Staying Sober This Summer

stayin sober this summer, alcohol abuse, alcoholismAt Gateway Foundation, we understand the summer months can be a challenging time for people in early recovery. Those who have struggled with alcohol abuse may encounter more drinking going on outside—from festivals and ball games to concerts and beer gardens—and come face-to- face with temptation.

Remember, it’s okay to be tempted. This is normal. When it happens, observe the craving and respond by reminding yourself of your values and goals that are far more important to you than drinking, such as being a healthy, reliable and productive individual.

If you are early in your recovery, it is an especially important time to honest with yourself, especially when it comes to accountability. If accountability is in question, situations that have the potential to trigger a relapse must be avoided.

Here are some helpful reminders to keep your recovery on the right path:

  • Stay connected. It’s important to surround yourself with supportive people who understand your new path. Attend Alumni events/meetings, 12-Step recovery meetings and talk to your sponsor often.
  • Drink plenty of water. The heat and sun is dehydrating, and thirst can intensify cravings for alcohol.
  • Embrace life. Take advantage of the great weather and explore new adventures, such as kayaking, hiking, cycling bike paths, practicing yoga in the park or joining a running club. And, you will be more likely to befriend others with healthy lifestyles along the way.
  • Skip it. If you don’t have accountability, then you should decline the invitation to a wedding or barbeque. If you do decide to go, you should either bring a sober buddy, have someone on standby that you can call, or decide to stay for a set amount of time and promptly leave as planned.
  • Be realistic. If you are confident you can refrain from using, you still should expect to be offered drinks or drugs by the people around you. Rather than be offended, you should be prepared with a polite response or to avoid an invitation for a drink altogether, holding a club soda usually works!
  • Family ties. If your family is supportive of your recovery, then you may find spending time together is more enjoyable now than ever. For those whose families enjoy drinking at celebrations—it’s okay to bow out of a barbeque or birthday party. If you’re ready to be accountable, bring a supportive friend along and limit your stay. To avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, it is polite to let your hosts know ahead of time you will be bringing a guest and leaving early.

Remember, if you ever need to talk to someone who understands what you are going through, you call your sponsor and counselor. If you are worried about relapsing, you should contact your treatment center right away. Click to contact Gateway Foundation or call our 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

New Medical Director Aids Addiction at River North Rehab Center

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment recently welcomed Dr. Anjali Gupta as the Medical Director for its new rehab center specialized in adult outpatient treatment in Chicago’s River North district.

As the Medical Director, Dr. Gupta helps men and women address addiction and mental health issues and transition to a lifestyle of recovery. She also oversees administration of medication assisted treatment as part of an integrated clinical approach for addiction to substances, such as alcohol, heroin and opiate prescription drugs.

“It is particularly rewarding to work with a person who thought it was impossible to make it through one day without using, dig deep into the issues causing one’s compulsive drug use and evolve into a happier, more confident individual,” explains Dr. Gupta.

Dr. Gupta is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and conducts research for the Professionals Program at Resurrection Behavioral Health in Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from Tri-State University in Angola, IN. She earned her Medical degree from Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN, and completed her residency at University of Chicago and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI.

Conveniently located at 444 N. Orleans near the Merchandise Mart, Gateway Foundation’s River North center offers adult outpatient treatment on Monday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. To learn more about Gateway Foundation’s free and confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673). For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

Is Having A Few Drinks After Work A Sign Of Alcohol Abuse?

Meeting colleagues for post-work cocktails every now and again is much different than making it a habit of drinking excessively after work.

Substance abuse not only creates havoc to one’s health, it also can impact job performance. Coworkers are usually among the first to notice a colleague develop a problem because people spend so much time together in the workplace. They may even see an alcohol problem develop before a spouse does.

alcohol abuseHere are some signs and symptoms that drinking after hours is affecting one’s job performance:

  • Late for work, leave early or absent
  • Irritable and impatient with others
  • Poor concentration
  • Frequently hung over at work

“If a person drinks excessively during off-work hours and consistently comes to work hung over, can the boss trust the  work being done throughout the day  is accurate? Individuals with such a pattern are essentially undermining their livelihood and career and may not even realize it until it’s too late,” says Dr. Phil Welches, Clinical Director of Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

The good news is help is available if someone is ready to make a positive change.  Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs are offered in the morning, afternoon and evenings. This allows someone to get the treatment they need without interfering with important daily commitments like work or family.  For more information, please call our 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Attention Parents: Help Prevent Underage Drinking This Summer

Warning: Parents with Teens be Extra Vigilant in June and July

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest report on underage drinking shows that more than one-quarter of American youth engage in underage drinking.

With summer here and kids out of school, teens may have more unsupervised time at home if both mom and dad are at work. Could that be one of the reasons why more teenagers start drinking and smoking cigarettes and marijuana in June and July than in any other months? During each of these summer months, more than 11,000 teens on average use alcohol for the first time, 5,000 start smoking cigarettes and 4,500 try marijuana, according to the 2012 SAMHSA report.

Furthermore, a another SAMHSA report revealed that overall from 2002 to 2011 the percentage of adolescents receiving substance abuse prevention messages in the past year from media fell significantly from 83% in 2002 to 75% in 2011. School-based prevention messaging also dropped from 79% in 2002 to 74% in 2011. The report also finds that roughly 40% of adolescents did not talk with their parents in the past year about the dangers of substance use.

Help for Tackling Underage Drinking

underage drinking

To counter these concerning trends, the “Talk. They Hear You.” public service effort equips parents and caregivers with the information they need to start talking with children as young as 9 years old about the dangers of alcohol. The campaign’s TV, radio, and print public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish feature parents “seizing the moment” to talk with their children about alcohol while preparing dinner or doing chores together. By modeling behaviors in these PSAs, parents can discover the many “natural” opportunities for initiating the conversation about alcohol with their children.

For more information about how to talk to your teens about the risks associated with drinking and drug abuse, get a free “What’s a Parent to Do?” toolkit today!  Available at: RecoverGateway.org/Toolkit

Enhance Awareness with Gateway Foundation’s CEU Training Program

CEU Training

Social workers from University of Chicago Medical Center earned their continuing education credits without leaving the Hyde Park hospital, thanks to Gateway Foundation. Gateway Foundation’s Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner. MSW, LCSW, CADC, recently presented to a group of social workers on co-occurring disorders and leading treatment methods to support their professional development.

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment offers professionals throughout Illinois opportunities to earn continuing education credits through the state of Illinois, NAADAC and IAODAPCA. Our presenters include licensed and credentialed addiction professionals who not only educate, but engage groups on a variety of topics related to substance abuse. Let Gateway’s experts share their know-how about current drug trends, co-occurring disorders, motivational interviewing and more.

For added convenience, an area Outreach Coordinator will help plan the best program and coordinate logistics for a seamless training session.

Please contact us for more information or to schedule a training workshop.

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