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March 6th 2018


Three women’s addictions treatment beds at Tamarack Recovery Centre have been facilitated through an innovative pilot project with a focus on crystal methamphetamine treatment.

The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) is currently operating at full capacity at its 24-bed Women’s Residential Treatment Facility in Winnipeg, which provides short-term addictions treatment services. In order to help women access treatment quickly, AFM has funded three women’s treatment beds at our Winnipeg drug rehab centre.

“This arrangement will provide a means for AFM to help women on our wait list access service more quickly, by using the available treatment bed capacity at Tamarack Recovery Centre,” said Ben Fry, Chief Executive Officer for AFM. “In addition, Tamarack Recovery Centre's 60 day, longer-term treatment program will prove particularly advantageous for those clients who require longer stay options and the type of extensive aftercare support that is offered by Tamarack. This pilot project will be explored for its future opportunities to help the addictions system work in a more responsive and integrated fashion in response to the ever increasing demands for services.”

Because crystal methamphetamine treatment typically requires both immediate and long-term care, the beds at Tamarack will prioritize women seeking treatment for crystal meth addiction through the pilot project’s integrated, longer-term treatment approach.

“Working in this way, by sharing our resources and being able to respond to the needs of our community, is a positive step towards strengthening Manitoba’s addictions treatment system", said Lisa Cowan, Executive Director of Tamarack Recovery Centre. “Tamarack provides high-quality accredited treatment with extensive aftercare support. We are excited and encouraged to be able to offer this opportunity to more individuals who will benefit from this treatment.”

January 19th 2018

“I think it’s important to start talking about recovery and show what recovery looks like.”

Hats off to our graduate Stephanie for continuing to share her recovery journey in The Winnipeg Free Press today!

 “It’s great to be able to share a positive recovery story but it’s important to remember that I’m just one of many people who completed Tamarack’s program and went on to do good things” , says Stephanie.

We couldn’t agree more. We are blessed as a staff and organization to watch many people take back their lives every single day. We are proud to be part of each of your journeys!

To read the full story, click here: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/oakes-family-saved-me-woman-says-470040223.html

January 18th 2018

Yesterday Tamarack alumni Stephanie Johnson sat down with CBC's Marcy Markusa to discuss addiction, recovery and the importance of long term care.

Listen to the interview here. 

January 15th 2018

Through the generous support of The Winnipeg Foundation, Tamarack alumni Stephanie Johnson developed the "Addicts & Artists" project in the hopes of sharing the therapeutic value of artistic expression with others in recovery.

Says Stephanie: "I've been an artist most of my life. Both in addiction and recovery, expressive arts gave me a means of communicating when other avenues failed. This project was developed as a way of giving people like myself access to alternative ways of communicating, and I couldn't be more grateful to be able to work with Tamarack's clients".

View the inspiring video, which showcases some of Tamarack's clients who participated in this exciting project.

November 8th - MAAW is on!

Manitoba Addictions Awareness Week 2017 will be happening from November 13th to 17th. Be sure to check out some of the many interesting events planned around the province - you can download the listing here. Staff from Tamarack will be at the Wrap Up event at Portage Place Mall in Winnipeg so if you're around, come by for a chat. We look forward to seeing you. 

November 10th - Are you 'Aware'?

Manitoba Addictions Awareness Week 2016 begins on Monday November 14th and there's some great events planned in Winnipeg, including a 'Lunch and Learn' series hosted by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and a 'Sex and Addictions' conference hosted by St. Raphael Wellness Centre. You can also chat with staff from Tamarack at the Wrap Up event on the 18th. We look forward to seeing you there!

June 20th - We’re now on Facebook!

Check out our new page and follow us to stay up to date on the latest from Tamarack.
Connect with us now!

October 1 - Our Staff Are Awesome!

In the hustle and bustle of the work day, it can be easy to take for granted the colleagues that we work with, who often see more of us than our friends and families do. We believe it is important in work, just as it is in recovery, to be able to step back and appreciate the individuals we share our day with, who provide a friendly face and understanding throughout the '9 to 5' or at the end of a particularly hectic shift. At Tamarack, we are blessed with a strong team of dedicated, compassionate and hard-working staff who help to make Tamarack one of the best drug rehab centers in Canada .

