Addictions & Mental Health

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If you are experiencing issues with addiction, or concern for your mental health, reach
out for help as soon as you can. The process for reaching help varies slightly depending
on your zone. If you are in crisis, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have questions about
who to contact, where to go, or what to do, call 8-1-1, from anywhere in Alberta.

Addictions Counselling and Treatment

If you want to enter rehab for substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or for other
addictions, call the Addiction Helpline for service referral in your community.
Your health care provider or social worker can also provide you with a professional
referral to specific service sites in your home community for urgent and priority referrals.

For more information about Alcohol, Smoking, and Cannabis use in cirrhosis, click the following links: Alcohol, Smoking & Cannabis.


  • Outpatient addiction programs (day programs) delivered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) are covered under AHCIP.
  • Inpatient addiction treatment program (residential programs) are only covered in for low-income people who are receiving certain provincial benefits (i.e. AISH, Income Support).

If you are an Income Support/AISH recipient, you can receive funding to attend a residential treatment program that is operated by AHS, or approved by the Ministry of Human Services. If you are an Indigenous person, you can receive funding for an inpatient program though NIHB.

Income Support/AISH recipients may also qualify for travel benefits to cover the cost of transportation. Contact your Alberta Works/AISH worker to discuss eligibility based on your circumstances, and for more information on how to proceed.

Please note: If you are receiving AISH or Income Support and have been referred to a residential addictions treatment facility, please obtain a letter from the facility or have the facility fax your worker directly to verify eligibility.

If you are looking to attend a residential addiction treatment program and are not an AISH/Income Support recipient, check if your health benefits insurance provider offers coverage. If your insurance provider does not provide coverage, you will be responsible for covering the co-pay portion set by the Government of Alberta, for in-patient programs run through AHS or an at an approved treatment facility/program only.

Registered First Nation People living on-reserve, non-Indians (as defined by the Indian Act) living on reserve and persons ordinarily living on a reserve are not eligible for residential addictions treatment funding through Alberta Supports (AISH/Income Support) as they are the covered under NIHB.

Indigenous Persons

First Nations and Inuit persons experiencing substance use challenges have access to
inpatient (residential) addictions treatment services funded by the Government of

For information on residential treatment programs, contact a treatment centre near
you. You can also contact the Alberta Regional Referral Coordinator at (780) 495-
2345 for additional information on how you can access mental health and addictions
services through NIHB, or refer to the Guide to Mental Health Counselling Services

For information on community-based prevention programs, contact your community
nursing station, health centre, band council, social worker, or local regional office.


The information on this page was adapted (with permission) from the references below, by the Cirrhosis Care Alberta project team (physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered dietitians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and patient advisors).

This information is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare team. They know your medical situation best. Always follow your healthcare team’s advice.


  1. US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration 
  2. Canadian Liver Foundation
  3. Ministry of Community and Social Services Alberta
  4. Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Last reviewed March 15, 2021
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