Gateway Foundation Springfield Presents Family-Friendly Book Fair at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013

Get a head start on holiday shopping and keep the kids entertained as well at Barnes & Noble (3111 South Veterans Pkwy in Springfield) on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. That’s when Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Springfield will be presenting a full line-up of family-friendly activities in addition to answering questions about drug and alcohol abuse.

Throughout the day, activities will be taking place that spark creativity and entertain. In addition, Gateway Foundation counselors will be on hand to answer questions about alcohol and drug abuse and treatment options available.

Book fair activities include:

Story Time: Each hour from 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Gateway Foundation representatives will read stories.

Arts & Crafts: At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., kids can explore creativity with arts and crafts pursuits.

Door Prizes:  Each hour from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., drawing for door prizes will take place.  No purchase necessary.

Walk the Line: Visitors may experience the effect of being under the influence and realize just how dangerous it can be.

LEGO Table: Children will create from their imagination with LEGO bricks.

“We are excited that Barnes & Noble is providing an opportunity to introduce Gateway Foundation to residents at such a popular destination,” says Gateway Foundation Executive Director Kerry Henry.

Located at 2200 Lake Victoria Drive in Springfield, the Gateway Foundation Treatment Center offers expertise and a supportive environment for people who need substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse programs accommodate both adults and teens. For more information, please visit


Did you more people die of drug overdoses than car accidents in Illinois? In fact, many residents may not be aware but Illinois is one of only 14 states that have passed the Emergency Medical Services Access Act/The Good Samaritan Overdose Law (Illinois Public Act 097-0678), which went into effect in June 2012 to reduce the number of overdose deaths.

Before the law, too many victims were dropped off alone and unconscious outside the doors of hospitals or even abandoned by friends to die for fear of criminal prosecution.

The Good Samaritan Law is meant to encourage bystanders witnessing a drug overdose to seek medical help for the victim. The bystander who calls 911 or seeks medical help will receive immunity from criminal charges for drug possession (except for marijuana). The overdose victim also is protected.

Overdose Anecdote

Legislation passed in 2009 made Illinois one of 16 states that allow distribution without requiring a doctor to prescribe every dose of naloxone, an opiate antagonist that reverses the effect of overdose from opiates like heroin.

The law’s implementation in 2010 ended what had been a legal conundrum of how to distribute a drug to someone to give to someone else, or to a user who might not need to take a dose for months. Naloxone gives concerned loved ones and care givers a window of opportunity to save a life until emergency medical help arrives.

To ensure the safety of opiate dependent individuals in treatment, all Gateway Foundation treatment centers have naloxone available and trained professionals to administer it.

“The increase in heroin overdose deaths is troubling. That is why we do everything we can to ensure the health, comfort and safety of the teens and adults we treat for opiate dependency,” says Sally Thoren, Executive Director, Gateway Foundation Chicago West. “Before the law was enacted, in the event of an overdose treatment centers would have to call 911 and lose precious minutes waiting for the help to arrive.”

If you know someone who needs help breaking free from opioids, Gateway Foundation can help. For a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-4673.


heroin addictionFast acting, heroin quickly enters the brain, affecting the region responsible for physical dependence. Highly addictive, about 1 out of 4 people (23%) who use heroin become dependent on it. 

After repeated exposure, heroin users develop tolerance and increase their dose to achieve the desired high. Thus, the vicious cycle of heroin addiction begins.

To make matters worse, people who want to quit heroin often find themselves using again to manage withdrawal symptoms.

“Heroin users describe physical withdrawal from opiates like the worse flu one can ever imagine, multiplied by 10. They don’t sleep for days. Major anxiety in addition to horribly aching bones and muscles also are common,” explains Sally Thoren, Executive Director, Gateway Foundation Chicago West.

Symposium to Address Substance Abuse and Violence

domestic violenceJoin representatives of Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment on Friday, October 25 for The Substance Abuse and Family Violence Symposium presented by 22nd Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council in partnership with McHenry County College. The all-day symposium kicks off at 8:15 a.m. at Luecht Conference Center at McHenry Community College.

 Experts will analyze the effects of substance abuse on family violence, crime and the effects of trauma and substance use in context of domestic violence. Attendees will explore critical topics in breakout sessions and hear two nationally known keynote speakers and some of the state’s leading experts on substance abuse and family violence.

