Get help with alcohol and drug addiction

  • How to get help
  • Counselling services for adults
  • Intensive treatment program for adults
  • Withdrawal support for youth and adults
  • Help for youth
  • Get coverage for medications

  1. How to get help

    If you are struggling with alcohol or drugs, we can help you. We will help match you to the support that best meets your needs.

    Phone us at 867-667-8473.

    We can help adults and youth by providing services such as:

    • counselling;
    • safe withdrawal support (detox); 
    • intensive treatment programs; and
    • coverage for medications.

    We can also provide support for families.

    Are services free?

    Counselling, safe withdrawal support and intensive treatment programs are free. The medications are covered under Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits Program and Pharmacare. Learn more here.

  2. Counselling services for adults

    These are some of the counselling services we provide for adults.

    • Drop-in counselling in Whitehorse every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone on Wednesday morning to set up a same-day appointment.
    • 1-on-1 counselling, including an option to have just 2 counselling sessions if that's all you need.
    • A recovery support group in Whitehorse every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Screening and assessment for "problematic substance use". This is when your use of drugs or alcohol has negative effects on your health and life.
    • Education and support groups.
    • Help with preparing for the intensive treatment program.
    • Support after you've completed the intensive treatment program.
    • Treatment of other disorders you may have.

    If you're in Whitehorse

    Phone: 867-456-3838 or toll free in Yukon 1-866-456-3838

    If you're in a community

    Phone: toll free 1-866-456-3838

    Find out about counselling services in Yukon.

    Support for families

    Family members can also receive counselling.

  3. Intensive treatment program for adults

    We provide a free, live-in intensive treatment program for adults. In this program, you'll:

    • explore the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual effects of addiction; and
    • learn skills for living a substance-free life.

    To take part in the program you need to be able to commit to a minimum of 42 days and a maximum of 90 days. The length of your stay depends on:

    • your goals; and
    • counsellors' recommendations.

    Free program

    The program is free to Yukoners.

    Intensive treatment services

    The support we'll provide includes:

    • identifying your personal treatment goals and developing a plan;
    • group and individual counselling;
    • referrals to the resources that best suit your needs;
    • help to develop the skills you need to support your recovery;
    • help with developing an aftercare and relapse prevention plan for when you leave the program; and
    • help with transitioning out of the program.

    How to be ready for the program

    We'll screen you to make sure you're ready for the program. Applying to the program does not mean you'll automatically get a spot.

    1. You need to be sober and clean from alcohol and other drugs for at least 5 days before we can admit you into the program. If you need help being clean and sober for 5 days, call:
    • the intake worker at 867-456-3838; or
    • Withdrawal Management Services at 867-667-8473.

    2. You'll need to have a medical assessment as part of your application process.

    How to apply

    In Whitehorse

    Call 867-456–3838 and ask for an appointment with a counsellor. They'll:

    • answer your questions; and
    • help you apply if the program is a good fit for your needs.

    In communities

    Call the mental wellness and substance use counsellor in your community to request an appointment.

    Call toll free 1-866-456-3838 to find out the number for the counsellor in your community.

    The counsellor will:

    • answer your questions; and
    • help you apply if the program is a good fit for your needs.

    Information about the program


    • The program takes place at the Sarah Steele Building, 609 Steele Street, Whitehorse.

    Number of participants

    • The maximum number of people in each program is 10.

    Taking part

    You'll need to fully participate in all activities, including:

    • morning walks and other forms of exercise;
    • group therapy;
    • art therapy;
    • individual counselling;
    • psycho-educational workshops;
    • relaxation exercises; and
    • 12-step meetings.

    You'll need a valid reason not to take part in any of these activities.

    Avoiding substances

    • You must not take any substances while you're in treatment.
    • You can smoke cigarettes outside, 5 metres from doorways. We'll offer you help with quitting smoking and will encourage you to try.

