‘I was alive again:’ southern Alberta man overcomes addiction with help of detox treatment

“My addiction totally took over and it was like a dark abyss.”

Those are the words of a southern Alberta man who said he overcame his struggles with the help of detox treatments.

“When you start using you just want to feel something different,” Brad Provost said, “and then once it takes you over, you’re using just to feel normal.”


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Provost’s battle began with alcohol at just 15 years old. Later he started taking drugs including ecstasy, mushrooms and fentanyl, sending him on what he called a downward spiral.

“Being in that state of mind of being high and on pills — I was on the streets, I was living in the shelter,” Provost said.

“I remember nights just sitting there and thinking all I wanted was a home.”

Provost said he spent much of his life this way, pushing away family and friends for the thrill of the high and the need he felt within himself.

But three years ago, his life completely changed. After losing his partner to an overdose, Provost said his grief finally pushed him to turn his life around with the help of detox treatment.

“I went to detox and I was really sick, but it took me three weeks to come off fentanyl,” he said.

“Once I was clean and the withdrawals stopped, I felt like I was alive again.”

Provost went through a seven-day program before entering a 29-day treatment centre in Calgary and he has remained sober ever since.

He believes more detox options like the ones he used are needed across all of southern Alberta

“With all these things happening with the carfentanil and all these people passing away, we need awareness and prevention.”

Eight detox beds similar to those used by Provost have recently opened in Chinook Regional Hospital.

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