Home > Programs > Youth and Young Adults
Jennifer's Story
“I loved my phone. I couldn’t put it down. So much so that in grade 12 I started skipping class to post. Soon, I started skipping meals. But then I started skipping sleep. My grades dropped and I lost a ton of weight. The worst was when I skipped prom. I missed a once in a lifetime experience to be with my friends. Thankfully, my dad found Rideauwood. Now I am working on how to feel better without constantly being online.”
Anna's Story
"I came from an abusive family and ended up on the streets when I was 15. It was a rough life and I partied hard. Then I got pregnant and I had a choice to make. I decided to keep my baby and that meant a lot of things had to change. Life on the streets was not going to work anymore and I needed to stop partying. At first, it wasn’t that easy, but after I started at Rideauwood I started getting my life together. My little girl is going to have a good start."
Valerie's Story
"My friends drink all the time when we hang out so what am I going to do? I’m not going to stop hanging with my friends. Last week though, my friends finished their exams and decided to celebrate with a few drinks in my boyfriend’s basement. My last exam was the next day, but I couldn’t say no. I got so wasted. I ended up in the hospital and I missed my exam. We don’t really hang out sober anymore. Maybe we have a problem, but how should I know?"

Youth and Young Adults find the right kind of support at Rideauwood.

Pressure from peers, unrealistic expectations, the relentlessness of social media, are just a few of the forces making it an extremely challenging time to grow up in. At Rideauwood we recognize just how challenging it is and offer tailored programs for Youth and Young Adults focused on substance use, behavioural addictions and mental health issues. We provide specialized support and partner with clients to choose the program path that meets their individual goals.

Do you have questions about substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health?

Explore your questions with our self-assessment tool.

Do I or others question whether my
substance use and/or behavioural
addictions are causing problems?
Have I experienced consequences in my life related to my substance use and/or behavioural addictions but have continued the same behaviour?
Has my substance use and/or
behavioural addiction increased
regardless of my efforts to moderate
or stop completely?
Am I a family member or caregiver of
someone affected by substance use or a
behavioural addiction?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above please contact us.

“You learn so much along the way. Some of the ideas 
might kick in later, but when they do, they stay with you.”

– Alumni, Rideauwood

There is no “right” path-only the
path you choose.


In our education programs, we talk about the “Hows and Whys” of substance use, behavioural addictions, and mental health issues. We also discuss healthy ways to cope.

These educational sessions are tailored to different client groups.


Our prevention programs provide resources and tools to participants to increase their resilience.

Harm Reduction

Clients choose to reduce the harms related to their substance use and/or other problematic behaviours. Setting harm reduction goals helps clients minimize harms and enhance their skills and knowledge to improve their health.


Clients choose to eliminate their substance use and/or other problematic behaviours altogether. Clients develop a program path to achieve their goals.

Rideauwood has many programs for Youth and Young Adults

School-Based Program

Rideauwood’s School-Based Program offers students prevention, education and treatment to address substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health issues in and out of school. It is provided to English Language High Schools and Senior Elementary Schools in Ottawa. Students from any school board may also access this program at our Parkdale site.

Youth & Young Adult Substance Use Program

Rideauwood’s Substance Use program is for Youth and Young Adults who are facing challenges in their life including substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health issues. Our services are offered in multiple geographical locations and provide program participants with education, individual and group counselling.

Youth Justice Program

The Youth Justice Program is for Youth and Young Adults who are in conflict with the law and who are struggling with substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health issues. Our services are offered in multiple geographical locations and provide program participants with education, individual and group counseling.

Pregnant and Parenting Program

This program is for pregnant or parenting youth (12-25) and their children, who are experiencing difficulties related to substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health issues.
Participants in this program receive counselling and education so they can feel empowered to set goals for healthy pregnancy and parenting.

Important Notice to Clients About Coronavirus

Our world has changed over the past few days with the accelerated response to the spread of COVID-19 in Canada and, more recently, in Ottawa with yesterday’s new directive from the  Medical Officer of Health. As of Sunday March 15 (yesterday), Ottawa Public Health is asking all residents to stay in their homes unless necessary. The Medical Officer of Health specified that this is not to discourage people from being outside, but to discourage people from going into other locations or being within 2 meters of other people that are not living in your home. The purpose of that is to reduce the speed at which the virus will spread, limiting the burden on the health care system.


Here at Rideauwood, we are activating the following plans to support the evolving situation:

  • All group programs are being put on hold until further notice
  • Individual counselling services, normally offered in person will be offered via telephone or OTN, (a secure videoconferencing option). As such a staff person will be in touch with you to inform you of this change.
  • If you are a youth or a young adult wanting to access the walk-in service please call us at 613-724-4881.  Your call will be redirected to the appropriate person.


If you are registered in an upcoming group or have an appointment and have any questions, please call us at 613-724-7881.



  • If you are sick, stay at home if possible
  • If you have:
  • Returned from international travel or to a Canadian province with established local transmission and are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever and/or new worsening cough.
  • Had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days and are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 including fever and/or new or worsening cough.


Please go immediately to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre located at the Brewer Arena, (151 Brewer Way) open daily from 9a.m. to 8 p.m.)



  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.  Also, make sure to wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t already done so.


For more information about COVID-19 click on the links below:


Other links that may be helpful: