Pre-Release Screening of The Anonymous People Movie About Recovery

On May 9, 2013, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment will co-sponsor a special pre-release movie screening of The Anonymous People, a documentary film dedicated to changing the conversation about recovery, followed by a discussion with the film writer and director, Greg Williams.

The Anonymous People is about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery, and the emerging recovery movement that will transform how alcohol and other drug are dealt with in our communities. This moving story is told through the faces and voices of the citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives and public figures who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. These courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.

Join in on a rare opportunity to see a pre-release movie screening of a documentary film dedicated to changing the conversation about recovery:

The anonymous peopleDATE

Thursday May 9, 2013

TIME

7:00 p.m. Greeting

7:15 p.m. The Anonymous People Screening

8:45 p.m. Q&A with Filmmaker Greg Williams

LOCATION

The Tivoli Theatre

6350 Delmar Boulevard

St. Louis, MO 63130

TICKETS

Cost $9 available at www.ncada-stl.org/movietickets

For more information, find The Anonymous People on Facebook or visit ncada-stl.org/movie.html

Find more movie events about The Anonymous People throughout the U.S.

Drug Treatment Center Opens in Chicago’s River North District

Gateway Foundation’s Outpatient Drug Treatment Includes Mindfulness and Medicine to Manage Addiction

Chicago River North Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation has expanded its Illinois rehab network with the opening of a new outpatient center providing adult alcohol and drug rehab treatment in Chicago’s River North district. Conveniently located at 444 N. Orleans near the Merchandise Mart, the center provides outpatient treatment services in the evening after traditional work hours. Gateway Foundation Chicago River North will be under the Medical Directorship of Dr. Anjali Gupta.

“We want individuals to realize that life can be about more than drinking or using drugs. Typically, when substance abuse takes over, one’s priorities change and it comprises things that are important, like relationships, work and health. Learning about mindfulness-based sobriety and value-based living is intended to help those with substance abuse issues live a more purposeful and fulfilling life,” explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner.

Using mindfulness-based therapy 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 developing 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 or addiction issues, as well as aftercare for on-going support once treatment is completed.

The outpatient treatment programs at the Chicago River North drug rehab center are not one-size-fits-all. Treatment is person-centered, which involves individualized treatment planning that helps give individuals the highest chance for successful outcomes. The programs include substance abuse education and group counseling tailored to the needs of adults utilizing evidence-based relapse prevention curriculums as well as individual and family counseling as needed.

Adult outpatient treatment is offered at River North for Monday through Thursday after work from 6-9 p.m. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house will be held on Friday, May 17, 2013, from 2- 5 p.m. at the new River North center. Event activities include:

 

Quick Facts About Alcohol

  • alcohol factsOne drink can make you fail a breath test. In some states, people under age 21 can lose their driver’s license, be subject to a heavy fine or have their car permanently taken away.
  • Alcohol is a drug. Mixing it with any other drug can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol and acetaminophen–a common ingredient in OTC pain and fever reducers–can damage your liver. Alcohol mixed with other drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, fainting, heart problems and difficulty breathing. Mixing alcohol and drugs also can lead to coma and death.
  • Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, because it reduces brain activity. If you are depressed before you start drinking, alcohol can make you feel worse.
  • Beer and wine are not “safer” than liquor. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half-cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcohol can make you drunk and cause you problems no matter how you consume it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, please call Gateway Foundation‘s 24-Hour Helpline to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Alcohol Abuse Signs & Symptoms

alcohol abuseIt can be hard to tell if someone has been drinking alcohol. If someone shows one or more of the following warning signs, they may have a problem with alcohol.

  • Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
  • Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
  • Does your drinking worry your family?
  • Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
  • Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
  • Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?

Download the Gateway Foundation Alcohol Abuse Awareness Newsletter PDF  (Requires Adobe Reader)

What is Moderate Drinking?

The USDA defines moderate drinking as:

moderate drinkingIt’s important to note that alcohol effects each person differently based on factors that can include weight, general health and family health history. Even within the USDA moderate drinking definition, abuse can occur if alcohol is consumed too quickly or if other underlying issues exist. Men and women should know the USDA guidelines and consume moderate amounts of alcohol. A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
  • 5 ounces of wine

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, please call Gateway Foundation‘s 24-Hour Helpline to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

alcohol abuseEver felt anxious, depressed or suffered emotional distress due to a trauma? If so, you are not alone in experiencing mental health issues. Actually, one in five American adults aged 18 or older, or 45.6 million people, had mental health disorders in the past year, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Mental health issues can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life and wellbeing, especially when left untreated. Unfortunately, rather than seeking help, many people may turn to alcohol or other drugs to briefly adjust their state of mental health.

