Family Video Counseling Aids in Substance Abuse Treatment

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Offers Long Distance Support For Lasting Recovery

substance abuse treatmentCHICAGO, January 30, 2012—When the best substance abuse treatment for a person’s drug abuse or drug addiction isn’t close to home, it makes it difficult for family members to participate in the treatment of a loved one. Recognizing family involvement is an integral aspect that provides both immediate and long-term benefits to individuals in recovery, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa has added a valuable service to its Family Program to assist families that live at a distance through online video counseling.

“At Gateway Foundation, we know substance abuse treatment that engages family members in the treatment process is helpful. We know that a positive and supportive recovery environment helps improve and maintain recovery. That is why we are integrating video technology to make family involvement as convenient as possible,” explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches.

Currently available for families of individuals in Residential Treatment at Gateway Foundation Lake Villa with broadband Internet access and a computer, Gateway Foundation’s Family Video Counseling sessions are conducted via a secure video conferencing software application that is fully compliant with federal health regulations to ensure privacy. During the sessions, family situations related to substance abuse issues are discussed in an open and respectful manner. In addition, family members can learn coping skills, increase understanding of how to support a chemically dependent individual and gain insight into what to expect in recovery.

“Based on the encouraging results and positive feedback from families who participate in video counseling sessions, we plan to roll out Family Video Counseling to other Gateway Foundation residential substance abuse treatment centers this year,” says Dr. Welches.

Located approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa is situated on a beautiful 43-acre campus on the shores of the Fox Lake. For more information about alcohol and drug abuse treatment for adults and adolescents at the Lake Villa center, please visit

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is Illinois’ largest provider of substance abuse treatment, providing services for adults and adolescents at treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway is licensed by the state of Illinois and accredited by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting organization for hospitals and behavioral healthcare organizations. Each year, Gateway Foundation helps thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment.

To learn more about Gateway Foundation’s free and confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Enlightening Communities about Substance Abuse

substance abuse educationAt Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, we believe knowledge is power—that is why we offer educational resources and workshops to help communities learn about substance abuse. As the largest provider of substance abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway Foundation is your community resource when it comes to substance abuse prevention efforts.

Gateway Foundation offers a variety of educational materials to help members of your community or organization better understand the effects of drug and alcohol abuse and the options for treatment. Gateway Foundation will travel to your location and make available expert speakers and revealing presentations on important topics that affect many in your community, such as:

  • Signs and symptoms of substance abuse
  • How to talk to someone who may need drug or alcohol treatment
  • How to cope with someone who has a substance abuse problem
  • Effects of substance abuse on the brain
  • Emerging drug trends

If you want to make a difference in your community or organization, please contact an Outreach Coordinator at any Gateway location or email to obtain educational materials or arrange a substance abuse awareness event.

Pekin Welcomes New Gateway Foundation Treatment Center

Pekin Welcomes New Gateway Foundation Treatment Center

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, a leading provider of substance abuse treatment, opened a new outpatient treatment center providing adult and teenage alcohol and drug addiction treatment in Pekin, IL. The center is conveniently located at 11 South Capital near the Tazewell County Clerk’s office.

Pictured (l to r) at the ribbon cutting for the Gateway Foundation Pekin treatment center are: Aindrea Balagna of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce; Jamie Cates of Tazewell County; David Mills of Tazewell County; Kerry Henry of Gateway Foundation Pekin; Kim Person of Gateway Foundation Pekin; Drew Leman of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about substance abuse treatment programs at Gateway Foundation treatment centers, please call our 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit

Gateway Foundation Alumni Support Others in Early Recovery

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Chicago West

At Gateway Foundation Chicago West, three dedicated Alumni women are bonding with others in early recovery on a regular basis. The threesome takes turns, visiting Gateway Foundation support groups every week to share their stories and connect with women in treatment.

“I keep going to the support groups to give back to where I came from—my foundation,” says Kelli, an Alumnus who volunteers at Gateway Foundation Chicago West. “I am showing newcomers that they can do it no matter what. I encourage them to give themselves a chance and to stay strong.”

