884
Note: Uses a gentle approach to intervention. She invites the person to their intervention rather than ambushing. From your basic details, it sounds like your brother already acknowledges his gambling problem and does not need to be ambushed by his family.


This is a link that will take you to different therapies and models used to treatment families of addicts:

This webpage outlines different styles of therapies and lists hundreds of resources organized into categories for the family.

Here are some books on Enabling and boundaries. They can be helpful in deciding what sort of approach you want to take with your addicted loved one.


Now, there will be a variety of treatment options for you to offer Ben*. Treatment is generally more effective when the individual needing treatment is an active part of their recovery and not just pushed in one direction. After all, only they can keep themselves “sober” and they often have an idea what might work best for them. In this section, resources are organized into two options: programs you pay for and programs subsidized by provincial healthcare.


Here is the website for the responsible gaming program in Alberta:

With the public systems (if you cannot or choose not to go the private route) there are always going to wait times and protocols. Typically a person must be assessed and then referred into treatment (outpatient and or inpatient/residential).

Here is the assessment office in Calgary. Ben will need to book an appointment or find out when drop in times are. You may want to call ahead to see if they deal with gambling. They may need to redirect you to a mental health office instead the addiction and mental health office.

Calgary Adult Addiction Services (AHS)
Stephenson Building
2nd floor, 1177 11 Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R 1K9
Phone: (403) 297-3071 Toll-Free: 1(866) 332-2322 Fax: (403) 297-3036
Note: Service hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Intake and assessment is available on a drop-in basis weekdays at 1:00 PM.

Residential Gambling Programs

Poundmaker’s Adult Residential Treatment Program
PO Box 34007 
Kingsway Mall Post Office
Edmonton AB T5G 3G4 
Phone: (780)458-1884

Problem Gambling Resource Network
2nd floor, 3312 Parsons Road
Edmonton, AB T6N 1B5
Phone: (780)461-1259
Note: The Problem Gambling Resources Network is committed to helping individuals and communities address gambling in a healthy and responsible way through public awareness, education, advocacy, prevention, treatment/referral and research.

Morning Sky Centre
General Delivery
Frog Lake, AB T0A 1M0
Phone: (780)943-3227

Northern Addictions Centre
11333-106 Street
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 6T7
Phone: (780) 538-6350 
 Website: Northern Addictions Centre
Note: 20 day “Fee for Service” drug, alcohol, gambling program. Co-ed. Must be 5 days sober prior admittance, also has detox if needed.

Henwood Treatment Centre
18750-18 Street NW RR6, LCD 1
Edmonton, AB T5B 4K3
Phone: (780) 422-9069 (general office) Phone: (780) 422-4466 (admissions)
Website: Henwood Treatment Centre
Note: Co-ed program. 19 days. Clients must be 5 days sober prior to admittance.

South Country Treatment Centre
Research Centre Road PO Box 1418 Lethbridge, AB T1J 4K2
Phone: (403) 329-6603 Fax: (403) 328-5756
E-mail: Website:
Note: Co-ed program for adults 18+. 28-day 12 step treatment program. Clients must be 5 days sober prior to admittance.


These are private programs that you pay for to attend. These two programs are non 12-step and use evidence based practices to stop negative behaviours such as addiction.

Sunshine Coast Health Center
2174 Fleury Road Powell River, BC V8A 0H8
Phone: (604) 487-9010 Toll-free: 1(866) 487-9010 E-Mail:
Contact Person: Sara, Admissions Coordinator
Description: A private program for men that includes medically-supervised detoxification, on-site recreation (including indoor lap pool), psychiatric assessment, refresher courses and online support (aftercare), a family program, and a couples program. Program length is 30, 42, 60, and 90 days while returning alumni have more flexible lengths of stay. With this program you will be cared for nurses, a doctor, care aids, and qualified mental health professionals (Psychiatrist, PhD and MA level psychologists and counsellors). Once you complete a treatment program at SCHC you will always be able to access services from them (online meetings, FB, over the phone, etc.) your care does not stop when you complete treatment

Life Science Addiction Treatment Center
114 Rue Kimpton Rigaud, QC J0P 1P0
Clinical Director (Marjorie Clarke): 450.451.0799
Phone: (450) 451-9995  Fax: (450) 451-9995 Website: E-Mail:
Description: An English speaking fee-for-service co-ed treatment program. There are 30, 60, 90 day primary treatment programs with a 10 day maintenance program. They use an evidence-based and best practices model and work with the client and design a treatment program that works best for them. They will help with implementing proper coping strategies for stress.Treatment takes place in a home like environment in a rural area of Quebec. It is an English speaking program. If necessary you will be seen by a psychiatrist for mental health assessment and treatment.

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