The SAMSHA report revealed rates for substance dependency or abuse were far higher for those who had mental health problems than for the adult population which did not have mental health issues in the past year.

Mental health and substance abuse issues often co-occur. In other words, individuals with substance abuse issues often have a mental health condition at the same time and vice versa. Approximately 8.9 million adults have co-occurring disorders. What’s more, approximately 80% of individuals in treatment for substance dependency have co-occurring disorders. In essence, they are self-medicating in an attempt to cope with undesirable emotions and distressing thoughts.

To review the SAMSHA report findings click here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance dependency, please call Gateway Foundation‘s 24-Hour Helpline to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

How Does Alcohol Abuse Effect Your Body?

Alcohol Doesn’t Mix Well With Your Body

alcohol-abuse-effectsDo you know alcohol can be toxic to your heart? Over the longer term, heavy drinking can lead to high blood pressure, enlarged and weakened heart, congestive heart failure and stroke. Binge drinking can be associated with a trial 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 increases the risks of cancer. For women, even moderate drinking can increase chances of developing breast cancer by 10%.
  • Although alcohol can make you feel energetic or uninhibited, it is actually a depressant. Alcohol shuts down parts of your brain. When the amount of alcohol in your blood exceeds a certain level, your respiratory system slows down markedly, and can cause a coma or death because oxygen no longer reaches the brain. This is referred to as alcohol poisoning.
  • Daily alcohol intake may impact the ability of adults to produce and retain new cells, reducing new brain cell production by nearly 40%.
  • 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 abuse can result in brain damage, slower thinking, unsteadiness and slurred speech
  • Alcohol doesn’t mix well with many prescription drugs

Your Brain

Drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses and even blackouts.

Your Body

Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. It is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and can increase your risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

Self-Control

Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions and impairs your judgment. Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving when you shouldn’t, or having unprotected sex.

It Can Kill You

Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time or very rapidly can cause alcohol poisoning, which can lead to coma or even death. Driving and drinking also can be deadly. In 2003, 31% of drivers age 15 to 20 who died in traffic accidents had been drinking alcohol.

Know the Law

It is illegal to buy or possess alcohol if you are under age 21.

Can the body recover from excessive drinking?

Research even suggests that brains too can recover from damage caused by alcohol abuse.

Studies have found that after a month of sobriety, an alcoholic’s brain begins to repair itself, and brain volume, which tends to shrink from excess alcohol, is increased by a few percentage points. Patients’ ability to concentrate is also improved.

Is Drinking In Your DNA?

Drinking habits are often ingrained well before one reaches the legal drinking age. Heredity, culture, economic standing, family and lifestyle all play a role in shaping how much an individual drinks. If alcohol dependence runs in your family, it is particularly important to be vigilant about sticking to moderate drinking guidelines because you are more susceptible to developing alcohol dependency than someone without a family history of alcohol abuse.

Research suggests the body can bounce back once a person stops drinking. The liver, one of the few organs that can compensate by growing new cells, has remarkable regenerative powers. A liver mildly inflamed by alcohol can recover fairly rapidly once the drinking stops. Even a scarred liver can halt the process of cirrhosis if alcohol abuse is stopped in time.

Print the “Get the Facts on Alcohol” PDF (Requires Adobe Reader)

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, please call Gateway Foundation‘s 24-Hour Helpline to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Families Open Up about Addiction at St. Louis Rehab Center

St. Louis Rehab

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Sadly, substance abuse issues are not isolated to those abusing drugs. Loved ones who witness the addiction taking over feel helpless and demoralized. They have questions about what to do, how they are feeling and why their loved ones won’t stop abusing drugs or alcohol. They need support.

Families with loved ones in substance abuse treatment at a St. Louis rehab center are getting much-needed attention. Since Gateway Foundation recognizes the immediate and long-term benefits to individuals in recovery when their families are involved in treatment, the Caseyville center engages families in counseling and substance abuse education programs. Every Saturday afternoon, families gather for family education and group counseling dedicated to drug and alcohol abuse.

