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Travel to Drug Rehab FAQ




Where is the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is an 85 mile stretch of coastal land north of Vancouver, British Columbia that extends from Gibsons in the south to the small fishing community of Lund in the north.

Lund is known as the “Gateway to Desolation Sound ” where the rugged coastline makes access to communities further north accessible only by boat. Lund is the northern start of Highway 101 , a coastal highway that extends through the United States all the way to Chile in South America.

Gibson is the first town you arrive at when you take the Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver to Langdale Ferry .

The Sunshine Coast is often thought to be on Vancouver Island but it is actually on the mainland of British Columbia. To the east of the Sunshine Coast is the Sea-to-Sky corridor which includes Squamish and Whistler. There is no road connecting Sea-to-Sky to the Sunshine Coast.

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Where is Powell River? How Do I Get to Powell River?

Powell River is located on the Upper Sunshine Coast which starts at Saltery Bay in the south and runs north to Lund. The Earls Cove-Saltery Bay ferry  connects the Upper Sunshine Coast to the Lower Sunshine Coast which includes the towns of Gibsons, Pender Harbour and Sechelt.

Powell River is due east from Comox on Vancouver Island and the two cities are connected by the Little River-Powell River ferry.

Powell River is best accessed through Pacific Coastal Airlines which offers daily scheduled flights from Vancouver to Powell River on multi-passenger (16 to 33) planes. Please see the Pacific Coastal Airline flight schedule for departure times.

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How Far is Sunshine Coast Health Center from Powell River?

Sunshine Coast Health Center is a 20 minute drive south from the Powell River ferry terminal and a 15 minute drive south from the Powell River airport. Sunshine Coast Health Center will have a driver ready to shuttle you from both of these locations.

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Are There Any Direct Flights to Powell River?

No. If you are flying to Powell River you must first fly to Vancouver. Visitors from Vancouver Island are recommended to take the ferry from Comox to Powell River since there are no regularly scheduled flights connecting the Sunshine Coast to Vancouver Island.

How Can I Get Directions to Powell River?

Please refer to the Car Travel Directions section or the Air Travel Directions section for directions if you are driving, flying or taking the ferry.

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I’m an American. Can You Explain the New Travel Laws?

– When Entering Canada

Note that the documentation you require to enter Canada differs from what you require to return to the United States.

If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo ID.

If you are a permanent resident (as opposed to a citizen) of the United States, you must bring your permanent resident card (i.e. green card) with you.

For more information on admissibility into Canada, read the Information for Visitors to Canada section.

– Documentation Requirements for Americans Returning to the USA

Documentation requirements vary depending on whether you are entering by air, land, or sea:

1. Air Travel

Implemented on January 23, 2007, ALL PERSONS traveling by air between the United States and Canada are required to present a passport or other valid travel documentation to enter or re-enter the United States.

2. Land and Sea Travel

The following summarizes information for US citizens and is also available in the Crossing U.S. Borders section of the Department of Homeland Security website.

  • January 31, 2008U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.
  • Later – At a later date, to be determined, the departments will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have either a U.S. passport; a U.S. passport card; a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI; a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or a valid U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders.

Obtaining a US Passport

The US Department of State has information and services available to American citizens on obtaining, replacing or changing a passport. Visit the Passport Services Office for more information

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Do I Need a Passport to Come to Canada?

No. If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID.

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How Can I Obtain a Passport?

The US Department of State has information and services available to American citizens on obtaining, replacing or changing a passport. Visit the Passport Services Office for more information.

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Why Should I Travel to Canada to Receive Treatment?

There are plenty of reasons to consider treatment in Canada. Here are five:

1. First of all, treatment in Canada remains an affordable alternative, even though our respective currencies are now close to par. The two primary reasons for the gap are (1) liability insurance in Canada is not a significant treatment cost factor and (2) staffing costs ¹ are lower in Canada, especially for medical and clinical professionals.

