1 in 9 High School Seniors Recently Smoked Synthetic Marijuana

synthetic marijuanaParents with kids in high school need to know, marijuana and synthetic marijuana like K2 and Spice are the most prevalent illicit drugs used by 12th graders, according to data from the most recent national Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. Slightly more than one-third (36.4%) of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past year, including 11.3% who reported using synthetic marijuana, compared with less than 8% for all other illicit drugs, such as: cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.

The MTF survey also found that approximately one-fourth (24%) of 12th graders perceive a great risk for harm in trying synthetic marijuana once or twice, and one-third (33%) think there is a great risk for harm in using the drug occasionally, compared to 15% and 21%, respectively, for marijuana. Previous research on high school students has shown that students’ perceived risk is related to their likelihood of using a drug.

adolescent drug and alcohol abuse

Download Gateway Foundation’s Substance Abuse Prevention Guide for Parents

About Monitoring the Future

Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of American secondary school students, college students and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). The Monitoring the Future Study has been funded under a series of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. MTF is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Talk. They Listen.

Research verifies that when parents talk to their kids about risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse, they are less likely to engage in drug use. Gateway Foundation offers parents free resources to keep them informed about teen drug trends and helpful guidance about talking to teens regarding substance abuse. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

New Director to Lead Expansion of Addiction Rehab Centers

To drive the continued development of new outpatient substance abuse treatment centers throughout Illinois, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is pleased to announce the appointment of William Stoner MSW as its Executive Director of Outpatient Services.

“Currently, Gateway Foundation serves more than 10,000 people each year at nine outpatient substance abuse treatment centers located throughout Illinois. In order to meet the future demand for outpatient treatment services, we anticipate doubling our capacity and admissions over the next 5 years, and Mr. Stoner is the right person to ensure we are successful in doing so,” explains Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

With more than 15 years of management and organizational development experience, Mr. Stoner comes to Gateway Foundation from Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–All Saints in Racine, WI, where he served as Director, Outpatient Mental Health and Addiction Services. As Executive Director, he is focused on ensuring that quality treatment for alcohol dependency and drug addiction is available throughout Gateway Foundation’s outpatient treatment network. He also plays a pivotal role in rolling out new outpatient treatment centers throughout Illinois.

“In my time thus far with Gateway Foundation, the level of commitment to its mission of providing accessible, quality treatment is very apparent to me. I look forward to working with this talented team to carry on their proud heritage of helping others in need and changing lives,” says Mr. Stoner.

Mr. Stoner is an alumnus of University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. As an undergraduate, he earned a BA in Psychology and minored in Business Administration; and continued at the university to earn his Master’s degree in Social Work. Mr. Stoner is a licensed substance abuse, social worker and independent clinical supervisor.

Teen Substance Abuse Self-Test

teen drug abuseIt’s especially important for teenagers to get help for substance abuse before it gets out of control. Research shows the developing brain of teenagers is especially susceptible to irreversible damage from alcohol and drug use, including an increased risk of mental illnesses like schizophrenia and addiction issues.

If you are a teenager and have trouble controlling your drinking or drug use, here is a self-test to help you assess if you are at risk for dependency.

Please answer every question; if a question is not applicable, select ‘No.’

Yes No  
    Do you use alcohol or other drugs to build self-confidence?
    Do you ever drink or get high immediately after you have a problem at home or school?
    Have you ever missed school due to alcohol or other drugs?

Does it bother you if someone says that you use too much alcohol or other drugs?