 Keynote Speakers:

  • Substance Misuse and Partner Violence: What We Know and What We Are Doing by Larry Bennett, Ph.D., LCSW, Professor at Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Understanding Trauma and Substance Use in the Context of Domestic Violence by Patricia Bland, MA, CDP, Director of Substance Abuse Training and Technical Assistance, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health

Made possible through the generous donations of Gateway Foundation, Direct Counseling and McHenry County Regional Office of Education, the symposium also will touch on: substance abuse assessments and treatment for better outcomes; substance abuse issues specific to men; and teens, alcohol and violence. To register, please contact the Shah Center at (815) 455-8593 or email



Today’s portrait of a typical heroin user probably isn’t what most people imagine. The growth in heroin use is primarily among white, middle and upper class 18-22 year olds, living in America’s suburbs and rural areas.

The heroin concern is an unfortunate outcome of another sweeping drug abuse trend among affluent teens: abuse of prescription pain medications, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. According to Partnership for Drug Free America, 24 % of high school students have abused addictive prescription drugs, a 33% increase in 5 years. 

However, prescription opioids have become harder to obtain and more expensive, therefore opioid abusers are migrating to a cheaper, stronger alternative to prescription pills: heroin.

It’s important to recognize the physical signs and symptoms of heroin use, which include:

  • Shallow breathing and shortness of breath.
  • Clouded mental functioning.
  • Decreased pain from either physical conditions or emotional challenges.
  • Uncontrollable feelings of itching.
  • Constricted pupils.

As well as behavioral signs of heroin abuse, such as:

  • Lying or other deceptive behavior.
  • Substantial increase in time spent sleeping.
  • Increase in slurred or incoherent speech.
  • Poor performance in school or work, including expulsion or loss of jobs.
  • Decreasing attention to hygiene and physical appearance.
  • Loss of motivation and apathy toward future goals and interests.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family, instead spending time with new friends with no natural tie.
  • Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from loved ones, or unexplained absence of valuables.
  • Wearing long pants or long sleeves to hide needle marks, even in very warm weather.

If you know someone who needs help breaking free from opioids, Gateway Foundation can help. For a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-4673.


heroin As consumption of heroin continues to escalate, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is examining the issue and the devastating consequences of abuse.

Consider these concerning heroin abuse trends:

  • Heroin production and availability has grown significantly in the past decade. Reports from the National Drug Intelligence Center highlight the larger yields in Mexico, which has resulted in purer, less expensive and more abundant heroin in U.S. markets.
  • According to Illinois Consortium of Drug Policy at Roosevelt University, in the past 5 years heroin use has increased 75%.
  • The Illinois State Crime Commission says heroin use is an epidemic.

As a result, Gateway Foundation has responded by ensuring the highest quality treatment for heroin addiction to support lasting recovery, including:

  • Providing integrated treatment using medication to address opiate withdrawal symptoms and relapse in addition to counseling and therapy.
  • On-site administration of opiate overdose antagonist, naloxone.

To provide these standards in care, Gateway Foundation has expanded its multidisciplinary clinical team, adding medical doctors and industry experts to ensure individuals experience personalized care underscored with clinical expertise and evidence-based practices.

You, too, can help Gateway Foundation address this public health concern. For more educational resources about heroin abuse, visit

Drug Rehab Center Exhibits at NASW Statewide Conference

drug rehab, NASW ConverenceRepresentatives from Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment will be introducing our substance abuse treatment services to hundreds of social workers attending the 2013 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference. Held at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, the NASW conference will take place October 28-30, 2013, and attracts more than 700 social workers and industry-related professionals.

With presentations by top speakers from around the state and beyond, attendees also have the opportunity to hear keynote speaker, Melissa Stockwell, a veteran of the Iraq war and a Paralympic athlete. Ms. Stockwell will share her story with conference attendees, and discuss how to overcome obstacles, dream big, and live in the moment. Attendees will also have the opportunity to earn up to 19 CEUs and CPDUs.

To view a complete conference agenda, click here.

NASW conference attendees are welcome to visit Gateway Foundation at Booth 41. Our Outreach team will have plenty of information about the heroin/opioid epidemic in Illinois, our Illinois drug rehab centers, and advanced drug treatment options available for those struggling with addiction.

For more information visit or

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