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>

Why Consider Alcohol & Drug Treatment Around the Holidays?

$RYVHJNOMany of us like to think of the holidays as a time of family and togetherness, but when a family member is abusing alcohol or drugs, the holidays can become a time of struggle and stress.

According to Rachel Obafemi, Program Director of Adult Services at Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers in Lake Villa, stress levels tend to run high during the holidays and substance abuse becomes more prevalent. This serves to amplify negative behaviors.

“Many families who are dealing with a loved one suffering from an alcohol or drug dependency have learned to dread the holiday season,” Rachel said.

If this sounds familiar, the greatest gift an individual can receive is help understanding their options for participating in an alcohol or drug treatment program over the holidays.

 
5 Key Benefits
of Drug & Alcohol Treatment Around the Holidays

1 Temptation.The holiday atmosphere is conducive to over-indulging. This makes it more important than ever to seek the support and structure needed to remain sober.

2 Statistics.There is a higher incidence of drunk driving arrests as well as fatal accidents and overdoses during the holiday season. Being in treatment offers a safe environment.

3 Communication. Being sober facilitates healthy exchanges with family members who may have been hurt or part of a destructive cycle in the past.

4 Practical. During this time of year, many people have already met their insurance deductibles and some find it easier to take time off of work or school.

5 Reset. This may be the first of many holidays where a person has remained sober, giving them the chance to begin a new tradition of sobriety.

While it may seem harsh on the surface, a closer look reveals there are many benefits of participating in a substance abuse treatment program during the holidays.

With their loved one in treatment, families are able to find peace around the holidays.“Many families find it comforting to know their loved one is in a good place. They view their loved one’s treatment experience as as a new start and look forward to celebrating the holidays together where everyone is safe, sober and happy,” Rachel said.

For more information, visit RecoverGateway.org

Gateway’s Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center in Aurora to hold Open House Friday, Oct. 16

fox-valley-drug-rehab-centerThe Aurora facility of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers will hold an open house Friday, Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Attendees can tour Gateway’s recently-expanded facility, meet the staff and learn about the alcohol and drug treatment services it provides to the Fox Valley community.

They can also hear about Gateway’s plans for future alcohol and drug treatment programs from Dr. Thomas P. Britton, Gateway’s new President and CEO.

“People might have a loved one they’re concerned about, or they could simply be curious about our facility and what we have to offer,” Britton said. “This open house will be a chance for the community to learn more about our Gateway center in Aurora, meet our staff and get answers to whatever questions they may have about substance abuse and the treatment options available in the Fox Valley area.”

The Aurora facility, on the campus of Presence Mercy Medical Center, recently added 10 residential beds to its alcohol and drug treatment center. The expansion increases the inpatient annex to 44 residential beds, and also provides additional counseling space for outpatient treatment.

Jim Scarpace, Executive Director of the Aurora Treatment Center, said this is part of Gateway’s effort to meet the increasing demand for drug treatment, given the continuing surge in opiate addiction in the Fox Valley, Aurora and Chicago areas.

“Our goal is to help individuals get their life back on track through the use of client-centered, evidenced-based approaches in both our residential and outpatient programs. The expansion provides more convenient access to those who need drug and alcohol treatment in the Fox Valley area” Scarpace said.

The facility is located at 400 Mercy Lane, Aurora, IL. RSVPs are suggested, but not required, by calling Donna Butler at 630-966-7403 by Friday, Oct. 16. Free parking is available.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers offer a comprehensive approach to drug rehab. With 10 facilities throughout the state, including three in Chicago and two in the Chicago Suburbs, its staff creates personalized treatment plans for each client, one that treats the underlying causes of substance abuse—not just their addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Services include substance-abuse education, group and individual counseling, medical treatment of withdrawal symptoms and integrated therapy for underlying mental health concerns. Gateway also provides family counseling and education, relapse prevention and aftercare recovery support programs for teens and adults.

Dual Diagnosis in Drug Rehab is More Common than You May Think

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

4 in a Series of 4

Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers employs evidenced-based practices to create meaningful, personalized 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.

Dual Diagnosis in Drug Rehab

dual diagnosis and drug rehabThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that 80% of individuals with addiction issues have a co-occurring Axis 1 mental health issue, also known as a dual diagnosis. Axis 1 disorders include depression, mania, excessive anxiety and psychosis.

One of Gateway’s distinguishing features is the depth with which we are able to address both issues. Upon arriving at Gateway, clients are given a comprehensive assessment. Should they be found to have both a substance abuse and an Axis 1 mental health issue, they are admitted to our dual-diagnosis unit.

