Construction unions’ De Novo House opens in Huntsville for alcohol, drug rehabilitation

denovo huntsville
Site of the De Novo Centre in Huntsville

A new drug and alcohol addiction rehab centre funded by Ontario’s unionized construction industry is opening in Huntsville.

De Novo House board chair Patrick Dillon told that the facility has the capacity to treat 32 men and five women before a planned expansion to serve 40 men and 12 women.

“The previous location in Sundridge was a fabulous property and served us well,” says Dillon. “We outgrew our facility there. It was a 21-bed facility where we treated our male clients and we sent our female clients off to Renascent in Toronto.”

Clients come to the centre for a 35-day treatment cycle. They are closely monitored and while they are allowed to venture out into Huntsville, they are never alone, Dillon said.

“They are always either accompanied by a counsellor or some (trusted) family members will come visit them on weekends that would take them out for a coffee or out for dinner,” he said.

Dillon, business manager of the Provincial  Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario says the original De Novo centre in the 1990s mostly served clients dealing with alcohol abuse, but more recently opioids are becoming the focus.

“I would say that the opioids prescription issue has been the major change in drug addiction in the last 15 years,” Dillon said.

Treatment for construction workers at De Novo is free, only requiring permission from a manager and a doctor’s note. There is no waiting list.

Dillon said that the service is 100 per cent self-funded from the construction unions and that no public money is used.


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