Recovery is possible

Alcohol Rehab & Addiction Treatment

What is alcohol?

Alcohol (ethanol) is a depressant drug made through the fermentation of yeast, starch, and sugars. Because alcohol is legal and considered socially acceptable, it is one of the most commonly used drugs. Alcohol is typically consumed in the form of beverages like beer, wine, spirits, or liqueurs.


What impacts does alcohol have?

Drinking alcohol in moderation (less than 2 drinks per day for women and less than 3 drinks per day for men) is generally considered safe. But many people find it difficult or impossible to stop at one or two drinks. Heavy drinking can lead to addiction and alcohol dependency. The long-term effects of alcohol addiction can include:

  • Organ damage and physiological problems: Alcohol abuse can damage most organs in the body, including the heart, liver, and pancreas. It also increases a person’s risk for some cancers and can weaken the immune system. Alcohol interferes with sleep and can cause gastrointestinal problems, issues with blood clotting, and poor bone health.
  • Changes in brain function: Over time, alcohol abuse can interfere with your brain’s ability to release dopamine (a “feel good chemical”). Because of this, alcohol can cause mental health problems like depression or make these conditions worse. It can also interfere with medications. The cerebral cortex is especially vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. This is the area of the brain responsible for problem-solving and decision-making. Heavy drinking can also damage the hippocampus, which is important for memory and learning, and the cerebellum, which is important for movement coordination.



    • Impaired breathing: Consuming a little bit of alcohol can have a calming, relaxing effect. But because alcohol depresses the central nervous system, drinking too much can slow down a person’s breathing to dangerous levels.
    • Accidents and risky behaviour: Because it impairs motor skills, drinking alcohol is a leading cause of accidents. Alcohol also reduces inhibitions, making a person more likely to engage in risky behaviours. Some people may experience agitation and heightened emotions when they drink. This can lead to poor decision making.
    • Alcohol poisoning: Heavy drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, a potentially life-threatening condition. Signs of alcohol poisoning (overdose) include vomiting, loss of consciousness, slowed breathing, and slowed heart rate.

    What are the alcohol withdrawal risks?

    If you have been drinking heavily for a long time, your body and brain have learned to work harder to keep your nerves communicating with one another to keep you awake. When you stop drinking suddenly, your brain stays in this hyper “awake” state. This is what causes alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

    Mild withdrawal symptoms usually start about 6 hours after you stop drinking and can include anxiety, shaky hands, headache, nausea and vomiting, sweating, and insomnia. More serious withdrawal symptoms include seizures and hallucinations.

    Heavy drinkers should not attempt to quit alcohol on their own. If you or someone you love wants to stop using alcohol, discuss it with your family doctor or a medical professional. If you plan to get treatment for alcohol addiction, seek out an addiction treatment provider that can provide 24/7 medical supervision during the detox process.  

     military, veterans and first respondersHow We Treat Alcohol Addiction

    Gateway Recovery Centre challenges the traditional treatment models used by most addiction treatment centres in Ontario. We focus on the underlying issues and root causes that can drive addiction.

    Our alcohol addiction recovery program is designed specifically for men. We provide a safe, supportive environment in which you can discuss your feelings, thoughts, and experiences without fear of judgement.

    Our team uses evidence-based therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and other integrative therapies in our inpatient residential programs. We also offer concurrent mental health programs for clients struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

    Through psycho-educational counselling, we help our clients understand why they use substances and how to break harmful thought patterns and behaviours. We use refusal training to give clients the tools and coping strategies they need to resist using alcohol.

    Gateway’s alcohol addiction treatment program goes beyond individual and group therapy alone. We combine counselling—delivered by highly skilled psychotherapists, based on each client’s needs. Our comprehensive approach is designed to heal the body and mind, and our program is the only one of its kind in Ontario—or anywhere in Canada.

    Call us today to learn more about our Ontario alcohol rehab program for military, veterans and first responders. Our private treatment centre is situated on 14 wooded acres in Peterborough, the ideal setting for recovery.

    Contact Us

    Take the first step today

    Call Us


    Our Location

    2225 Lansdowne St West 
    Peterborough ON K9J 0G5