Treating both diagnoses simultaneously truly helps the person free themselves from a destructive cycle, which greatly enhances the likelihood of successful treatment. Gateway’s personalized drug rehab plans address each individual’s specific needs.

Another unique aspect of Gateway’s methodology is our dual diagnosis group, which is offered in inpatient treatment. Individuals in treatment may also elect to involve family and loved ones in their recovery by participating in our family group component.

It’s very important to Gateway that our systems and staff reduce the stigmas that may be attached to substance abuse or a mental health disorder. We value a shame-free approach to treatment and want people to feel like themselves; like they are thriving rather than just getting by. Given the appropriate support, knowledge and skill building, clients are able to recover.

The dual diagnosis program at Gateway is measurable, using established tools that help us to assess, reassess and continually strengthen integrated treatment within our programs. This and many other features contribute to making Gateway a recognized leader among behavioral health providers offering substance abuse treatment as well as dual diagnosis treatment.

Drug Rehab at Gateway Can Involve Medication Assisted Treatment

Expert Insight from Gilbert Lichstein, Program Director, Gateway Chicago West 3 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.

Medication Assisted Treatment drug rehab, medication assisted treatment, substance abuse treatemnt, gateway treatment centersGateways’ comprehensive alcohol and drug rehab programs incorporate the ability to provide medication assisted treatment (MAT). MAT can be a valuable tool for effectively decreasing withdrawal symptoms, reducing or eliminating cravings, assisting with detoxification, and reducing the risk of relapse.

Freedom from withdrawal symptoms enables people to begin therapy sooner than later. With their cravings under control, individuals can more easily engage in their alcohol or drug rehab program and are more likely to stay in treatment.

Gateway offers medication assisted treatment in both outpatient drug treatment and inpatient treatment programs. The medications used by Gateway are closely monitored and, the way we use them, are not addictive. Options are available to alleviate various aspects of dependency on opiates, alcohol, benzodiazepine or other substances.

We administer the minimum effective dose and discontinue the use of medications as soon as possible. As with all Gateway methodologies, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to medication assisted treatment. Clients are individually assessed for the suitability and advisability of using MAT and not all are candidates.

We discuss the options with those who are candidates and work closely with them to develop a personalized treatment plan. People are always free to decline the option to use medications. Gateway’s cutting edge use of new medications and evidence-based programming sets us apart from the norm. What we are doing is measurable, and with doctors and psychiatrists on board, our treatment has evolved into a medical model.

Is someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug use? Gateway Can Help. Don’t wait, call 800-971-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org today.

Tips for Getting Addiction Treatment Covered by Health Insurance

heatlhcare addiction treatmentGateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment urges Illinois residents—even if denied health benefits for alcohol or drug rehab in the past—to check their current healthcare plan to determine if substance abuse treatment is covered by insurance. Now that federal parity laws, Illinois Parity, and The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have all taken effect, many health plans include the same coverage benefits for treatment of mental health/substance use disorders (MH/SUD) as they do for general medical and surgical treatment.

“There are thousands of Illinois residents who need care for addiction issues and now more than ever they have access to treatment through their health insurance. Our goal is to help people understand their treatment options and their insurance benefits” says Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

Here are the top five tips Gateway provides to those seeking coverage for drug or alcohol rehab their health
plans:

1. Know Your Illinois Parity Rights: In the state of Illinois, unless an insurance plan is exempt, large employer plans are required in each calendar year to cover the following for substance use disorders:

2Understand What Insurance Plans Must Follow Federal Parity Laws:

  • Health plans sponsored by private and public sector employers with 51 or more employees including self-insured and fully insured arrangements.
  • All insurance plans sold inside and outside the state exchanges, which are available to individuals and smaller companies with 50 or fewer employees.
  • Some state and local government health plans.

3. Understand What Health Insurance Plans Do Not Have to Follow Federal Parity Laws:

  • Medicare
  • Individual plans not purchased through the health insurance marketplaces
  • Group plans with 50 or fewer employees.
  • Plans who received an exemption based on increase of costs related to parity.

4. Look for a Reputable Treatment Center: Substance Abuse Treatment is a specialty service and it’s important your Financial Counselor is an accomplished expert who can work on your behalf to gain the most from your insurance coverage.

5. Don’t Take No for an Initial Denial: If your health plan meets the criteria of state and federal parity, it’s important to realize an initial denial does not always mean no coverage is available. Knowledgeable Financial counselors may be able to obtain insurance coverage for treatment by exploring different avenues with your insurance company.

