Thankful for Recovery

gateway treatment centers, thankful for recoveryAs we reflect on our blessings with Thanksgiving Day around the corner, we want to remind people in recovery what sober living means to those around them. Life in recovery is about being present, respectful and accountable. It means you are living a value-based life and managing life’s inevitable challenges in a healthy way.

Following are testimonials from clients and a family member about the amazing impact of recovery from people who came to Gateway Treatment Centers for help:

“In 28 days a miracle hap­pened. I confronted issues I never thought I could deal with as well as learned how special I really am. Thank you Gateway, from me and my children.”

 

“I have been using all the tools I was given while at Gateway, especially positive self-talk. It is such a good feeling to hear my family, friends, and co-workers say they are proud of me and that they see such a profound change in me. …I owe you, Gateway and all the staff a debt of gratitude, you saved my life. I entered in a state of hopelessness and now I look forward to every new day. You not only gave me my life back, but you gave me the ability to live a good life and be happy in it.”

 

“After the first 4 days, he said things like this is the first time I laughed in many years; I feel so healthy already; this is the first time I’ve exercised in ages – feels so good, and then just a few weeks ago, I never thought I’d have a family and now I can see it as a real possibility.”

Don’t Wait to Make a Difference.
If you know a family member or friend struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, Gateway Foundation can help. Call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

MODERATE DRINKING: HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS IN YOUR DRINK?

moderate drinking, drinking guidelines, gateway treatment centersEven conscientious drinkers who limit themselves to one or two alcoholic beverages could easily find themselves beyond the legal limit for driving in addition to unknowingly putting their health at risk warns The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.

Drinks served in bars and restaurants often contain more alcohol than people realize. When you consider the alcohol volume, the size of the pour and the size of glass your drink arrives in, there can be a lot of variance,” explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr . Phil Welches.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

So what can you do if you’re trying to moderate the amount of alcohol you drink? In some situations, careful label reading and measuring will help ensure you don’t overdo it.

  • At home, measure the pour a couple of times in the same size glass so you know what a standard drink looks like.
  • At bars and restaurants, assume that poured drinks are more like one-and-a- half standard drinks and maybe even more for mixed cocktails, such as martinis and Long Island iced teas.
  • If the alcohol volume is higher than a standard “drink,” drink less.

Then it’s simply a matter of sticking to the limit you set for yourself. Once you reach your max, drink water to make sure you stay in control and help protect yourself from dehydration and a hangover.

To understand the warning signs of alcohol abuse, what it means to be a functioning alcoholic, how to help someone who may be struggling with alcohol dependence and more, visit RecoverGateway.org/alcohol-abuse

Newly Renovated Lake Villa Drug Rehab Center Inspires Recovery

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment recently completed major cosmetic renovations to its residential substance abuse treatment center located in Lake Villa, IL. Built to last, the “Main House” of the beloved drug rehab center dates back to the 1920’s. Originally built as a private lakeside residence, the 45-acre estate also once was a retreat for Catholic nuns prior to Gateway Foundation’s acquisition in 1972.

Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa

Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa

Located approximately 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the Lake Villa drug treatment center is situated along the shores of the Fox Lake. The peaceful location offers men, women and adolescent males the opportunity to pursue sobriety distraction-free, surrounded by nature.

Gateway Treatment Center Lake Villa - Residential Living

Gateway Treatment Center Lake Villa – Residential Living

“We embraced the remodeling project as an opportunity to not only revitalize the atmosphere here yet also make it as convenient as possible for individuals to focus on recovery. It’s our goal for each person to walk away confident and prepared to tackle life’s challenges without the use of alcohol or drugs,” explains Patricia Ryding, Executive Director, Lake Villa.

The renovated public spaces and corridors incorporate a soothing palette in hues of tan and green with purple and gold accents. Inviting lounge areas feature new comfortable furnishings and flat screen televisions. The updates to the guest rooms include new contemporary furnishings and linens. For easier accessibility, select guest rooms were reconfigured to make way for new areas dedicated to group counseling sessions, studies, meditation and DIY laundry.

Lake Villa Drug  Treatment Facility - Group Room

Lake Villa Drug Treatment Facility – Group Room

“The response to the enhancements here at the Lake Villa drug  treatment center has been extremely positive. The development team did an incredible job of creating a relaxed atmosphere with the look and feel of a stunning resort,” says Dr. Ryding.

