Wellness | Mental Health, Physical Health, Safety
Living Standards | Education And Learning
Community Connections | Children And Youth

AARC Society (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre)

We provide hope for youth who are facing the worst crisis of their young lives. AARC takes an exceptional approach that treats chemically dependent young people in a way that reflects the exceptional challenges of youth.

Our Story

Why We Exist

When I came into AARC, I was absolutely hopeless. I could not picture my life without drugs nor could I even see a point to living; seventeen years old and my life was basically over. I people-pleased to get my way, while being extremely fake to hide what I was really feeling. On the inside I was extremely bitter, hurt, lonely, insecure, ashamed, and angry. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was to look at the terrible person I had become through my disease, and to see how much I had hurt my family and those around me. As I went through treatment I struggled with self-acceptance and resentment, but I also learned to be honest with others and myself. Today I am sober, full of hope and excitement for life; I am grateful for a second chance.”
Braydon B., AARC Graduate #504

“Nothing can describe the darkness I felt as a hopeless 15-year-old drug addict. I was living on the street and was stealing money to buy drugs. My entire life’s purpose was to get high. I didn’t care about anyone or anything and I only cared about taking my pain away. Finally one night, even the drugs stopped working. I had been doing drugs all day and all night and it wasn’t taking the pain away. As I walked around town, I didn’t know what to do and I found myself at my parents’ house. I rang the doorbell and for the first time truly asked for help. The next day, my dad and I were in the car on our way to Calgary to go to AARC. I was so scared; so scared of going back to drugs but I was also terrified of living life without them.
AARC was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my life completely. I learned to deal with my feelings, with my pain and with my shame. I returned to school, eventually making my way to university where I earned a Bachelors of History. Today, my life is amazing. I am a teacher, I am married to the most amazing woman and I have spent the last 6 years living and travelling around the world. All of that aside, today, I can say that I am at peace. I feel like a different person when I think about the hopeless kid who couldn’t go a day without getting high.
Every day, I am thankful for AARC and the staff that works there because they could see the light when all I could see was the darkness.”
Steve B., AARC Graduate #86

Read more of AARC’s inspiring success stories at http://aarc.ab.ca/success-stories/

Our Impact

What We Do

AARC is an accredited long-term intensive treatment centre for chemically addicted adolescents between the ages of 12 and 21.  Since its inception in 1991, AARC has graduated over 598 clients and approximately 2000 additional family members.  Independent validation of AARC’s treatment outcomes reported that an overwhelming number of our graduates today are clean and sober, in school or working and reunited with their families.

AARC was created as a community response to growing recognition of the need for a Calgary based intensive treatment program for chemically dependent adolescents. AARC, a highly specialized, long-term program, has provided a solution that has made a significant contribution to the continuum of care by treating severely addicted adolescents and their families

Meet our clinical team at http://aarc.ab.ca/about/clinical-team/

Our Programs

How We Do It


The AARC treatment program is specially designed for adolescents 12 to 21 years of age who are diagnosed with substance use disorder (DSM-5). The exceptional circumstances of adolescent addiction demand an exceptional treatment program. AARC recognizes addiction as a complex interaction between the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. Our treatment model, widely endorsed by researchers, can most adequately explain the multidimensional nature of addiction.

For a more extensive description of AARC’s treatment program, please see http://aarc.ab.ca/about/aarc-program/

AARC endeavours to share knowledge with others in the addiction treatment community. Our greatest tool in the battle against addiction is education, which helps to increase awareness regarding early intervention supports, prevention strategies, and family centered treatment approaches.
AARC’s Community Education and Prevention initiatives include onsite and off-site workshops, outcome studies, practicum placements, political advocacy, and a parent aftercare program.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

The Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre is committed to ensuring that treatment remains accessible to all families, regardless of income level. The vast majority of our clients receive a subsidy for their treatment fees. These subsidies are made possible through donations and fundraising initiatives. Each year, AARC needs to raise over $2,000,000 to maintain its current level of operations.

Your donation will go toward offsetting treatment fees that include on-site one-on-one clinical counseling for clients and families, outside clinical consulting, recreation programs, meals and education.  AARC has a year-round, full-time, on-site classroom with two teachers from the Calgary Board of Education.  These teachers specialize in working with our clients’ specific learning needs and help teen addicts prepare to re-enter the formal education system (high school or post secondary).

For AARC’s vital work to continue, financial support from the community is essential.  Teen addicts are everyone’s concern.  They are this community’s children and therefore this community’s future.  We have the power to help more of them recover and live clean and sober lives.

To make a donation, please visit http://aarc.ab.ca/donors/make-a-donation/

Stay Connected


Darryl Power

AARC Society (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre)


Charitable Number: 132199480RR0001

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