Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment

Expert Insight from Gilbert Lichstein, Program Director, Gateway Chicago West

2 in a Series of 4

Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers employs evidenced-based practices to create meaningful, individualized treatment programs. We believe there is more than one pathway to recovery so we expose clients to a wide array of treatment methodologies. This series explores some of those methodologies.

Mindfulness-Based Sobrietymindfulness-based sobriety

Mindfulness-based sobriety is the core curriculum used by and developed at Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers. Mindfulness is essentially a state of active, open attention on the present. Through mindfulness, those in treatment benefit from gaining enhanced life skills and self-confidence. The curriculum addresses mental health issues like anxiety and impulsivity, which can be a part of substance abuse, either as a contributing factor or as a result.

People tend to avoid thinking about or dealing with things that cause them emotional discomfort, sometimes turning to alcohol or drugs to dull the pain. Mindfulness involves learning to accept things as they are at any given moment rather than thinking about how we would like them to be. This new focus helps people notice things they used to ignore or take for granted. People learn how to observe and accept their thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges without judging or reacting to them.

Gateway’s approach to substance abuse treatment helps individuals gain a willingness to accept the realities of their lives and consequently, the insight required to make value-based decisions. With their values now in focus, people often see that substance abuse doesn’t support the things that are most important in life and is actually holding them back. Recovery becomes more than abstaining from substance abuse – it creates an awareness of how fulfilling life can be.

The skills acquired in mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment can become an integral part of how people live their lives. They can be applied to many situations throughout life, remaining with a person as they grow and change, thus reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Learn More about how Mindfulness-Based Sobriety is used in Gateway Treatment Programs >

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers
Every year Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment helps thousands of adults and teens get their life back on track and gives renewed hope to those who care about them. With 50 years of treatment experience, our specialists take the time to understand of the specific needs of each individual. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual's substance abuse and mental health history. As the largest provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway has 11 treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment programs are not one-size fits all, but unique treatment plans that give an individual the highest chance for a successful outcome. With insurance acceptance and a track record of success, Gateway Treatment Centers help thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment each year, and find the hope they need to live again.

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