Fact Sheet

Provincial Stats

  • One in five adults in Alberta are directly affected by addictions.[1] This includes alcohol, gambling, illicit drugs, prescription drugs and a variety of other substances and behaviours.
  • Each year, approximately 16,000 Albertans seek treatment for their addiction issues.[2] Men in Alberta are at particularly high risk for developing addictions.[3]
  • The social, emotional, and economic costs of addiction affect everyone. Economically, addiction costs Albertans billions of dollars in direct health care expenses, law enforcement costs, traffic collisions, and lost productivity in the workplace and home.[4]
  • Socially and emotionally, the costs of addiction includes divorce, child abuse, homelessness, poverty, involvement in crime, unemployment, and depression.
  • The availability of drugs and alcohol along with Alberta’s cultural norms which promote a high societal tolerance for substance use all have a significant impact on Alberta’s addiction rates.
  • There is a critical need in Alberta for services that will support lifelong recovery for individuals struggling with addiction.

What makes Oxford House unique?

  • Oxford House provides the time, peer support, and structured living environment necessary for long-term behaviour change to take hold.[5]
  • Oxford House is recognized as an evidence-based program.[6]
  • Oxford House is the only addiction program that does not have an end date to services, which aligns with the chronic disease care model and increases abstinence outcomes.[7]
  • Oxford House provides separate and culturally appropriate houses for men, women and Aboriginal individuals.
  • Oxford Houses are democratically peer-run by residents, which promotes empowerment, self-esteem and leadership skills.[8]
  • Living in an Oxford House provides residents with onsite peer support, which promotes self-efficacy and long-term abstinence. [9]
  • Unlike the high costs associated with professional treatment, Oxford House is an affordable community-based model that provides long-term support to break the cycle of relapse.
  • Oxford House prevents individuals from returning to abusive situations and homelessness by fulfilling a gap in the continuum of addiction services. When asked why the program works, members responded:
90% Learning life skills to be self-sufficient/ for successful community living

(cooking, cleaning, paying bills/rent, getting up to go to work)

78% Being around others who want to be sober/have the same goals
78% Ability to focus on self-care/putting recovery first
75% Social support
70% Accountability
67% Being in a safe environment
67% Learning social skills (patience, conflict resolution, communication, listening, cooperation, assertiveness)
50% Having structure and keeping busy
50% Learning to be responsible
44% Having access to family/children visits
40% Having independence/ability to make own choices
40% Being able to stay as long as you need
38% Self-worth/confidence/self-esteem
[1] Willis 2015
[2] AADAC 2006
[3] AHS-AADAC 2009
[4] CCSA 2006, AADAC 2006
[5] Polcin et al 2010
[6] SAMHSA 2011
[7] Reif et al 2014, Polcin et al 2010
[8] Hunter et al 2013, Timpo et al 2014
[9] Jason, Olson & Foli 2008, Stevens et al 2010, Polcin 2010, Brereton et al 2014