“At Gateway Foundation, our family programs let families know they are not alone, validate their feelings and make them aware of other support resources in the community, such as Alanon,” explains Gateway Foundation Substance Abuse Counselor Kevin Bunten, who leads the family group sessions on Saturdays.

Family Programs are part of the St. Louis rehab center’s integrated treatment programs and are designed to answer the questions families have and to help parents, spouses, siblings and significant others learn how to better cope with the substance abuse issues of loved ones in treatment.

“Family members are usually very excited to hear that we have family programs. We also offer individual family therapy sessions for the adults in residential treatment. We have found that the family sessions on Saturday lay the ground work for productive individual family therapy sessions,” explains Gateway Foundation Substance Abuse Counselor Maggie Ketcherside, LCPC.

Individuals in treatment at the St. Louis rehab center are welcome to invite their family members over the course of their treatment to attend the group counseling lead by an experienced Substance Abuse Counselor. During the group sessions, families learn about the misconceptions of addiction and the science of the disease. Family members often want to know more about: unhealthy enabling and co-dependency, setting boundaries and signs of relapse. In addition to learning about substance abuse, families are able to express their feelings in an open and respectful atmosphere.

“We start from the idea put out by Alanon, that is: the family didn’t cause the addiction, they can’t control it and there is no cure for it. Building on that premise frees the families from feeling guilty, helpless and responsible,” says Mr. Bunten. “As a result of guiding families through this process, we hope to ultimately provide a home environment that supports their loved ones’ recovery, not relapse.”

“I can say without a doubt that Gateway’s treatment program has already changed all of our lives. The family classes gave us the tools we need to support our daughter through her recovery.  I don’t know what the future will hold, but I am confident that my daughter now holds the skills and outlook she needs to stay clean. What’s more, she is dealing with some deep issues that were never identified before her stay at Gateway. Words alone cannot adequately express my gratitude to Gateway,” explains a mother that supported her daughter’s recovery by taking advantage of the family program at the St. Louis rehab center.

The St. Louis rehab center also extends family group therapy at no cost to anyone in the community in the evenings, every other Tuesday. For more information, please contact 618-345-3970.

 

 

Get Control Before Stress Takes its Toll

stressBefore recovery, you may have wanted to drink or use drugs when you felt stressed out. For many, substance abuse is a common response to chronic stress however it is not a helpful remedy—it actually aggravates stress. With April being National Stress Awareness Month, let’s take a closer look at how stress can affect your body, mood and behavior and healthy ways to relieve stress.

Most people need a certain amount of stress. In the right amount, it can give you an edge. Keep you sharp and alert. On the other hand, living in a constant state of stress isn’t a good idea. Constant stress produces high levels of cortisol, a hormone released from the adrenal gland in times of stress, which has been shown to impair cognitive functioning and weaken the immune system.

Without a doubt, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings as well as your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them.

stress symptoms

The ideal, then, is to have just enough stress to remain focused; but to also have an outlet that can regulate stress and keep it from overtaking your life. Following are five healthy ways to help you defuse stress.

Take short meditation and mindfulness breaks

One of the best ways to deflect stress is through meditation. While there are many different meditation techniques, here is a simple one that only takes two minutes: Meditate by concentrating only on a single word during the most stressful time of the day—the morning, which, not coincidentally, happens to be the same time of day that has the highest incidence of heart attacks.

Doctors agree that meditation practices such as this are a great way to combat daily stress, but also say learning any type of technique that relaxes the body and mind will reduce worry—which in the end, is the goal: learning to cope with stress by learning to manage the mind.

For instance, mindfulness exercises also are effective in soothing stress. Try this: Sit upright, focus on your breath and pay attention to a physical sensation, such as filling your lungs with air. When your mind wanders, notice the disruption and then return your attention to that simple sensation. Continue the exercise for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat a few times a day to help manage stress.

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Al-Anon Substance Abuse Self-Test

Al-Anon/Alateen is a 12-Step, self-help support group for people whose lives are affected by the substance abuse issues of other people.

Al-Anon Substance Abuse Test

The following substance abuse test can help you determine if someone you know needs drug rehab or alcohol treatment.

Please answer every question. If a question is not applicable, select No.

Substance Abuse Self-Test

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs.

For help or to schedule a free confidential screening, call Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment‘s 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

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