2. Another consideration is length of stay. At Sunshine Coast Health Center, clients participate in a 42 day program. In the United States, you typically have the option of 28-day treatment or 90-day treatment program, one that is considered too short for some and the other too long by others.

3. Sunshine Coast Health Center is one of the few North American treatment centers located outside of California or Florida situated on oceanfront property.

4. A final consideration is that of client confidentiality. If you are concerned that your professional licensure is at risk by participating in treatment, consider coming to Canada. As a sovereign nation, Canada and the corporations that work within its boundaries are under no obligation to report to American authorities or licensing bodies.

5. Sunshine Coast Health Center is certified to treat chronic relapsers. For more information visit the Cenaps Centers of Excellence website.

(1) Note: For more information on the qualifications of our staff refer to the Meet our Staff section.

Where Can I Get More Information About Travel From The USA?

Refer to the Travel from USA & Overseas section.

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I’m Worried About My Loved One Being Alone in Vancouver. What Can I Do?

We recognize that traveling can be an anxious time even in the best of circumstances. Individuals with an active addiction may have their travel complicated even further due to intoxication, struggles with motivation, anxiety, etc.

Sunshine Coast Health Center has complimentary travel assistance available to help clients the minute they arrive at the Vancouver Airport, US border, Powell River Airport or Westview Ferry Terminal.

For more information refer to the Travel to Powell River section.


I’m Coming Up for Treatment. Will Somebody Be in Powell River to Meet Me?

Yes. Sunshine Coast Health Center will have a driver meet you at the Powell River airport or, for clients arriving from Vancouver Island, at Westview Terminal.

Admissions staff will obtain a physical description and pass the information along to your driver for easier identification. Your confidentiality will be respected at each stage of your trip to Powell River.

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Can I Rent a Car in Powell River?

Yes. If you are visiting a loved one in treatment, Budget Rent-a-Car Rental is available at the Powell River Airport. Hertz and Rent-a-Wreck are located in town. Book in advance to ensure availability.

Budget Car & Truck Rental

Phone: (604)485-4131

Toll-free: (800)299-3199

Hertz Rent-A-Car

Toll-free: (800)263-0600

Rent-A-Wreck Powell River

Phone: (604)485-7929

Please note that clients in the residential program do not require a vehicle during treatment as all transportation needs are provided by staff. Use of personal vehicles is not permitted while clients are in our primary treatment programs.

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I’m a Family Member up for the Family & Couples Program. Where do You Recommend I Stay?

There are several bed and breakfasts close to Sunshine Coast Health Center and some good hotels in the town of Powell River:

Beach Gardens Resort

Phone: (604)485-6267

Marland Motel

Phone: (604)485-4435

Powell River Town Centre Hotel

Phone: (604)485-3000

Suncatcher B & B

Phone: (604)485-2435 (minutes away by foot)

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Topics in the Programs & Services FAQ include:

  • Our Philosophy
  • Residential Program (weekly schedule, typical day, etc.)
  • Services (assessment, massage, ozone, medical, etc.)
  • Family & Couples Program
  • Alumni Programs & Services (online support, events, etc.)
  • Amenities (fitness center)
  • Our Success Rate


See the Programs & Services FAQ section.

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Topics in the Admissions, Fees, and Policy FAQ section include:

  • Admissions (getting started, wait list, kinds of drugs we treat, clients we accept)
  • Fees
  • Length of Stay
  • Policy (use of substances before admission, privacy, phone privileges, things to bring/not to bring)


See the Admissions & Fees FAQ section.

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Recent YouTube Videos


I had preconceived notions of me hopping a fence in the middle of the rain with kleenex box shoes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Every preconceived notion I had was blown out of the water. The food is amazing, the staff is amazing, the weather’s been amazing, so that’s been a big factor in my recovery. This place has exceeded expectation of mine. This would definitely be a place that I would refer others to.

- Lee

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