    Schedules and rules

    • You're expected to follow the treatment schedule and rules.
    • Structure is a necessary and important part of the treatment process. Learning to live with treatment rules and schedules will help you develop rules and schedules for yourself. This will help you on your healing journey after your treatment.

    Living space

    • All bedrooms are single rooms. You'll share a bathroom with 1 or 2 other people.
    • You'll need to keep your sleeping area clean and tidy and help keep all group areas clean and tidy.

    Living and learning with others

    • You'll be spending all day in group therapy and workshops with the same people.
    • You may not know any of the other group members when you start. You'll get to know a lot about them and they will get to know a lot about you.
    • Our goal is to help each treatment group develop a trusting atmosphere so that members of the group feel safe enough to talk about themselves openly. It's up to each of you to decide how far to go with this.

    Outside appointments

    • Do not schedule outside appointments, including court dates, while you're the program. This is a time to focus on recovery.

    Medical needs

    • You'll meet with a nurse to discuss any medical needs you may have during your stay.
    • Nurses are available 24 hours to address any health concerns you may have. They may refer you to see our physician. We may be able to give you permission to visit your doctor or dentist in special circumstances.
    • If there's any emergency, we'll send you to the hospital.
    • You must give all your medication to us. This applies to both:
      • prescriptions; and
      • over the counter medication.
    • Nurses will give you your prescribed medications. They'll dispose of any medications that are not approved for you to use while you're in the program.
    • If you have any vitamins or supplements they must be approved by a doctor or nurse. Nurses will then give them to you to take.
    • Medications should be:
      • in their original packaging;
      • clearly labelled; and
      • not expired.


    • For the protection and confidentiality of all residents we're not usually able to accept visitors.
    • If you'd like to visit with your family or support people, talk to your counsellor.
    • We may be able to give you a pass for special events and outings.


    • There's no parking for your vehicle.
    • We'll provide transport for recreational and other programming.


    • You cannot use your personal computers or tablets.
    • You'll be able to use a shared computer in the lobby in the evening for job searches, housing searches, and other activities related to your recovery. You must not view or download pornography. Gambling and gaming are prohibited.


    • Your belongings will be thoroughly searched when you arrive. If we confiscate anything we'll put it in a safe place while you're in the program.
    • We'll dispose of any illegal items such as drugs and drug paraphernalia.

    Money and valuables

    • There are no locks on the bedroom doors. You are responsible for your cash and belongings.
    • We are not responsible for anything lost or stolen.

    What not to bring

    Do not bring:

    • computers or tablets;
    • inappropriate reading materials such as materials with violent, pornographic or sexually-explicit content;
    • clothing or other items with logos or pictures displaying alcohol, drugs or profanity;
    • knives or other potential weapons;
    • over-the-counter medications such as cough syrup, Tylenol or cold remedies;
    • products containing alcohol, such as nail polish remover;
    • perfumes, air fresheners or other scented products that may affect the comfort of residents and staff who are sensitive to synthetic fragrances; or
    • large sums of money or valuables, as we cannot guarantee their safety.

  4. Withdrawal support for youth and adults

    We provide a safe, supportive environment to help you withdraw and recover from the effects of substance abuse or dependence.

    • This is a live-in detox program for people in Whitehorse as well as the communities.
    • We help youth as well as adults.
    • We provide 24-hour care.
    • We're open every day of the year.
    • We have space for 14 adults plus space for 4 youth in a separate unit.

    How to apply

    If you'd like to apply or if you have queries, phone us at 867-456-3838, toll free in Yukon 1-866-456-3838.

    We're at Sarah Steele Building, 609 Steele Street, Whitehorse, Yukon.

    How long is the program?

    How long you stay depends on:

    • how severe your addiction is;
    • your health; and
    • your treatment plan.

    You can choose to leave any time. We can also ask you to leave.