“Substance use is a treatable healthcare disorder – and people should know it is covered by insurance, similar to diabetes, hypertension and cancer.” says Michael Darcy.

To learn more about treatment options or insurance coverage for treatment related to alcohol or drug abuse, call Gateway at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Is That an Elephant in Your Exam Room?: How to Talk to Patients About Substance Abuse Treatment

As a health care professional, your role is to collaborate with patients in regards to their state of health and wellness. Together, you search for clues and evidence to either identify or rule out potential health risks and discuss strategies to enhance wellness. Understanding your patients’ lifestyles as well as details about how they manage stressors, such as career, home, family or personal set-backs, is customary during an annual health check-up. But are you adequately addressing the elephant in the exam room?

“Let’s face it talking to patients about substance abuse can be tricky. Whether real or perceived, there are disincentives for doctors to talk with their patients about substance abuse, including time constraints and our society’s aversion to awkward encounters,” says Dr. John Larson, Corporate Medical Director, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment. “Yet, skipping the topic entirely is a huge disservice to your patients who depend on you to help keep them healthy.”

Bear in mind, there are plenty of myths about substance abuse and drug rehab that actually perpetuate avoidant behavior from patients who need help remaining sober, including:

  • A person can’t be forced into treatment, and has to have the desire to change for treatment to be work.
  • Addiction treatment didn’t work in the past, so there’s no point in trying again.
  • Overcoming addiction is merely a matter of willpower. People can choose to stop using drugs if they really want to change their lives for the better.

Help Inspire Self-Directed Change in Others

To overcome misperception as well as the societal stigma of substance abuse with your patients’, it’s important to motivational interviewing, substance abuse, gateway alcohol & Drug treatment centersset a positive tone from right off the bat. Simply advising patients to change if a problem is revealed often is unrewarding and ineffective. That’s why Gateway recommends using techniques of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to promote self-directed change. In fact, a recent meta-analysis* of 72 studies found that MI outperformed traditional medical advice-giving in 80% of the studies.

To clarify, Motivational Interviewing is an open-ended, non-confrontational approach for interacting with persons who are unsure, uncommitted or ambivalent about changing. The spirit of MI, which is prioritized over technique, includes partnership, acceptance, compassion and evocation…or P.A.C.E.:

  • Partnership refers to collaborating with patients on their journey of exploration and decision-making.
  • Acceptance involves acknowledging and respecting patients’ inherent worth or ability within and as ultimate decision makers.
  • Compassion involves demonstrating commitment and behavior supportive of patients’ best interests.
  • Evocation encompasses the use of reflections, open-ended questions and non-judgmental exploration to facilitate exchanges in which patients elicit their concerns and reasons for change.

Trying to impose motivation upon patients makes it less likely they will change. Rather, it’s the role of the patient to make needed changes in MI; and your responsibility as a physician is to educate and empower your patients to make well-informed decisions that satisfy their own personal health needs.

If you know someone that could benefit from a free, confidential substance abuse consultation, encourage them to call 800-971-HOPE, or visit RecoverGateway.org.

*US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826439

Drug Rehab Expansion Advances Fox Valley Response to Heroin Epidemic

drug rehab, fox valley, gateway alcohol & drug treatment aurora

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Aurora

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers announces today it has been approved by Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to receive a $500,000 grant, which will help fund the investment surrounding a 10-bed expansion construction project at its drug rehab center located in the Aurora, IL. As heroin continues to lure a following of young adult users from the Fox Valley area, the additional capacity will help Gateway meet the escalating demand for inpatient substance abuse treatment services.

“The reality is the surge in heroin use in DuPage and Kane counties have caused a bleak “no vacancy” status quo for inpatient treatment services since providers, for the most part, have been working at full capacity. Thanks to the financial backing from DCEO, more individuals who struggle with addiction issues will have access to life-saving treatment and the kind of emotional support needed, when they are ready to get life back on track,” explains Jim Scarpace, Executive Director, Gateway Aurora.

Gateway Aurora also is an active participant in solution-minded community coalitions, which bring together elected officials, businesses leaders and concerned citizens to collaborate on strategies to address the area’s heroin problem. Thanks to unwavering support from State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) and Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14), progress has been made in alleviating vulnerabilities, educating the public and saving lives. For example, Naperville police now carry Narcan nasal spray to be administered in the event of an overdose, which has resulted in 25 lives saved in one year alone according to Chicago Tribune story published on Oct. 17, 2014.

