Drug Abuse Treatment Center Offers Free Continuing Education Workshops

Gateway Foundation’s Lunchtime Learning Series Addresses the Opioid Epedemic

Drug abuse is a pervasive social issue that affects millions of Americans. All too often the outcome of abusing drugs and alcohol is tragic.

To help medical professionals better understand heroin and opiate abuse and treatment options available for those struggling with opiate and alcohol addiction, Gateway Foundation is hosting two different, educational webinars this October. Hear directly from Gateway Foundation’s drug abuse treatment experts and advance your understanding of these important topics.

drug abuse, CEU Training

OCTOBER LUNCHTIME LEARNING SERIES WEBINARS

Advanced Treatment for Opioid & Alcohol Dependence:
Training provides: 1 CE
Location: Online
October 10 or October 24, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The goal of this webinar is to increase your understanding of the advanced treatment options available for those struggling with opiate and alcohol abuse. As part of a comprehensive program, medication assisted treatment includes use of medicine, counseling and therapy to help individuals modify their behavior to make better lifestyle changes. Research shows that medication assisted treatment helps people remain drug and alcohol free.

You will learn: how medication can effectively address withdrawal symptoms, the benefits of Suboxone®, Vivitrol®, and other medications, and the importance of integrated treatment for successful outcomes.

Heroin & Opioid RX: Expert Insight to an Epidemic:
Training provides: 1 CE
Location: Online
October 22or October 30, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

As the consumption of one of the most highly addictive drugs continues to rise, Gateway Foundation takes a closer look at the devastating consequences of heroin abuse.

  • In the past 5 years heroin use has increased 75% (Source: SAMHSA).
  • The Illinois State Crime Commission says heroin use is an epidemic.

The goal of the webinar is to provide valuable information regarding the drugs reported on the news and seen in the ER. You will learn: trends, signs and symptoms of heroin and opiate use, the effects of heroin and opioid use on the mind and body, and the use of naloxone “the overdose drug.”

Don’t miss out. Sign up for Gateway Foundation’s FREE Lunchtime Learning Series of four webinars and earn up to 2 CEs (NAADAC, Illinois – LCSW, LSW, LCPC, LPC, Nursing).

Space is Limited. Registration only available online at RecoverGateway.org/Training

New Director to Lead Expansion of Addiction Rehab Centers

To drive the continued development of new outpatient substance abuse treatment centers throughout Illinois, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is pleased to announce the appointment of William Stoner MSW as its Executive Director of Outpatient Services.

“Currently, Gateway Foundation serves more than 10,000 people each year at nine outpatient substance abuse treatment centers located throughout Illinois. In order to meet the future demand for outpatient treatment services, we anticipate doubling our capacity and admissions over the next 5 years, and Mr. Stoner is the right person to ensure we are successful in doing so,” explains Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

With more than 15 years of management and organizational development experience, Mr. Stoner comes to Gateway Foundation from Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–All Saints in Racine, WI, where he served as Director, Outpatient Mental Health and Addiction Services. As Executive Director, he is focused on ensuring that quality treatment for alcohol dependency and drug addiction is available throughout Gateway Foundation’s outpatient treatment network. He also plays a pivotal role in rolling out new outpatient treatment centers throughout Illinois.

“In my time thus far with Gateway Foundation, the level of commitment to its mission of providing accessible, quality treatment is very apparent to me. I look forward to working with this talented team to carry on their proud heritage of helping others in need and changing lives,” says Mr. Stoner.

Mr. Stoner is an alumnus of University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. As an undergraduate, he earned a BA in Psychology and minored in Business Administration; and continued at the university to earn his Master’s degree in Social Work. Mr. Stoner is a licensed substance abuse, social worker and independent clinical supervisor.

When Addiction Takes Over

addictionIt is very important to remember that someone who abuses alcohol or drugs will continue to do so as long as the consequences of use do not outweigh the benefits. Once substance abusers experience more consequences and fewer benefits, they may begin to understand it’s time to get help.

In the meantime, do not feel obliged to cover up for another person’s habits, or make excuses about his or her behavior, that only puts you in the position of co-dependency and enabling. As much as you may want a substance abuser to get help, you can’t force an individual to get help, begging or threatening won’t work either. You can only encourage someone to consider treatment as an option. Recovery will come, only if and when the substance abuser truly decides to seek a healthier lifestyle.

If you have questions or are concerned about a friend or family member, contact Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment and let us provide you with the answers you need to take the next step.

Gateway Foundation offers a free, in-depth, confidential consultation to determine the nature and extent of your loved one’s alcohol or drug problem. Contact us today at 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

Understanding the Effects of Marijuana on Teens

effects of marijuana on teensBefore the 1960s, many Americans had never heard of marijuana, but today it is the most often used illegal drug in the United States.

Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug; it contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. It may also contain more than 400 other harmful chemicals. Marijuana’s effect on the user depends on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. THC potency has increased since the 1970s and continues to increase still.

What are the long-term effects of marijuana use?

Findings show that regular use of marijuana or THC may play a role in some kinds of cancer and in problems with the respiratory, immune and reproductive systems.

