Now Covered: Treatment for Substance Abuse Enters Primary Care Arena

alcohol or drug issues, healthcareFinancial barriers are a big reason individuals generally prolong seeking professional treatment for alcohol and drug abuse issues. However, that barrier is no longer an issue for hundreds of thousands of Americans. That’s because treatment for substance abuse is now recognized as one of the 10 essential health benefits covered by health insurance per the provisions of The Affordable Care Act.

As of January 1, 2014, hundreds of thousands of Americans who need help working through addiction issues now have access to professional treatment via health insurance.

In this new era of healthcare, it is more important than ever for individuals to practice preventative health care management to promote healthy aging. And, while it may be tempting to twist the truth about how many drinks you consume each week, it is in your best interest to be honest because you just may learn something new like:    

  • Where you range on the scale between moderate and binge drinking.
  • The risks associated with the use of prescribed medications, especially opioids.
  • How symptoms of anxiety or depression may relate to alcohol or drug use. 
  • Why you need to be extra vigilant about adhering to moderate drinking if a family history of alcoholism exists.

 Make the most of your medical check-ups by being honest about your alcohol and drug use because an open dialogue with your healthcare professional is just what the doctor ordered.

If alcohol or drug use is a problem for you or a loved one, Gateway Treatment Centers offer Outpatient Treatment Programs available in the morning and evening hours and centers located throughout Illinois, including Chicago. To learn more about our free, confidential consultation, please call Gateway at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit


River North Rehab Center Counters Addiction with Mindfulness

Gateway Foundation Clinicians Author Forthcoming Clinical Guide on Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Chicagoans in outpatient treatment at Gateway Foundation’s new River North rehab center are learning how a purposeful, value-driven life can trump alcohol and drug abuse. The integrated approach outlined in a book created by Gateway Foundation clinicians combines mindfulness-based therapy, motivational interviewing and relapse prevention therapy to help individuals with substance abuse issues.

“Typically when addiction takes over, a person’s priorities are compromised. Our integrated approach is intended to help individuals identify their own values, strengthen their motivation and tackle other mental health problems that may lie at the root of their addiction,” explains Nick Turner, Clinical Supervisor at Gateway Foundation Chicago River North and co-author of forthcoming book, Mindfulness-Based Sobriety.

Research has indicated that mindfulness-based therapy is highly effective in treating emotion dysregulation, stress, depression, and grief—all emotions that lie at the root of addiction. Motivational interviewing helps people learn to change the behaviors that cause addiction. And finally, relapse prevention therapy teaches individuals with addiction to anticipate and cope with potential relapse.

The forthcoming book, Mindfulness-Based Sobriety: A Clinician’s Treatment Guide for Addiction Recovery Using Relapse Prevention Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing, combines all three of these highly effective treatments offered at the River North rehab center. Available in January 2014, the clinical guide was written by Nick Turner MSW, Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches and Sandra Conti MS.

“Research suggests that mindfulness practices are useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depressive relapse, disordered eating and addiction. As clinicians, we developed the guidebook in order to better fulfill our mission of reducing substance abuse and co-occurring mental health problems,” says Dr. Phil Welches, Clinical Director, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment and co-author of book.

Outpatient treatment programs at Gateway Foundation also include substance abuse education and group counseling as well as individual and family counseling as needed. Located at 444 N. Orleans St., Gateway Foundation’s new River North rehab center offers outpatient treatment after work Monday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. For more information, please visit

Gateway Foundation Springfield Partners with Barnes & Noble for Upcoming Book Fair

Family-Friendly Event to Feature Face Painting, Story Reading and Presentations by Substance Abuse Counselors on March 10

Looking for a good book and a family-friendly event to help relieve the winter blues? On Sunday, March 10, 2013, customers who shop at Barnes & Noble, located at 3111 South Veterans Pkwy in Springfield, can buy their books, cards, coffee and enjoy fun activities while supporting a good cause. A portion of sales from the day will be shared with Gateway Foundation Springfield, a non-profit alcohol and drug abuse treatment provider serving the Springfield area.

Throughout the day, activities will be taking place that entertain and inform customers at Barnes & Noble in SpringfieldGateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment counselors will be on hand to answer questions about alcohol and drug abuse and treatment options available. Book fair activities are scheduled as follows:

  • 1-2 p.m. Family Hour activities will include story reading, clowns handing out balloons, face painting and a door prize drawing for Barnes & Noble gift cards.
  • 2-3 p.m. Gateway Foundation Substance Abuse Counselor Jackie Thompson will inform customers about alcohol abuse. 
  • 3-4 p.m. Family Hour activities will consist of story reading, face painting and a door prize drawing for Barnes & Noble gift cards.
  • 4-5 p.m. Gateway Foundation Substance Abuse Counselor John Dunlap will educate customers about drug trends, including synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts.

“We are excited that Barnes & Noble is partnering with Gateway Foundation for our upcoming book fair and providing an opportunity for local residents to learn more about substance abuse and treatment options. With the donation from Barnes & Noble, we plan to create a robust reading resource center and share the joy of reading with the adults and teens in recovery,” says Gateway Foundation Executive Director Kerry Henry.

There are two ways to help Gateway Foundation Springfield enhance its reading resources, supporters should present Gateway Foundation’s unique voucher number of 11015294 when purchasing items at any Barnes & Noble store on March 10, 2013, or present the voucher number for Barnes & Noble online purchases made from March 10 to March 15, 2013.

Located at 2200 Lake Victoria Drive in Springfield, the Gateway Foundation Treatment Center offers substance abuse treatment expertise and a supportive environment for people who need substance abuse treatment and their families. Substance abuse programs are available to accommodate both adults and teens—ranging from Residential and Day Treatment to Morning and After-Work/After-School. For more information, please visit

Rejuvenation through Nutrition

nutrients and substance abuse recoveryDid you know that alcohol and drug abuse prevents the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins?

Consequently, people in recovery have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems, including the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

For example, substance abuse prevents the body from processing essential nutrients, such as amino acids like tyrosine and tryptophan. These amino acids are important for production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters responsible for emotional stability and mental clarity.

Substance abuse also inhibits the absorption of vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C. The benefits of B vitamins are many. They bring your body into balance and help with stress, energy levels and disease prevention. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient required by the human body for the growth and repair of tissues and is an antioxidant.

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