That's why, as part of our commitment to excellence, continued quality improvement and being an employer of choice, Tamarack is introducing a staff recognition program later this year that will acknowledge and reward the continued dedication and hard work of our staff.

For some, their time here has just begun and for others, they have been committed to serving Tamarack for several years. Whether a newbie on the team or a veteran of many years, we think they all deserve a special mention and a very big THANK YOU!

They are:
RCW, Dawn: 6 months
RCW, Jason: 11 months
RCW, Megan: 1 year, 2 months
RCW, Ryan: 1 year, 3 months
RCW, Richard: 1 year 10 months
RCW, Kelsey: 2 years, 10 months
Counsellor, Kate: 4 years
Senior RCW, Karen: 4 years, 1 month
Counsellor, Pete: 4 ½ years
Intake Counsellor, Sherry: 4 years 7 months
Workshop Facilitator, Kirk: 4 years 10 months
Aftercare Counsellor, Joanne: 5 ½ years
RCW, Bill: 6 years
Executive Director, Lisa: 7 years, 3 months
Workshop Facilitator, Tim: 10 years
RCW, Rachael: 11 years

To read more about our dedicated team, click here.


June 22 - A Night to Remember - Celebrating Tamarack's 40th Birthday

Thank you to our friends and supporters! Our 40th Anniversary fundraising dinner held at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club on May 21st was a great success. The evening featured musical entertainment from our very own counsellor Kirk Leavesley and several moving and inspiring speeches from graduate clients and family members who candidly shared where they are today and reflected on the impact that Tamarack has had on their lives.

The evening wouldn’t have been complete without a fantastic selection of prizes for our very popular raffle and a delicious birthday cake (accompanied by 160 plus people singing “Happy Birthday”). We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our community of friends and supporters and want to say a huge thank you to the following event sponsors who provided the appetizers, decorations, table centres and goody bags which helped to make our evening extra special: Parker Fillmore; Beyond Wealth Management; Leo’s Sales and Service; Cousins Freight Services; Stonewall Florists and The Home Depot. The event raised over $9000 after expenses which will go directly to supporting the Forward in Recovery Program.


April 21 – Be a part of Tamarack’s 40th birthday celebrations!

Since 1975 Tamarack Recovery Centre has provided addictions treatment and recovery services to the Winnipeg community. Located in the heart of the city, the Tamarack house has seen more than 2600 clients and their families pass through its doors as they have embarked on their journeys towards recovery.

This year Tamarack will be transforming its annual fundraiser on the 21st May into a birthday party celebrating forty years of growth, change and renewal – of the agency and its clients – and is encouraging the community to get involved.

Executive Director, Lisa Cowan explains, “We are a community agency that is always looking for ways to engage with those who have been impacted by our services or want to support us. So, when we were looking at ways to acknowledge this important milestone we wanted to ensure that everyone who wanted to get involved, could.”

Those who want to experience an evening of dining, entertainment and prizes can purchase tickets to join the May 21st celebration at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club.

Tamarack supporters who are unable to attend in person are being encouraged to send a written or video birthday message to Tamarack to be included in an e-birthday card that will be displayed at the event.

The agency is also hoping that local businesses who want to celebrate the impact Tamarack has made in their community will sponsor parts of the event – dinner, balloons, table centres and, of course, the birthday cake – or contribute prizes to the silent auction.

Tamarack board chair, Philip Grandmont adds, “Not only are we looking forward to a really inspirational event on the 21st May, but also to many more years of working in and with the community to provide support to our clients and their families.”

For more information about how to purchase tickets, sponsor or support part of the event, or send a birthday message, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Other News

April 27 - DBT: Skills for Life...and Recovery

Tamarack prides itself on being an agency that is responsive client needs, staff input and best practice research, so when looking for ways to enhance our program and give clients skills that they could use immediately and after graduation, approaches from dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) seemed like an excellent fit. It also helped that some of our staff and clients had first-hand experience of learning such skills and that the research on DBT and addictions is promising.