Gateway Foundation’s Lake Villa Treatment Center offers separate comprehensive residential programs to address the specific recovery needs of each gender. Family counseling and ongoing after-care support are built-in as part of one’s treatment program. To obtain more information or take an online tour of the Lake Villa rehab center, please visit RecoverGateway.org/LakeVilla.

12 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holiday Season

tips for staying sober, holidayRemaining sober can be especially challenging during the holidays.  Family gatherings, holiday parties, and other social occasions can be very difficult for someone who is in early recovery.  Thoughts of past holidays can bring up memories of celebratory drinking or drugs.

Although it seems hard to get used to the idea of a sober holiday season, especially if friends seem to be having a great time drinking or using drugs, completing treatment is an accomplishment that you should be proud of.

Here are some helpful and practical tips to make staying sober easier:

  1. Write yourself a letter – “How I stayed sober over the holidays:” The act of writing your ideas on paper is a very powerful to reinforce your intentions. Think about your values write down all the activities that will help you have healthy, happy and sober holiday season.
  2. Plan each and every day of your holiday season:  Plan to spend the majority of your free time with friends and family who are supportive of your recovery. Likewise, plan downtime for reflection and rejuvenation.
  3. Keep a daily gratitude list: The quickest cure to get you out of the holiday blues is by counting your blessings and being grateful for what you have every morning.
  4. Sober community support: Come to Gateway’s holiday celebrations in addition to your recovery group get-togethers to share your experience, strength and hope with others. Check out Gateway Foundation on Facebook to find schedules for recovery groups, alumni meetings and special events hosted at our treatment centers.
  5. Tell your family and friends how they can support you: Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays.
  6. Create a contact list: Make a list of 10 people you can call. You are always welcome to call a counselor or confidant at Gateway Foundation. Carry your cell phone and list of names at all times.
  7. Don’t skimp on exercise: Regular exercise is an essential component of any balanced recovery program and will help you weather the stresses that often accompany the season.
  8. Avoid unhealthy hangouts: There is no reason to ever check out your former favorite establishments—no matter who is in town.
  9. Begin for new traditions: Start an annual bowling tournament or flag football game with fun awards and prizes. Host a cookie baking party and trade cookies with your guests. Use your imagination, be creative and have fun.
  10. Volunteer for a charitable organization: There are many people in your community who are less fortunate than you. You will be helping not only the needy but yourself!
  11. Avoid H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired):  If you are hungry, get something to eat. If you are angry, talk to somebody about it. If you are lonely, go to a meeting or call a friend. If you are tired, get a good night’s sleep.
  12. Take one day at a time and enjoy your sobriety: Stay in the moment and live one day at a time. Never mind about what happened or what could happen. Enjoy today. Live today. Celebrate your sobriety.

Take this opportunity to celebrate not only the holidays, but also your new life of sobriety, which is something really worth celebrating. If you find yourself struggling during the holiday season, please remember that you are not alone. Help is only a phone call or meeting away. 877-505-HOPE (4673).

DOES SEEING RED & GREEN MAKE YOU BLUE?

holiday depressionReady or not, the holidays are approaching! It’s likely you are seeing signs of the season. Zealous shopping destinations have already decked the boughs and wrapped the aisles in ribbon and garland.

While many look forward to the holidays, for others, the season can trigger feelings like depression, loneliness and other deep emotions. These types of feelings can be especially challenging for those who are in substance abuse treatment or recovery.

Nick Turner, Clinical Supervisor at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Chicago River North offers some helpful reminders to help improve your mindfulness and your outlook:

Think about what you can do to have a holiday you will appreciate rather than getting caught up in thoughts of what could happen during the holidays.

  • Carry your values with you, like the love you have for your family and friends, and remind yourself how you want to behave around them.
  • Be mindful and aware instead of ruminating about how unpleasant the holiday event can be.
  • Practice putting less focus on others and more attention towards what you can control, such as your thoughts, attitude and actions.
  • Think ahead to when you’re driving home from the gathering, how do you want to feel about your actions and behavior towards your loved ones?
  • Exercise the tools you favor for reducing anxiety and depression, such as positive self-talk, journaling, exercise and meditation.
  • Attend recovery support meetings and alumni events to share your feelings with others and stay grounded in your values.

For more information about recovery support and upcoming alumni gatherings, please visit RecoveryGateway.org/Alumni.

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