“During my time in Congress, I have looked for ways to attack from head-on the problem of substance abuse. Healthcare providers know the best way to fight addiction is to provide in-patient treatment, like the services provided by Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers. This grant funding will go a long way in the fight against substance abuse in the Fox Valley and the surrounding area. Ten more beds at this facility mean more people will get the help they need and be on the road to recovery,” says Congressman Bill Foster.

When complete in July 2015, Gateway Aurora’s renovated inpatient annex will include a total of 44 beds, increasing client capacity by about 22 percent. The Aurora center also offers step-down services, Outpatient and Aftercare programs; please visit RecoverGateway.org/Aurora for more information.

Gateway CEO Rallies Alcohol & Drug Rehab Industry to Reach More Patients

drug rehab, industry, iadda, Gateway Treatment Centers

Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, speaking at IADDA’s annual meeting on Sept. 4, 2014, at Hilton in Lisle, Ill.

Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, urged members of the alcohol and drug rehab industry attending IADDA’s annual conference at Hilton in Lisle, Ill., on Sept. 4 2014, to focus on attracting consumers who need treatment for substance abuse  with private pay insurance. Inspired by Gateway’s own successful model of treating the insured population, Darcy explained to a packed ballroom of industry leaders that treating the insured population will help the industry fulfill its collective mission of supporting individuals who can’t afford alcohol and drug rehab.

“More than 80 percent of Americans have private health insurance. And, with the Affordable Care Act in effect, the majority of Americans now have access to treatment for substance abuse issues through their health insurance benefits. With state budgets in flux, treating the insured population will ensure future viability of the alcohol and drug rehab industry so those who may not be able to afford treatment will have access to help when they need it,” says Michael Darcy, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

As the soon-to-retire leader of one of the largest substance abuse treatment organization in the U.S., Darcy has dedicated his career to evolving treatment and expanding accessibility and recovery support throughout Illinois and beyond. Since 1968, Gateway Foundation has steadily improved its expertise and capacity, growing capabilities to treat more than 9,000 individuals daily through successful programs and treatment centers spanning five states.

“In the long run, it is best for the consumer and society at-large if America has a vibrant substance abuse treatment industry that works seamlessly with health care professionals, hospitals and insurance carriers on behalf of patients in the primary healthcare arena,” explains Darcy.

For more information about Gateway Treatment Centers and its executive leadership, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

Helping Older Adults with Substance Abuse Issues

substance abuse older adults1The professional staff at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment design innovative, effective and affordable drug rehab and alcohol treatment to serve the special needs of older adults, 55 and older and their families.

The signs of alcohol abuse and medication dependence in adults 55 and older are different from a younger person. They often drink at home alone so no one notices the severity of the substance abuse.

Many older adults or seniors are retired, so they don’t have work-related problems due to alcohol or drug abuse. They drive less, so there’s less opportunity for them to get arrested for driving under the influence

Aging, Disease and Substance Abuse

Many of the symptoms listed below are attributed to other diseases or are considered part of the aging process. However, many older adults find that once they achieve sobriety, these symptoms disappear.

Older Adult Substance Abuse Test

The following signs and symptoms are typical of older adults or seniors requiring drug rehab or alcohol treatment:

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

Yes No
Drinks alone, hidden from others.
Drinks alone, hidden from others. Makes a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner. Becomes annoyed when this ritual is disturbed.
Has lost interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure.
Drinks in spite of warning labels on prescription drugs.
Suffers from alcohol-related health problems.
Has bottles of tranquilizers on hand and takes them at the slightest sign of disturbance.
Is often intoxicated or slightly tipsy, and sometimes has slurred speech.
Suffers from tremors and shakes.
Drinks despite health problems.
Frequently expresses a wish to die
Often has the smell of liquor on his or her breath or uses mouthwash to disguise it.
Is neglecting personal appearance and gaining or losing weight.
Complains of constant sleeplessness, loss of appetite or chronic health problems that seem to have no physical cause.
Has unexplained burns or bruises and tries to hide them.
Neglects home, bills, pets, etc.
Can’t handle routine chores and paperwork without making mistakes.
Has irrational or undefined fears and delusions, or seems under unusual stress.
Seems to be losing his or her memory.
Appears to be depressed.
Has problems with urinary incontinence.
Suffers from heart arrhythmia.

Answering “yes” to 2 or more questions above may indicate a problem with alcohol or drugs.

For help or to schedule a free confidential screening, call 877-505-HOPE (877-505-4673).

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