Addiction: A Disease Delegitimized by Stigma

Professional medical associheroinations, such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine and American Medical Association, define addiction as a disease just like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Articulating a usable definition of what “disease” actually is can be surprisingly difficult, as notions of health vary by context. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary generally defines disease as any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, or death to the person afflicted.

Dr. Thomas Britton, CEO of Gateway Foundation, wrote in his article “Releasing Stigma’s Grip” that the many facets of drugs and alcohol addiction make it a unique disease. In comparison to cancer or diabetes, addiction strongly affects spiritual and mental wellness—not just physical wellness. Dr. Britton explains that this cumulative approach generates internal battles in those inflicted and seeking help. He writes, “Many people are simply overcome with feelings of inadequacy, shame and embarrassment.”

Perhaps this is due to society’s disillusioned notions of addiction. Stereotypes of dependency disrupt society at large from truly understanding the legitimacy of the disease. Drug and alcohol abuse are commonly associated with crime, broken homes, laziness, violence, and moral failing. Dr. Britton explains that fear of judgment may prevent those suffering from seeking the treatment they need.

According to the Center of Addiction, up to 25 percent of people with substance abuse problems appear to have a chronic disorder, meaning that their disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured. For chronic sufferers, addiction is a progressive, relapsing disease that requires intensive treatments and continuing aftercare, monitoring, and support to manage recovery.

You may find Dr. Thomas Britton’s full article, “Releasing Stigma’s Grip,” here. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse disorder, do not let shame or judgment impede pursuit of treatment. To get your or your loved one’s life back on track, learn more about treatment options at RecoverGateway.org.

 

Gateway Names Thomas Britton as New President and CEO

Thomas P. Britton, President and CEO, Effective May 13, 2015, Gateway Treatment Centers

Thomas P. Britton, President and CEO, Effective May 13, 2015, Gateway Treatment Centers

Chicago-based Gateway Foundation, Inc. announces today that its Board of Directors named Dr. Thomas P. Britton as the company’s next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective May 13, 2015. Britton, (45) replaces outgoing President and CEO Michael J. Darcy (66), whose retirement was announced in July 2014.

“From the start, we knew finding a replacement for a CEO who had demonstrated exemplary leadership for three decades would not be an easy task,” says Glenn Baer Huebner, Chair of the Board, Gateway Foundation. “Our search was intense yet ultimately gave us the privilege of meeting a number of exceptionally talented individuals. In the end, the board concluded that Dr. Britton is the best person to propel Gateway’s strategic growth and maintain our strong reputation for delivering quality addiction treatment services in a variety of settings, thanks to his requisite drive, clinical expertise and demonstrated business acumen,” adds Huebner. Read More>

Confident in the board of director’s choice, current CEO Michael J. Darcy retiring on June 30, 2015, states, “I look forward to assisting Tom in making a successful transition into his role with Gateway. I’m confident his skillset and commitment to the field of addiction treatment will further the mission and strategic plans of Gateway Foundation.”

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For more information about Gateway Foundation, visit RecoverGateway.org.

Gateway Foundation Announces CEO Michael Darcy Retiring in June 2015

Global Recruiting firm Korn Ferry Engaged to Lead Executive Search

gateway foundation, michael darcy

Michael J. Darcy
President and CEO Gateway Foundation

Chicago-based Gateway Foundation, Inc. announces today Michael J. Darcy has decided to retire on June 30, 2015, and has engaged global executive search firm Korn Ferry to recruit its future President and CEO.

“We will always be grateful for Michael Darcy’s dedication to fostering a client-centered collaborative culture that will serve our organization for years to come,” explains Glenn Baer Huebner, Chairman of the Board, Gateway Foundation. “Under Michael Darcy’s leadership, Gateway has expanded its footprint throughout Illinois and into Delaware to ensure individuals have access to affordable, quality substance abuse treatment programs. Likewise, delivering specialized addiction treatment programs in correctional settings has resulted in reduced recidivism and safer communities in states like Missouri, New Jersey and Texas.”

Darcy, age 65, is retiring after nearly 30 years at Gateway’s helm, which caps a remarkable 46-year career at the non-profit organization that’s dedicated to offering hope and second chances to individuals and their families. Mr. Darcy has led Gateway’s evolution to a state-of-the-art substance abuse treatment provider and strengthened its market position with strategic expansion.

“Deservedly so, Michael will be long remembered for pushing the envelope in the field of addiction treatment and advocating for advancements such as the use of evidence-based practices to modernize patient care,” adds Glenn Baer Huebner.

Savvy executives with the fortitude to fulfill Gateway’s noble mission are encouraged to contact Korn Ferry’s Chicago office.

For more information about Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers visit RecoverGateway.org

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