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Admission FAQ



How do I get Started?

If you’re reading this, you’re already on your way! Spending some time on our website is a great way to get started. If you have any questions or would like to register call us toll-free at 1-866-487-9010. Our Admission Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are looking for alcohol and drug treatment for the first time, we recommend you visit the Drug Treatment Basics section to help you become a more informed consumer.

Why do you have two Admission Packages?

We separated admission paperwork into two separate packages so that the first portion (that does not require a signature) could be made interactive and email capable. This form primarily collects personal and historical information. The first part of our paperwork allows our different departments, such as nursing, finance, and client services, to prepare for your arrival.

See Admission Package Part 1.

The second part of the admission package contains program information such as preparing for your stay (things to bring/not to bring), a fee schedule and funding guarantee forms that require an original signature. We collect this additional admission information in one separate form for our administration and financial offices.

See Admission Package Part 2 for this document.

Why do I have to Complete an Admission Form?

Your completed admission form helps us determine if our program is the right fit for you. Typically, most treatment centers gather information in the following categories:

  • Alcohol and Drug Use History (Kinds, amounts, and frequency of use)
  • Treatment and Recovery History (Previous treatment experience, participation in self-help groups, and or length of longest abstinence)
  • Mental Health History (Psychiatric problems, current diagnoses, medications, current level of functioning/symptoms)
  • Quality of Lifestyle and Relationships (stability of relationships, type of social network, social involvement and support, patients’ overall rating of their own quality of life)
  • Employment (Stability of employment, occupation, ability to work, consistent, adequate performance)
  • Legal Situation (Pending hearings and any legal problems)
  • Health (Overall level of health and use of medical services)

An additional reason for gathering this information is to measure the effectiveness of your treatment experience. Without collecting this data prior to admission, measuring the success of your treatment program is difficult to determine.

The process of diagnosing your addiction and other possible behavioural disorders is known as an assessment. For more information our assessment services, see the Assessment Services section.

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Is There a Wait List?

In rare situations, we may have a waiting list. always contact us beforehand to confirm bed availability.

How Long do I Have to Wait to be Admitted?

Because of our on-site alcohol & drug detox services, clients can usually be admitted within 24-48 hours.

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Does Your Program Treat Both Drugs and Alcohol?

Yes. Typically, clients indicate alcohol or cocaine as their primary drug of choice. It is not unusual for clients to be admitted for both cocaine and alcohol addiction. Less frequently, clients are admitted for addiction to prescription drugs, opiates (heroin, methadone, pain killers), marijuana, and crystal meth.

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Are There Different Programs Provided for Different Drugs?

We treat the person, not the drug. The individualized treatment plan developed for you identifies relationships, lifestyle, and health issues and strengthens recovery skills regardless of the substance or behaviour you sought treatment for.

During the detoxification stage, our nurses will have follow different protocols to follow depending on the drug(s) (including alcohol) found in your system.

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Does your Program Accept, Prescribe, and/or Treat Methadone or Suboxone?

Clients who use opiates and/or opioid presciptions often find detoxing from those substances extremely difficult. At SCHC, our medical team uses Suboxone for clients with opioid addictions during their stay. When clients are ready to leave us, the medical team transitions the client’s suboxone prescription to a physician in their home community.

See our Suboxone Treatment Page for more information.

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Who Do You Accept in Your Program?

Our programs are designed for mature, successful men that happen to have a problem with drugs or alcohol. The minimum age is 19 years old.

Typically, our clients are professionals, first responders, or specialized tradesmen (e.g. oil & gas, forestry, mining). Some of our clients have a family member willing to pay for treatment. For the most part, our clients come from healthy, supportive families. Many individuals self-refer, but often our first contact is with a concerned spouse or family member. Some are referred after consulting with their doctor, counsellor, or employer.

Although you will tend to relate to some of your peers more than others, you can be assured that your peer group will be a safe place to work on your recovery.

Please note that Sunshine Coast Health Centre reserves the right to intentionally limit clients from certain age groups as a way to maintain balance in the peer group. Since our philosophy is treat clients like adults, clients who are not emotionally stable or have a history of resorting to violence when angered are typically referred to other programs with more supervision.

Sunshine Coast Health Centre is a private facility that receives no subsidy from government. For this reason, we are under no obligation to take clients on social assistance or who are transferring from a correctional facility or hospital psychiatric ward. Government treatment centers operate on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot discriminate based on a socioeconomic, criminal, or psychiatric history.

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My Spouse Doesn’t Think he has a Problem. Can he Still come to Treatment?

Yes. Many of our clients enter treatment not so much because they want to get help, but because they are in danger of losing something if they don’t get help. For example, he may be going to treatment only because you are going to leave him and take the kids, he’s going to lose his job, the rent/mortgage is not going to be paid, etc. All of these reasons are common. We call this approach “raising the bottom” and it’s an effective way to begin the process of change.

We often find that once clients enter treatment, how they got here is not an indicator of their progress because:

  • Once clients have a period of abstinence the ability to reflect on the impact of active addiction is greatly improved, and
  • Treatment allows clients to see themselves through their peers, providing personal insight without direct confrontation.