  • Cancer
    Marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations.
  • Lungs and Airways
    People who smoke marijuana often tend to develop the same kinds of breathing problems as cigarette smokers. Teens need to know that smoking marijuana can make them suffer frequent coughing, phlegm production and wheezing and they will tend to get more chest colds.
  • Immune System
    Animal studies have found that THC can damage the cells and tissues that help protect people from disease.
  • Reproductive System
    Heavy use of marijuana can affect both male and female hormones. Young men could have delayed puberty because of THC effects. Young women may find the drug disturbs their monthly cycle (ovulation and menstrual periods).

When the early effects of using marijuana fade, the user can become very sleepy. Parents should be aware of changes in their child’s behavior, although this may be difficult with teens. In addition, parents should be aware of:

  • Drug paraphernalia, including pipes and rolling papers
  • Use of incense and other deodorizers
  • Use of eye drops

Are there treatments to help marijuana users?

Yes, Gateway offers substance abuse treatment programs to help adults and adolescents that may be abusing marijuana. Gateway programs include After-School Treatment Programs for teens and adolescents so they can stay in school and, therefore, treatment won’t interrupt school progress. Residential programs are also available, if needed, that provide educational services which work in collaboration with an adolescent’s own school district to support uninterrupted academic progress.

If you have questions or are concerned about a teen or adolescent you know, contact Gateway and let us provide you with the answers you need.

Gateway offers a free, in-depth, confidential screening to determine the nature and extent of your adolescent or teenager’s alcohol or drug problem. Contact us today at 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

Al-Anon Substance Abuse Self-Test

Al-Anon/Alateen is a 12-Step, self-help support group for people whose lives are affected by the substance abuse issues of other people.

Al-Anon Substance Abuse Test

The following substance abuse test can help you determine if someone you know needs drug rehab or alcohol treatment.

Please answer every question. If a question is not applicable, select No.

Substance Abuse Self-Test

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs.

For help or to schedule a free confidential screening, call Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment‘s 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

Gateway Unites Medicine and Therapy to Treat Drug Addiction

Individuals in Alcohol and Drug Treatment See Favorable Results with Medication Assisted Therapy

medication assisted therapy, drug addiction, drug treatmentJordan never planned for his life to turn down a path of drug addiction. At a young age, his life became more difficult after a life-changing tragedy: the sudden passing of Jordan’s father. Consequently, Jordan’s family started to move from place to place and his mother began dating. Feeling abandoned, by the age of 13 Jordan began using drugs to escape his unhappiness. After years of drug experimentation, Jordan first tried heroin when he was 18-years old.

 “Once I started using heroin, there was no stopping it. Within six months, my heroin dosage multiplied by three times,” explains Jordan.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, 100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States. Lucky for Jordan, he grew tired of living the way he was before becoming a statistic.

Today, Jordan sees things much differently. After seven years of heavy drug abuse, from marijuana and crystal meth to crack and heroin, and trouble with his relationships, work and the law, he turned to the Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center in Caseyville, IL, to help him put the use of heroin and other drugs behind him. Jordan is now 20-years-old and in recovery.

Jordan chose Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment to help him with his drug addiction because of its integrated treatment approach, which includes medication assisted therapy. To manage the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when heroin use stops, Jordan was prescribed a medication called Suboxone® along with the substance abuse counseling, therapy and education he received at Gateway Foundation.

“Using Suboxone® was a tremendous help. My mind wasn’t focused on getting heroin, and it helped me through the symptoms of physical withdrawal. Getting the medicine, therapy and counseling at the same place, from the same team was both reassuring and convenient,” says Jordan.

Reducing the Likelihood for Relapse

When medication assisted treatment is part of an integrated drug treatment program, the likelihood of a person staying in treatment and remaining drug free is increased. Treatment for dependency on opiates, alcohol or other substances can include the use of a few medications, including Vivitrol® and Suboxone. Gateway physicians and clinicians work closely with individuals to help determine the most appropriate drug treatment plan for them.

“At Gateway Foundation, we educate people like Jordan in intensive outpatient and residential treatment about medication assisted treatment options because they work and save lives. We make our clients aware of their options, benefits and potential risks. As a result, we are seeing that clients are considerably more receptive to how medication assisted treatment might work in their circumstances,” explains Gateway Foundation Caseyville Executive Director Don Bushnell.

In addition to prescribed medications, counseling helps individuals increase their motivation for recovery and enhance their overall quality of life. It also helps people develop the skills they need to recognize events that may trigger their use of drugs or alcohol and how to cope with those situations in a healthy way.

For questions regarding Gateway Foundation’s integrated treatment programs, including medication assisted treatment, please call the 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org.

Gateway Foundation Talks to Teens About Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Gateway Foundation, Substance Abuse Treatment, Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Outreach Coordinator Becky Thompson and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Becky Thompson, Outreach Coordinator at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, joined high school students to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse at Schaumburg High School’s “First Music and Dance Festival” on Nov. 10, 2012. Guest speaker Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White kicked off the event. The dance also was attended by students from Hoffman Estates High School and Conant High School.