    Have you started hanging out with a heavy drinking or drug using crowd?
    Are alcohol and other drugs affecting your reputation?
    Do you feel guilty or bummed out after using alcohol or other drugs?
    Do you feel more at ease on a date when drinking or using other drugs?
    Have you gotten into trouble at home for using alcohol and other drugs?
    Do you borrow money or “do without” other things to buy alcohol and other drugs?
    Do you feel a sense of power when you use alcohol or other drug?
    Have you lost friends since you started using alcohol or other drugs?
    Do you drink or use other drugs until your supply is all gone?
    Do you ever wake up and wonder what happened the night before?
    Have you ever been busted or hospitalized due to alcohol or use of illicit drugs?
    Do you “turn off” any studies or lectures about alcohol or illicit drug use?
    Do you think you have a problem with alcohol or other drugs?
    Has there ever been someone in your family with a drinking or other drug problem?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to three or more of these questions, you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs. For help visit recovergateway.org or to schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

New Corporate Medical Director Brings Valued Experience to Gateway

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

John Larson M.D.
Medical Director
Gateway Foundation

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, a leading provider of substance abuse treatment, is pleased to announce John Larson M.D. has been appointed to serve as Corporate Medical Director. Dr Larson will oversee medical practices at Gateway’s network of treatment centers located throughout Illinois and in the St. Louis Metro East area.

“As a leader in addiction treatment, I am proud to work for an organization dedicated to providing quality, personalized care for all individuals. I am enthusiastic about using my expertise to help Gateway Foundation’s collaborative team empower people to reclaim rewarding lives in recovery,” says Dr. John Larson.

In his role as Corporate Medical Director, Dr. Larson collaborates with physicians at Gateway Foundation’s network of treatment centers to ensure the evidence-based treatment therapies meet the highest standards in addiction treatment and behavioral health care. He also serves on the organization’s Corporate Quality Council, which provides ongoing monitoring of medical standards and assures compliance with licensing and accreditation standards.

Prior to joining Gateway Foundation, Dr. Larson has served as Medical Director for Outpatient Addiction Programs at Resurrection Behavioral Health in Downers Grove, IL, and Rush University Behavioral Health in Chicago. With more than 40 years of professional experience in the addiction and behavioral health fields, Dr. Larson was also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rush Medical College, where he taught for more than fifteen years. He also consulted at eQHealth Solutions of Illinois, providing utilization review to assist the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Dr. Larson earned his Bachelor of Science at Utah State University in Logan, UT, and his Medical degree at University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. He completed his residency at University of Utah Hospital and Naval Regional Medical Center in Oakland, CA. He also held the position of Director, Consultation-Liaison Service while serving in the United States Navy. He currently resides in Skokie, IL, where he enjoys training for future triathlons and planning travel adventures with his wife.

A Guide for Parents on Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse

adolescent drug and alcohol abuseHaving a child abuse alcohol or drugs is every parent’s worse nightmare. To help parents navigate this important topic, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment created a guide for parents, What’s A Parent To Do? The informative guide helps parents understand the complexities surrounding adolescent drug and alcohol use. Our free Parent Toolkit contains valuable information such as:

  • How do you have constructive conversations about drugs and alcohol to prevent use in the first place?
  • What are the signs your child might be using drugs or alcohol?
  • How can you help a child get treatment?

If you are worried about your teen’s substance use, please contact Gateway Foundation to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673). For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

When Addiction Takes Over

addictionIt is very important to remember that someone who abuses alcohol or drugs will continue to do so as long as the consequences of use do not outweigh the benefits. Once substance abusers experience more consequences and fewer benefits, they may begin to understand it’s time to get help.

In the meantime, do not feel obliged to cover up for another person’s habits, or make excuses about his or her behavior, that only puts you in the position of co-dependency and enabling. As much as you may want a substance abuser to get help, you can’t force an individual to get help, begging or threatening won’t work either. You can only encourage someone to consider treatment as an option. Recovery will come, only if and when the substance abuser truly decides to seek a healthier lifestyle.

If you have questions or are concerned about a friend or family member, contact Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment and let us provide you with the answers you need to take the next step.

Gateway Foundation offers a free, in-depth, confidential consultation to determine the nature and extent of your loved one’s alcohol or drug problem. Contact us today at 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

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