Addiction Services - Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program
AHS Addiction and Mental Health Services - Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Program (PChAD) is for legal guardians of youth under the age of 18 who can apply to the Provincial Court of Alberta, Family Court for a protection order. Guardians must provide evidence to the judge to show that the youth’s use of alcohol or other drugs is likely to cause significant harm to the youth or others. PChAD is a treatment option for youth who will not access addiction on a voluntarily basis. If the court agrees, the youth will be admitted to a Protective Safe House (PSH) for up to ten days. While in the Protective Safe House, the youth will undergo detoxification and stabilization as well as participate in an assessment with an addiction counsellor. Parents/guardians are expected to participate in programming at the PSH.
Parents/guardians who want to apply for a protection order must first attend a PChAD Pre-Appliction Information Session with an AHS addiction counsellor. Make an appointment at an Addiction and Mental Health services office in/near your community to explore all alternatives, including voluntary programs, and to receive more information about PChAD. The addiction counsellor will provide written proof of attendance once you have completed a Pre-Application Information Session, which the court will require prior to accepting an application for a protection order.
If a judge grants a protection order, parents/guardians will be able to request a bed for their child. A bed will be placed on hold for a child as soon as possible after a request is made; however, beds are not always immediately available. PChAD is not a crisis service. Admissions to PChAD are carefully planned and coordinated. Parents/guardians will receive instructions from the addiction counsellor at the Pre-Application Information Session about how to request a PChAD bed after a protection order is granted.
PSHs are located in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie. Transportation to the house is the responsibility of the parent/guardian, however parent/guardians can request in their application to court for assistance from police to apprehend and convey their youth to a PSH. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to pick up the youth from the house at the end of their stay.
Want to know more? Call the 24-hour Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 and/or see our AHS webpage.
1-866-332-2322 (24 hr Toll free Help Line)
Parents/legal guardians can attend a PChAD Pre-Application Information session at thier local AHS Addiction and Mental Health clinic and will be provided with a letter of attendance. The parent/guardian can then make application to the courts for a PChAD Protection Order.
Parent/guardians can access the court forms to make a PChAD application through the GOA website:
Children/youth under the age of 18 years.
The youth’s use of alcohol/drugs is likely to cause significant harm to the youth or others, and the youth is not willing to attend treatment voluntarily.
Wait period ranges from 0 - approximately 7 days based on bed availability.