DBT was originally developed as a treatment modality for individuals with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorders with one of the main symptoms being difficulty regulating and managing their emotions. DBT was created as a way to provide such individuals with skills to learn to cope with distressing emotions safely, build mastery and a sense of accomplishment with navigating life’s challenges, and begin to create a life worth living. Over time it was found that DBT was also highly suitable and helpful for individuals with addiction issues, particularly as the skills of mindfulness and distress tolerance could be used to help manage urges and cravings and enable the individual to access their healthiest thinking, thereby limiting or even mitigating slips and relapses.

After much research and planning by the clinical team, it was decided that Tamarack would offer a DBT component within its program. All Tamarack staff are now conversant in the basics of DBT and all clinical staff have completed additional DBT training.

Since the end of March, clients have been provided with two DBT specific groups each week in addition to DBT skills and input being woven in to the regular program of psychoeducational workshops, therapy groups and individual counselling. It is also being explored in aftercare groups as aftercare counsellor Joanne draws clients’ attention to the DBT skills they are currently using or those they could try in order to cope with challenges or support their recovery goals.

While Tamarack’s clinical team will be evaluating this process in the coming months to ensure that aims are being achieved, so far DBT as part of Tamarack’s program looks promising. Says Pete Keating, one of Tamarack’s Addictions Counsellors: “DBT is such a natural fit for our clients. It really helps them build skills that will serve them well in recovery. We’ve always taught coping skills but the DBT format we use here helps organize and structure the learning so clients are able to try the skills right away and gain a real sense of accomplishment as they put them into practice while staying here. It’s exciting to see our clients taking these skills on board and I look forward to watching this element of the program unfold over the coming months”.


February 3 - Forward in Recovery is Launched!

Tamarack Recovery Centre's enhanced aftercare program, featuring a new family component was launched on January 17th. Development of the Forward in Recovery (FIR) Program took into account client feedback, clinical team observations, and knowledge of best practices and combined these with the inspiration and commitment of Joanne Riedle, Tamarack’s Aftercare Program Coordinator, to create an innovative program of ongoing recovery support for graduates and their families. Says Joanne, “This is an exciting step for Tamarack and one we’ve been wanting to take for a while. We know that there is a need for additional support for our graduates and their family members and it’s great to finally have the resources to be able to take our aftercare services to the next level. It’s thanks to generous grants from The Winnipeg Foundation and Manitoba Community Services Council that we have been able to make this dream a reality and now have the financial support to not only get this off the ground but to sustain it while it gets established”.

Tamarack strives to be one of the best drug rehab centers in Canada and we're continually looking for opportunities to develop and improve our programming. The FIR program encompasses the extensive and client-centered support Tamarack is known for (including two aftercare groups per week, individual meetings with the aftercare counsellor as needed, drop in support and recovery coaching) as well as building in some new programing including educational workshops for graduates and family members, a families-only group, and family and graduate social activities to build connections and create opportunities for sober fun. Read more about the program here.

Tamarack graduates and their family members who are interested in the FIR program are encouraged to contact Joanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Remember, you don’t have to be a recent graduate to get support. We welcome contact from all of our graduates, no matter how long it’s been since you graduated the program.


January 28 - New Look Tamarack Newsletter on Its Way to an Inbox Near You
It’s been a year since the launch of the Tamarack Recovery Centre e-newsletter, the Branch, and after delivering four issues of the latest news, FAQs and staff profiles to our community, we’re changing it up to keep things interesting and meet our readers’ needs.

The next issue of the Branch will feature a new format – read news in brief right in your email, then click on the links for more in-depth stories. We’ll also be supplementing our informative ‘Did you know?’ section with advice on where and how to find support for addictions related issues. And, as April 2015 will mark the beginning of our 40th anniversary year, expect to see news of events to celebrate this milestone in our spring issue.

Not on our mailing list yet? Join now so you don’t miss the new look Branch being mailed out in February.


View previous issues of our informative quarterly newsletter, The Branch. Join our mailing list today to have current issues of The Branch and details of our events delivered direct to your inbox. 

Coming soon:

Press releases and a press pack. In the meantime, if you are a journalist who would like to find out
more about Tamarack Recovery Centre, please contact Lisa Cowan, Executive Director on 204 772 9836.