What is Synthetic Marijuana or K2?

K2 Synthetic MarijuanaK2 can be produced using chemical compounds called JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200 and CP-47,497. These compounds are structured similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and can be sprayed onto varying mixtures of dried herbs, flowers and tobacco leaves. The most common consumption method is smoking.

Gateway Foundation Shares K2 Clinical Discoveries

Individuals in substance abuse treatment at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment have confirmed the dangerous effects of K2 use, such as:

Hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety and over-activation of the central nervous system (e.g., elevated temperature, rapid heartbeat) are common. An individual who used K2 reported he felt as though his heart was pounding so intensely it would explode.

Some users report a sensation that can only be best described as a temporary paralysis of motor movement. For example, an individual reported he was so high from K2 that he could not tell if he was breathing anymore, but was clearly conscious.

Some users report significant agitation and aggression when coming off of K2 or when hey are eager for their next fix; others may not have this experience at all.

K2 users who were otherwise completely free of suicidal thoughts said they became suicidal after using K2. Users of K2 who overdosed reported blacking out, having seizures and vomiting.

Gateway Foundation offers free educational materials that highlight signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org or email ContactUs@RecoverGateway.org.

Red Ribbon Week: Growing Threat of Synthetic Drugs

As a resource and advocate for substance abuse recovery, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is working to build awareness among communities regarding the dangerous health risks associated with synthetic drug use. Banned by state and federal governments, synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts have proven to be a threat to public health and safety.

K2 and Bath SaltsIn 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to K2 and bath salts. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. To help reverse this trend, on July 10, 2012, President Obama signed a law banning more than two dozen of the most common chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

Gateway Foundation believes that communicating the dangerous and damaging effects of synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts through public awareness and education is critical. Therefore, we offer free educational materials that highlight signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org or email ContactUs@RecoverGateway.org.

Gateway Foundation Opens New Outpatient Treatment Center in Pekin

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is proud to announce the opening of a new outpatient treatment center providing adult and teenage alcohol and drug addiction treatment in Pekin, IL. Conveniently located at 11 South Capital near the Tazewell County Clerk’s office, the center began serving the Tazewell County community in early October. Gateway Foundation Pekin is led by Executive Director Kerry Henry.

“Outpatient addiction treatment can be a good choice for people that have a strong support system, a stable living situation and the motivation to change. Our substance abuse experts will take the necessary time to understand the specific needs of each person. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual’s substance abuse and mental health history,” explains Kerry Henry.

The outpatient treatment programs at Gateway Foundation Pekin are not one-size-fits-all, but unique treatment plans that give individuals the highest chance for successful outcomes. The programs include substance abuse education and group counseling tailored to the needs of adults and troubled teens utilizing evidence-based relapse prevention curriculums as well as individual and family counseling as needed. While in treatment, individuals will focus on improving awareness, recognizing one’s strengths and truer personal values, learning strategies to avoid or cope with high-risk situations, enhancing motivation and development of coping skills.

The new center also provides treatment for individuals that may have co-occurring mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief or relationship problems in conjunction with substance abuse issues, as well as aftercare for on-going support once treatment is completed.

The outpatient programs have Morning, After-Work and After-School Programs for adults and teens.  Adult programs are offered from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and in the evening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Teenage substance abuse treatment programs are offered in the evening from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Pekin or call (877) 505-HOPE (4673).

Alcohol Doesn’t Mix Well with Your Body

Do you know alcohol can be toxic to your heart? Over the longer term, alcohol abuse can lead to high blood pressure, enlarged and weakened heart, congestive heart failure and stroke. Binge drinking can be associated with atrial fibrillation, a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. If the heart’s components don’t work together properly it can even lead to a stroke, advises the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The scary thing is that you may not even feel the symptoms.

All of these are reasons why your doctor encourages you not to drink alcohol. You can take care of your heart through good nutrition, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Other health issues associated with alcohol abuse include:

  • Alcohol abuse is related to cirrhosis, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FAS), malnutrition, ulcers, hepatitis, among other things.
  • Poorer outcomes from surgical procedures due to alcohol’s effects on the person’s health, malnutrition, and the depressive effects of alcohol on the body.
  • Heavy drinking affects the body’s ability to stop bleeding because the liver has difficulty producing the proteins that cause clotting.
  • Alcohol doesn’t mix well with many prescription drugs.
  • Alcohol abuse increases the risks of cancer.
  • Alcohol abuse can result in brain damage, slower thinking, unsteadiness and slurred speech.

