Gateway Treatment Centers Earn Esteemed Joint Commission Accreditation

Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa, IL

Gateway Treatment Center
in Lake Villa, IL

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment centers were recently surveyed by The Joint Commission, which renewed its accreditation for the next 3 years. Considered the gold standard in health care accreditations, The Joint Commission evaluation included 11 Gateway locations and 30 alcohol and drug treatment programs to verify the organization provides the highest standards in care for substance abuse and mental health issues.

To help ensure communities have access to safe, quality treatment and services, The Joint Commission is an independent, non-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. It analyzes hospitals and health care providers for compliance with more than 1,000 “individual elements of performance” applicable to a variety of functions, such as: safety and well-being of patients and staff, quality assurance, governance, environments of care and medication management. 

Gateway Treatment Center in Chicago's River North District

Gateway Treatment Center in Chicago’s River North District

“I consider this last evaluation our most successful since The Joint Commission awarded Gateway its first accreditation in 1992—and our extremely dedicated staff is a main reason why we are performing so well,” says Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment. “As an organization, we continuously improve the quality of our clinical programs and adopt the most effective evidenced-based clinical treatment protocols to help people overcome addiction. And, I believe The Joint Commission accreditation is a vital process that has helped Gateway become a leading substance abuse treatment provider in Illinois,” adds Darcy.

Diffusing Drug Cravings with Mindfulness Urge Surfing

As defined by author Jon Kabat-Zinn of University of Massachusetts Medical School, mindfulness is: “A gentle effort to be continuously present with experience…paying attention on purpose.”

With practice and commitment, mindfulness is a tool that can help people work through a variety of common concerns, such as: mood swings, stress, depression, grief and impulsivity. And now, it is being used with success to help people in drug treatment manage their addiction issues for lasting sobriety.

A newly released book, Mindfulness-Based Sobriety (Turner, Welches and Conti; 2014), relates mindfulness techniques to relapse prevention. According to the book, mindfulness begins by focusing awareness on one’s own breathing. If and when the mind strays—to thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges—it’s completely normal. However, the trick is to observe yet not react to the distractions.

 The key to appreciating mindfulness is twofold:

  1.  Be aware and accepting of urges, cravings, emotions, and all aspects of your experience, while not driven to act on them.
  2. Base motivation and actions on what need to be done in order to move towards a life worth living.

mindfulness, urge surfingWhen cravings or urges arise, a person in drug treatment learns how to acknowledge the urge without “fusing” with or acting upon it. Cravings, like waves in an ocean, tend to rise in intensity, crest and then subside. Also like waves, the process typically repeats itself. Mindful awareness of this pattern is called “urge surfing,” a term coined by the late Alan Marlatt, psychologist and developer of Relapse Prevention Therapy.

Experiencing and accepting the rise and fall of cravings and urges without reacting can be liberating for individuals who have surrendered to their urges with alcohol or drug use in the past. With a new sense of empowerment, individuals with a foundation in mindfulness will base their actions on what they need to do to achieve the life they want.

To learn more about using mindfulness to manage addiction issues, please sign up for Gateway’s free CEU webinar on Jan. 30, 2014, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The trainers are Dr. Phil Welches and Nick Turner, substance abuse experts and co-authors of Mindfulness-Based Sobriety: A Clinicians Treatment Guide for Addiction Recovery.

Purchase the book with curriculum on Amazon.com today.

Gateway Clinicians Author New Curriculum; Lead Webinar on Minfulness-Based Sobriety

mindfulness based sobriety, gateway foundation

Gateway Foundation Substance Abuse Experts are Co-Authors of “Mindfulness-Based Sobriety” Available on Amazon

Determined to advance clinical practices in relapse prevention, Gateway’s Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches began searching for a best-in-class curriculum back in 2011, yet he didn’t find one that met the needs of Gateway’s diverse clientele. Unwilling to compromise, Gateway’s substance abuse clinicians were enlisted to create a proprietary Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) curriculum tailored to the needs of our clients. Gateway clinicians Dr. Welches, Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner and former employee and counselor Sandra Conte collaborated on a new RPT curriculum for use in Intensive Outpatient Treatment.

The new Mindfulness-Based Sobriety curriculum was first piloted in Intensive Outpatient Treatment in 2012. In anticipation of rollout, the authors conducted two, one-day trainings with clinicians representing eight Gateway Treatment Centers. Once it came to life in treatment, positive feedback soon followed and continues. Correspondingly, a version of the curriculum was created for use in our Residential Treatment Programs. The curriculum will continue to rollout in FY14.

To learn about this innovative use of mindfulness directly from the authors of Mindfulness-Based Sobriety, please sign up for our free webinar later this month or order the book and curriculum on Amazon.com.

 

Make It A Mindful New Year!

minduflness sobriety, gateway treatment centersWhat is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you:

  • NOTICE things you used to ignore or take for granted.
  • ACCEPT things as they are at any given moment rather than how you would like them to be.
  • OBSERVE and accept your thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges, without judgment and without reacting to them.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is highly effective in treating mood swings, stress, depression, grief and impulsivity–all of which are at risk of fueling addiction. Ultimately, people will do what they want. We cannot live their life for them. But once people reflect on what’s important to them, they may decide it’s time to let go of some things to live the life they want.

More often than not, people who come to Gateway Treatment Centers decide on their own that substance use is not consistent with their values. They realize that alcohol and drug use is holding them back.

  • Improves awareness and communication.
  • Enhances life skills, self-confidence.
  • Addresses co-occurring mental health issues like anxiety and impulsivity–that may have contributed to or resulted from substance use.
  • Reduces substance abuse and the likelihood of relapse.

To learn more about  mindfulness directly from Gateway’s mindfulness experts, please sign up for our free webinar later this month.

As part of an integrated treatment program, Gateway Treatment Centers use mindfulness to address relapse prevention for lasting recovery. To learn more about the tools and knowledge individuals can gain at Gateway Treatment Centers, please visit RecoverGateway.org  or call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

I Need Help for an Alcohol or Drug Abuse Problem

Do you ever feel guilty following heavy drinking/drug use? Do you drink or use drugs to help you unwind after work? Have you ever thought about cutting down on your alcohol/drug consumption?

help for substnace abuse, drug problem, alcohol problemPeople often believe their alcohol/drug usage is under control until something bad happens, such as a DUI or hospitalization.

If your unhealthy habits are causing problems at home or affecting your performance at work, Gateway has the answers you need to overcome substance abuse. The dedicated staff will be with you every step, making sure you receive the treatment, guidance and support for lasting recovery. In treatment, you will learn healthier coping skills and how to confront problems in your personal life. Think about the possibilities with a fresh start.

Individual Needs Come First at Gateway

Gateway gives you the power to get your life back on track. Along the path to recovery we want every person to know that they are not alone. Our experienced team of substance abuse experts is here to provide support and guidance, every step of the way. Rest assured, or dedicated counselors and team of clinicians work hard to understand each person’s unique needs and circumstances.

Through personalized treatment, we learn the underlying causes of one’s addiction, so recovery may begin.

At Gateway Treatment Centers, we provide the most advanced treatment options, which include clinically proven evidence-based therapies. Our goal is to empower people by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to support their lasting recovery.

Learn more about Gateway’s substance abuse treatment for Men, Women and Teens.

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