Addiction treatment providers must now be licensed

Residential addiction treatment providers in Alberta must now be licensed in accordance with the Mental Health Services Protection Act.

Government continues to improve the quality of care for people seeking recovery from addiction. Licensing of residential addiction treatment providers will make them more transparent in terms of their services and fees, and more accountable to Albertans who use those services, by meeting core standards.

“Albertans seeking recovery from addiction should have access to treatment facilities that provide clear information and high-quality services. These licensing requirements help people seeking recovery and their families make informed choices about treatment and recovery options.”Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

In addition to licensing requirements, the Mental Health Services Protection Act sets out core consumer protections for residential addiction treatment providers that cover:

  • client consent to services
  • service contracts
  • qualifications of service providers who will be providing treatment
  • incident prevention and response
  • critical incident reporting
  • record creation, maintenance and retention

Alberta Health is authorized to take various steps to enforce the act, including:

  • issuing an inspector’s order to address non-compliance
  • pursuing a court order to address non-compliance with the inspector’s order
  • placing a condition on a licence
  • amending, suspending or cancelling a licence

As of today, 15 service providers representing 31 locations have received licences and Alberta Health is working with the remaining applicants to ensure all requirements are met prior to issuing a licence.

Alberta Health can also issue a penalty of up to $10,000 for each contravention or, for a contravention that continues for more than one day, $10,000 for each day up to a maximum of $100,000. Additionally, if a court finds a person or a corporation guilty of an offence, they may be liable for a fine up to $100,000, and in the case of an offence that continues for more than one day, to a further fine of up to $100,000 for each day.

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