If you are concerned about someone who may be abusing alcohol, Gateway Foundation can help. Contact Gateway to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505- HOPE (4673) or learn more about Gateway Foundation at RecoverGateway.org. Renew hope today.

Gateway Foundation Honors Red Ribbon Week in October

Leading Substance Abuse Treatment Provider Offers Red Ribbon Week Resources to Raise Awareness of Synthetic Drug Abuse

Red Ribbon WeekIn recognition of Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31, 2012, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is working to build awareness among communities regarding the dangerous health risks associated with synthetic drug use. Banned by state and federal governments, synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts have proven to be a threat to public health and safety. To build upon the Red Ribbon Week anti-drug education efforts taking place in schools, Gateway Foundation is offering free educational materials to schools, businesses and community organizations that highlight signs and symptoms of synthetic drug abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends.

Use of synthetic marijuana is alarmingly high. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey sponsored by National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11.4 percent of high school seniors used Spice or K2 in the past year, making it the second most commonly used illicit drug among seniors.

Bath salts and synthetic marijuana such as K2 and Spice are sold in retail outlets and via the Internet under many different brand labels as “plant food” and “herbal incense,” respectively. Also referred to as Synthetic Legal Intoxicating Drugs (SLIDs), these products are labeled “not for human consumption” to disguise their intended purpose and avoid FDA regulation.

Both bath salts and K2 are abused for their psychogenic, hallucinogenic and mood-altering effects. They are marketed as “natural” and “safe” substances. However, thousands of users have experienced unintended consequences, such as overdosing and visits to emergency rooms as a result of using synthetic drugs. In 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to K2 and bath salts. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. To help reverse this trend, on July 10, 2012, President Obama signed a law banning more than two dozen of the most common chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

Signs and symptoms of bath salts use includes: anxious and jittery behavior; insomnia, rapid heart rate, nausea, reduced motor control and seizures; severe paranoia, panic attacks, depression and suicidal thoughts; erratic behavior with potential for hallucinations, violence and self-mutilation; and lack of appetite.

Signs and symptoms of K2 use includes: appearing dizzy and having trouble walking; rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation and confusion; paranoia, panic attacks and giddiness.

Gateway Foundation encourages parents to take advantage of Red Ribbon Week and continue the dialogue with their kids about the risks associated with all types of drugs and alcohol use. Children who learn the facts and dangers about drug use and underage drinking from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use than those who do not. Research shows when parents talk openly about the dangers of taking drugs and drinking with their children, teens have better self-control and develop more negative perceptions of these risky behaviors.

For more answers about synthetic drug abuse, including brochures for download, please visit www.RecoverGateway.org/synthetic-drugs.

Gateway Foundation Shares Tips on Discussing Substance Abuse with a Loved One

If you are concerned that someone you care about has a substance abuse problem, it can be extremely worrisome as well as challenging to confront the issue. In approaching a loved one with an issue with substance abuse, the key is to choose your words and moment carefully when telling him or her how you feel. Ideally, pick a time when he or she is sober and when both of you are feeling calm.Discussing Substance Abuse

  • Begin the dialog in an open, caring and supportive frame of mind. Anything less and the dialog may not go as planned.
  • Avoid a moralistic tone about substance abuse. It is better to focus on the consequences that you have observed for the person and for his or her family.
  • Plan what you are going to say. This can be an emotionally charged conversation. Script out what you’d like to say, and go over it—it will help keep you on track.

This is not the time to demand your loved one stop abusing alcohol or drugs. The goal is simply to acknowledge that you believe your loved one needs substance abuse treatment and that you can help with entering treatment.

  • State calmly that you believe drug or excessive alcohol use is occurring; provide the evidence, and what you want the person to do about it.
  • Be supportive and truly listen to his or her responses, but be firm in your course of action and refuse to argue with the person.
  • Have a definite ‘next step’ plan in mind, including a contact person at available treatment center and telephone numbers so you can proceed if he or she should agree to substance abuse treatment.

If you have questions about alcohol or drug use of someone you care about, Gateway Foundation has the answers you need. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Gateway Foundation at (877) 505-HOPE (4673).

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