So, while having motivation is always important, how you get motivated may not be, especially when so much is at stake. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help your significant other into treatment, visit the Family Intervention Help section.

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What is the cost of the Program?

Please see our Fee Schedule for a complete list of our different programs and their rates.

Can my Treatment be Covered by Insurance?

Provincial health insurance plans (e.g. MSP) do not typically cover private drug and alcohol treatment unless there is a co-existing disorder that requires specialized programming. However, if you are a federal government employee, in the military, in law enforcement, or if you are a military or law enforcement veteran there is often funding available to cover your stay at Sunshine Coast Health Centre.

Private Canadian or American insurance will often cover treatment. However, clients may be required to pay for treatment and then seek reimbursement from their insurance provider afterwards. We will help provide information or documentation to facilitate reimbursement with your insurance company. Individual insurance plans vary widely so always contact your provider before entering treatment.

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How long is your Residential Alcohol Treatment and Drug Rehab Program?

Our residential program for first-time clients is the Primary Program, which is 30,42, 60, or 90 days in length. Most clients start off with the 42-day program but a longer stay may, however, be recommended by the clinical team if they think a client needs more time to establish a strong foundation for recovery, if psychotherapy was delayed due to an extended detox, or if medical complications including emergency hospitalization are present. The decision to extend treatment is made by the clinical team in consultation with the client and the funding guarantor (if applicable) as part of an ongoing assessment.

There is no penalty or surcharge for choosing a shorter length of stay and then deciding to extend it once in treatment.



Do I have to be Sober when I Arrive?

Clients do not need to be sober when they arrive at Sunshine Coast Health Centre. Your admission starts in our medical detox where our trained nurses help you through withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol.

We are committed to keeping the facility safe for all clients so new clients’ belongings will be searched to ensure that mood-altering substances are not on site.

Once you are admitted, use or possession of alcohol or non-prescribed medication will result in immediate discharge.

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I have a fear of Flying. Can I take Something to calm my Nerves?

Clients should see their doctor if they believe they need medication to help with anxiety during travel to Sunshine Coast Health Centre. Be sure to advise your doctor if alcohol or other drugs are already in your system since combining medications with alcohol or drugs can be lethal. If you are considering an over-the-counter medication and do not have time to see your doctor, please immediately notify the Admissions staff at 1-866-487-9010.

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My Privacy is Important. How are you Going to Protect it?

We understand the stigma attached to seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction. Our location that is 15 minutes outside of Powell River (a town of approximately 25,000 people) and on over 9 private acres is far enough removed from major urban centers that there will be minimal chance of meeting an acquaintance.

Since we are not a government facility, your records are not shared online with other government agencies. All of our records are strictly for internal use. As a private Canadian facility, we are not obligated to report to any US state, US federal authority, or American licensing body.

Can I have my own room?

Yes. For an additional fee, we offer private (single occupancy) rooms.

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Can I bring my cell Phone?

Yes. Clients are allowed to bring their cell phones and other devices (laptop computers, tablets, etc.).

Besides cell Phones, is There Another way I can Contact Friends and Family?

There is a client phone with a separate, unpublished number reserved for client use*. Clients are responsible for giving out the phone numbers to friends and family.

For friends and family that cannot reach their loved one via the client phone, a message can be left with administration at 1-866-487-9050 or**.

*Clients will require a phone card for long distance calls.

**Client must consent to release of information for each family member and friend prior to contact.

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Do you Monitor my Phone Calls?

Absolutely not. This would violate our philosophy of ethical treatment and treating our clients like mature adults.

During my stay I need to do some Business. Is that Okay?

We understand that some clients may need to tend to business matters, despite being in treatment. During your stay, you may use your cell phone during programming breaks, access office equipment (fax, photocopier), access our desktop computer (if you didn’t bring your own), and use courier services.

However, it is essential that clients stay focused on their recovery and be willing to pass off routine tasks to business colleagues or family members.

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Can I Bring any Electronic Devices?

Personal communication (cellphones or smartphones), audio (iPods and MP3 players), and computing devices (tablets and laptops) are permitted provided that usage rules are observed at all times*.

*Wireless Internet is available but is intended for communication, not for large file downloads.

Can I Bring my golf clubs? How About my Guitar?

Clients do not need to bring golf clubs since we supply them and other sporting goods such as footballs, baseball gloves, soccer balls, and Frisbees. We encourage clients to bring their guitars. Use of sporting goods and guitar must follow scheduled leisure hours.

Refer to preparing for your stay for a list of things to bring/not to bring.

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See the Programs & Services FAQ section.


Topics in the Travel FAQ section include:

  • About Powell River
  • Travel From the USA
  • Transferring in Vancouver
  • Hotels in Vancouver
  • Travel & Accommodations in Powell River

See the Travel FAQ section for details.

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Recent YouTube Videos


The other place I went was co-ed and it's very hard for people to open up to someone of the opposite sex because there's really touchy things and you have to maintain "being a man" in front of the ladies right? So you can't really figure out what's bothering you and what's not.

- Jake

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