Gateway Foundation Alumni Warn Others about Synthetic Drugs

Gateway Foundation Carbondale recently took part in a panel discussion hosted by the Harrisburg Alliance Against Drug Abuse to share with concerned citizens the many risks associated with synthetic drug use.

Synthetic drugs like bath salts and synthetic marijuana or K2 are abused for their psychogenic, hallucinogenic and mood-altering effects. While bath salts are in powder form like cocaine and may be ingested, injected or snorted, K2 is normally smoked or may be rendered into a liquid and taken with food.

Jennifer Casteel, a substance abuse counselor at Gateway Foundation Carbondale, was joined by two young men who volunteered to share their experiences with bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Currently in recovery, they both completed substance abuse treatment at Gateway Foundation Carbondale. Now the young men are cautioning others to stay away from synthetic drugs.

“Bath salts and K2 can cause adverse reactions, such as: hallucinations, seizures, agitation, vomiting, paranoia, anxiety, blacking out and over-stimulation of the central nervous system,” Casteel explained.

One of the young men primarily abused bath salts. While bath salts are now illegal, they weren’t when he started using them. He could find them for legal sale at several stores in his hometown for about $50 to $80 a gram. He explained the high was extreme, but so were the lows when the drug wore off and the crash came.

“I was up three to six days with no sleep, no food, just a lot of water,” the young man said. “Bath salts really mess with your brain. You literally hate everything, including yourself. You think about suicide. And you know the only thing that will make you feel normal again is if you do more of this. And that’s how it escalates so quickly,” he shared.

For the other young man, K2 was the drug of choice. A normally laid back person, he said when he used K2 he became violent with his mother, and was led from the house in handcuffs.

An unpredictable drug, some brands of synthetic marijuana may result in a slightly mellow feeling while others may create significant psychological distress. Even within the same brand, the effects may vary from packet to packet. K2 can induce a limitless high the more a user smokes. Its effects can be up to 10 times more intense than marijuana.

With synthetic drug abuse behind them, both young men look forward to a much more promising future. One has aspirations to open a restaurant and the other intends to pursue a career as a substance abuse counselor and help others like him get their lives back on track.

Supporting Your Substance Abuse Recovery This Holiday Season

The holidays come with a lot of anticipation. You look forward to experiencing the joy, togetherness and spirit of the season, but it’s not uncommon for idealistic expectations, extra demands and stress to start to weigh you down. Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment offers some practical advice to help support your recovery and your spirit so you can take the holidays in stride.

“Think about what you can do to have a holiday you will appreciate rather than getting caught up in thoughts of what could happen during the holidays. Be mindful and aware instead of ruminating about how unpleasant the experience can be. This is an important time to practice putting less focus on others and more attention to what you can control,” says Gateway Foundation Aurora Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner.

Have a Plan

Look forward and try to anticipate what could happen but don’t get too caught up in your thoughts. Remember, plan out in advance how you want to handle potential issues so you can be mindful and aware of your response. You only can control yourself and how you respond; you cannot control others.

Family Dynamics

Even though you love them dearly, challenging family dynamics—especially around the holidays—are not uncommon. Carry your values with you, like the love you have for your family, and tell yourself, this is how I want to be when I’m around them. Think ahead to when you’re driving home from the gathering, how do you want to feel about your actions and behavior towards your loved ones?

Setting Boundaries

Placing boundaries is an important step in taking care of yourself. For instance, letting your family know ahead of time about topics of conversation that you prefer not discussing can alleviate undesirable confrontations. However, you still need to have a plan in place just in case the subject comes up. Setting a time limit on your length of stay is another boundary you can set. If you do decide to go this route, you should let your family know ahead of time so there are no surprises when you are heading out the door. Gently tell your loved ones it is in the best interest for your recovery and they should understand.

Temporary Avoidance

Maybe you need more time before you feel comfortable hanging out with your family. If you postpone, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holidays with your family next year. You should know it’s okay to feel this way, and there is actually a name for this! This is what we call a value-based avoidance. Keep in mind that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have 24-hour meetings during the holidays so you don’t have to be alone. Or you could go to a local shelter and help feed the homeless and give back to others who need support during the holidays.

“Remember, when you’re around your loved ones, it’s less about being right or winning a battle and more about your values, goals and who you want to be as a person. The best advice I can offer is to remember to be mindful by observing and responding, don’t just react,” explains Mr. Turner.

Gateway Foundation at the Southern Illinois Occupational Health and Safety Conference

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Matt Germann
Outreach Coordinator

Matt Germann, Outreach Coordinator for Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Carbondale, recently shared information on the latest drug trends, including synthetic drugs such as K2 and bath salts, at the Southern Illinois Occupational Health and Safety Conference.  The conference was sponsored by Southern Illinois Safety Council and Southern Illinois Environmental Managers Association with continued support from Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, John A. Logan College, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Pepsi and Mid America.  The conference took place on Nov. 1, 2012 at the John A. Logan College Conference Center in Carterville, IL.

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