    Support we'll give you during the program


    • give you medical and emotional support to help you withdraw safely;
    • maintain your dignity, privacy and respect;
    • regularly record and monitor your vital signs and withdrawal symptoms to help you stabilize;
    • use the same treatment tool as the Whitehorse General Hospital, which is called the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment;
    • provide you with support staff including:
    • licensed practical nurses;
    • social workers;
    • residential unit attendants;
    • a nurse practitioner; and
    • a communicable disease nurse who visits once a week.
    • provide day programming including:
      • group discussions;
      • educational videos and other materials; and
      • Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
    • refer you to Whitehorse General Hospital if you're not stabilizing or your symptoms get worse; and
    • help you develop a recovery plan before you leave.

    What about food?

    We do not provide food straight away when you arrive. You may be able to have some broth a bit later on, depending on your health.

    Once you're stable, we'll give you three nutritious meals a day plus snacks.

    What about visitors?

    If you'd like to have visitors, talk to the staff. We'll need to arrange any visits in advance.

    Support we'll give you after the program

    Once you've completed the program you can:

    • drop in any time for a coffee or chat with staff;
    • phone us any time at 867-667-8473 if you're in distress (we'll accept collect calls after 5 p.m.);
    • come in each day and take part in recovery activities; and
    • come in and read or pick up pamphlets and other information materials.

    We may also refer you to other services, such as:

    • the live-in Intensive Treatment Program;
    • counselling; or
    • a recovery group.

    What you'll need to do to take part

    To be in the program you need to be able to:

    • willingly choose to take part;
    • tell us basic information when you're admitted so we can assess your medical condition;
    • attend to your own care;
    • sign an admission consent form;
    • agree to having a body and pack search; and
    • willingly answer questions about your alcohol or drug abuse and medical history.

    What else you should know

    • If you need medical attention we may send you to the Whitehorse General Hospital before you start the program.
    • You cannot stay in the program if you're violent towards anyone.
    • You or a friend or family member can call us to talk about whether you have to be intoxicated or sober to get into the program. Phone us at 867-667-8473, toll free in Yukon 1-866-456-3838.

  5. Help for youth

    We provide addiction prevention and counselling and treatment services to students in Grades 5 to 12 in Whitehorse schools.

    Services include:

    • Individual counselling and support for youth, parents and families.
    • Support with safely withdrawing and recovering from substance use or dependence (see the information about withdrawal support for youth and adults).
    • Screening and assessment for "problematic substance use". This is when your use of drugs or alcohol has negative effects on your health and life.
    • Referrals to appropriate resources.
    • School-based prevention and counselling.
    • Educational workshops for teachers, parents and students.
    • Collaborative counselling and education for youth treatment camps and wilderness activities.

    What about youth not in school?

    Youth not involved in school can also access these services. Youth addiction counsellors work in partnership with community youth organizations to help them provide support.

  6. Get coverage for medications

    Together with behavioural intervention therapy, medications can play an important role in assisting individuals with alcohol use disorder to reduce or stop drinking. The Yukon government can provide coverage for the following Health Canada-approved medications through Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits Program and Pharmacare:

    •  Naltrexone:
      • Recommended for patients with a treatment goal of either abstinence or reducing alcohol consumption.
      • Approval Period: 1 year.
      • Note: Initial 30 days supply.
    • Acamprosate:
      • For the maintenance of abstinence in patients who have been abstinent from alcohol for at least 4 days OR for the treatment of alcohol use disorder for patients who have contraindications to naltrexone (e.g., concurrent opioid use, acute hepatitis, or liver failure). 
      • Approval Period: 1 year
        • Note: Initial 30 days supply.

    A health care provider must apply to the Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits Program on behalf of the individual. Learn more here

    If you have any questions, please contact the Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits program at 867-667-5092, toll-free in the Yukon at 1-800-661-0408, extension 5092.


If you or your family have questions about help with alcohol and drug problems, phone 867-456-3838 or toll free in Yukon 1-866-456-3838. For after hours support, phone 867-667-8473.