New Year’s Resolutions Can Increase your Chance of Success with Drug Rehab

new years resloutionThose who make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who don’t, according to researchers at the University of Scranton. A resolution to enter drug rehab can be an important first step towards a new and better future.

Every New Year brings a significant increase in people accessing drug rehab, so anyone resolving to break free of their addiction won’t be alone, according to Gilbert Lichstein Program Director at the Chicago West facility of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers.

“One of the best predictors for success in treatment is one’s readiness to change.  Committing to change, like making a New Year’s resolution, means you’re more likely to succeed,” Lichstein said.

Setting specific goals can increase the chance of a New Year’s resolution succeeding: simply resolving to lose weight is not as effective as deciding to exercise a set number of days each week. Those looking to break free of addiction can increase their chance of success by resolving to enter a drug rehab program in January of the New Year.

Enlisting the support of friends and family members can also help a New Year’s resolution succeed.

“Many people will spend the holidays with their friends and loved ones. This is a great opportunity to share your resolution with them and rally their support,” Lichstein said. “If a drugs and alcohol have isolated you from those you care about, treatment can put you on the path to reconnect with them.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drugs, visit recovergateway.org or call 877-505-4673 to learn more about treatment options, insurance coverage, and Gateway’s free, confidential consultation.

Drugged Driving Becoming More Prevalent Than Drunk Driving

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to Focus on Growing Epidemic

drunk driving drugged drivingDecember is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and also the time of year for holiday parties, family gatherings and travel. During this time, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers wants to provide a reminder of the risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol as well as drugs – not just illicit drugs, but prescription and over the counter medications too.

Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that driving under the influence of alcohol is worse than driving while impaired by substances such as marijuana or prescription medication.

“There has been a reduction in drinking and driving due to decades of concerted efforts between local, state and federal governments, safety advocates and law enforcement,” said Gateway President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Britton. “During National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, Gateway wants to continue to highlight drunk driving issues, while also exercising the same vigilance towards the issue of drugged driving.”

As the overall number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States declines, the percentage of drugged drivers involved in these accidents increases. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey, more than 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The spike in the percentage of drugged drivers is concerning, and in recent years, safety advocates and political figures, including the President of the United States, have done their part to emphasize this topic.

In his 2014 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month Presidential Proclamation, President Barack Obama stated that his administration is working to keep drugged drivers off the road and help bolster law enforcement officials’ ability to identify drug-impaired drivers.

“One of the first steps to overcoming this drugged driving epidemic is to educate the public about substance abuse and treatment options,” said Britton. “Efforts like National Impaired Driving Prevention Month help bring these issues to the forefront and provide Gateway with an opportunity to educate.”

Learn more about the effects of drug abuse and addiction>

Recovery Story: Treatment Enables Victory over Drug Abuse

recovery-drug-abuse“Partying” was getting the best of Everett G., who had been abusing alcohol and crack cocaine for about 20 years. Over those years, he repeatedly let down his father, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews and damaged his relationships with his children and their mother. By the time his second child was born, the toll his abuse was taking became obvious to him.

Everett compares his experiences with cocaine and alcohol to being in a boxing ring, fighting a 12-foot monster. “I’m in the ring and I’m not even swinging any more – just taking punches. And I’m wondering why nobody threw in the towel, why nobody’s helping me. I turn around and look in my corner and I notice there’s nobody there, nobody at the fight with me. On December 10, 2013, I had the bright idea to get out of the ring.”

A staff member at Jackson Park Hospital recommended Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers to Everett and then his union steward and EAP representative at work helped him get into a program. Over the course of his alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, Everett had been in and out of six different treatment facilities.

“Participating in treatment at Gateway was one of the best experiences of my life. I knew I needed help again and I’m glad I went to Gateway,” Everett said.

As consequence of abusing drugs, Everett had closed himself off emotionally and spiritually, losing his connection with principles and his spiritual side. He believed he could lead a sober life if he could reconnect to his spiritual life. He explained, “I know the enemy is the disease and once it isolates me, it’s got me. Once I connect through the love and the people, it’s hard to go outside the lines and drink and use drugs again.” He said at Gateway, he felt a level of love he had never experienced before, but also points out that he was ready to receive that love.

Everett said that Paul, the director of the men’s unit at Gateway Chicago West, was especially influential and that he paid attention to every individual in the program. “His heart was in it and he helped me everywhere he could. I could go to him for anything,” Everett said, adding “Everyone was so approachable and I could go to anyone with a problem. The level of caring is just over the top.”

Everett said the coping skills he learned at Gateway prepared him for the “boxing match” he was going to have for the rest of his life. During his treatment, Everett discovered the best way to prepare for the fight was to stay out of the ring, or “stay away from people, places and things” that can bring you down. He pointed out that sometimes the fight comes to you, and compared his newly acquired coping skills to learning how to uppercut, jab and dodge to win the match.

Everett’s initial inpatient treatment program extended to 60 days and he’s grateful for Gateway’s help in working with his health insurance company to obtain the additional time in treatment he needed. Following his program, he went to a halfway house where he met people who were instrumental to his success on the second portion of his recovery journey. He chose to participate in both intensive outpatient (IOP) and basic outpatient (BOP) programs at Gateway. “The aftercare programs set Gateway Chicago West apart from anywhere else I went. The programs are there for you when you need the support” Everett said.

Everett sees staying connected as essential to his continued sobriety, participating in the Alumni Program and chairing its Leadership Program, through which he reaches out to people who are fresh from treatment to see how they’re doing and give them a sense of hope. He believes maintaining the friendships he made during treatment and making new connections is a great addition to his life. “My new friends understand what I’m going through in a way that people who are not in recovery cannot.” he explained.

Everett offers his interpretation of the significance of Gateway’s name. “They’re saying, ‘walk through this door and change your life.’  They provide the gateway, a process to live by.”

If someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, don’t wait. Call 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org to learn about insurance coverage, treatment options, and our free, confidential consultation. 

 

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