“I believe it is particularly powerful when Alumni come to talk to others in treatment. The Alumni have walked the walk. They have worked with our counselors, followed the rules and lived with 15 other women (not easy to do),” explains Gabriela Raijer, Clinical Supervisor at the Chicago West Treatment Center. “Their experience is validated by the Alumni and they can see that early recovery can lead to long-term recovery.”

Supporting others is a great way for people in recovery to enhance their own recovery efforts as well. Ms. Raijer points out that assisting others keeps individuals in recovery grounded and creates an opportunity to reconnect with counselors if needed. What’s more, visiting Gateway Foundation acts as a reminder of where they came from and how challenging it was when they were first getting into recovery.

“It is dangerous to disconnect. I have to give it, for me to keep it,” states Novi, an Alumnus who is active in leading recovery groups at Gateway Foundation Chicago West.

“About a month ago, one of our clients was walking out the door, dragging her clothes with her. Novi, a Gateway Foundation Alumnus, happened to be waiting to start the Saturday monthly Alumni meeting in the lobby when she noticed the woman leaving. Novi pulled the client to the side, told her to ‘hold on’ and next thing we know, Novi convinced the woman to stay. Novi was in the right place at the right time and I was grateful to have her here,” explains Ms. Raijer.

Rejuvenation through Nutrition

nutrients and substance abuse recoveryDid you know that alcohol and drug abuse prevents the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins?

Consequently, people in recovery have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems, including the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

For example, substance abuse prevents the body from processing essential nutrients, such as amino acids like tyrosine and tryptophan. These amino acids are important for production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters responsible for emotional stability and mental clarity.

Substance abuse also inhibits the absorption of vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C. The benefits of B vitamins are many. They bring your body into balance and help with stress, energy levels and disease prevention. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient required by the human body for the growth and repair of tissues and is an antioxidant.

Savor A Healthier Lifestyle One Bite at a Time

A fresh new year is here. Now is the time to start anew and recommit your efforts to be the best version of you. As you know, the essence of recovery is changing negative behaviors into positive ones to reach a sense of overall well-being. Good nutrition, relaxation and exercise all play an important role in effective change to support lasting recovery.

Few things will impact how you feel as much as your diet. While the reasons to eat a nutritious diet are many, it is especially important for people in recovery. That’s because eating the right foods can actually ease cravings for alcohol and drugs as well as repair tissue and organ damage caused by substance abuse.

But, what are the right foods?

The Recovery Diet

For optimal health, Dietitian Charlyn Fargo-Ware at the Springfield Treatment Center, recommends a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complex carbohydrates and lean protein.

Fruits and vegetables: leafy green vegetables, carrots, broccoli, green beans, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, bananas, strawberries and apples. Eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day; however depending on your size, you may need up to nine to ten servings.

Whole grains that are complex carbohydrates: whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, fortified cereal, brown rice, flax seeds and low fat granola.

Lean protein: chicken, fish, beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin, eggs and low fat yogurt.

“Here’s an easy way to think about including the right proportions of healthy food into your diet. Picture a round plate and fill half of it with fruits and/or vegetables, a fourth with whole grains and a fourth with protein,” explains Ms. Fargo-Ware. “Also consider how the food is prepared. Resist fried foods and cream sauces or soups. Instead, opt for grilled or broiled chicken, red sauce on whole wheat pasta and broth-based soups.”

And, don’t forget to hydrate. Proper hydration is necessary for the body to function well and flush out toxins. At a minimum, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day.

Mindful Moderation

For optimal health, you should limit your intake of foods high in sugar and fat as well as unhealthy snacks. Also, too much caffeine can hurt your recovery. That’s because excessive caffeine consumption inhibits the absorption of nutrients. It also speeds up everything, which isn’t conducive to achieving a state of emotional well-being.

“You don’t want to fall into the trap of substituting sweets or junk food for alcohol or drugs. When it is time to indulge, practice mindful eating. Fully engage all of your senses, eat slowly and savor the flavor,” says Ms. Fargo-Ware.

New Year, New You!

The good news is you should start to notice a difference in how you feel—such as more energy,  improved focus, better sleep—when you consistently eat a healthy diet for 6-8 weeks. And by this time, you will have developed positive eating habits that enhance your health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complex carbohydrates and good quality protein can take your recovery to the next level!

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