The Importance of a Recovery Community

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For many people, leaving treatment presents a whole new set of obstacles to overcome. One way to face these obstacles is to get involved with a recovery community. A recovery community gives people the opportunity to connect with others who have shared experiences and helps them build connections with one another.

Marty Cook, director of alumni events for Gateway Foundation, started a recovery community in the northern suburbs and continues growing that community in his role at Gateway.

“I’ve had the great fortune of seeing people who didn’t know each other come to events, get to know each other, and they’re best friends,” Cook says. “They go to 12 Step meetings together, they work out, they study together, and they support each other. But that’s not possible if there’s not a concerted effort by recovery groups or hospitals to add that extra layer of support for them.”

For younger generations, finding a support system may be even more challenging. Cook offers some insight into why a recovery community is critical for this age group.

“People get sicker sooner now,” Cook says. “Even 10, 20 years ago, people would maybe get into treatment in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, but they’re coming in in their 20s now and when you’re in your 20s, most of your friends are out on weekends, there’s not a spouse, kids, so what do you got? The social network you used to have is kind of cut off because it’s built around parties and bars and alcohol and drugs, etc.”

Following treatment, many young people feel there is nothing to do without alcohol or drugs, especially on the weekends. This can cause some people to isolate themselves and lose human connections and interactions, which can be detrimental to mental health; others may fall back into the same crowd of friends as before and start drinking or using drugs once again.

Although Gateway’s recovery events are usually open to all ages, the focus on young adults for some of these events, like the recent Chicago social on May 5, aim to connect young adults beyond specific treatment sites and beyond Gateway. Gateway’s recovery community has monthly socials in addition to a variety of other events that occur throughout the week as well as on weekends. The Lake Villa social takes place the first Saturday of every month and the Chicago social takes place every third Saturday of the month. To keep up with all recovery events, like us on Facebook and check out our event calendar.

Gateway’s recovery community is open to anyone in recovery.

“We’re not just saying ‘alumni,’ we’re saying if anybody is in recovery, come to our events. Because their experience could help us, just as our alumni can benefit from them,” Cook says. “Everybody wins.”

If you or someone you know would like to get involved with Gateway’s recovery community, please email Marty Cook at MrCook@GatewayFoundation.org.

 

 

What’s Been Going on at Gateway?

A lot of us at Gateway have been busy this past month. Running. Dressing up. Flying to warmer places. Before we get back to work this week, we’re looking back:

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On Feb. 10, Gateway Aurora Executive Director Jim Scarpace (right), LCPC, and Admissions Coordinator Nicole DeMory (left) attended the Black Bar Association (BBA) of Will County‘s Bi-Annual Barrister’s Ball. The BBA advocates for civil rights and equal access to education. The group’s event spotlighted community leaders in the county.

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A Delaware Gateway team ran in the “E-Racing the Stigma” 5K on March 3 to help raise $94,683 for atTAcK addiction, a nonprofit established to assist individuals and families affected by addiction.

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On March 6, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Dr. Teresa Garate and Project Specialist Kellie Romany attended The Kennedy Forum‘s On The Table event “Reframing Mental Health in the Media.” Images from the nonprofit Be Vocal (left) reframed representations of mental health. Speakers included WBEZ criminal justice reporter Shannon Heffernan (left) and Marine Corps Veteran Sonya Ebhotemen (right), who has used her experiences with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to become a certified peer specialist and inspirational speaker.

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This past week, Gateway executives also traveled to Pacific Grove, CA to meet our new partners at Beacon House. Beacon House Executive Director and CEO Phyllis Meagher (left) and Gateway President and CEO Tom Britton (center) also met with Moe Ammar (right), president of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

This overdose awareness day, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers aim to help reduce the stigma by participating in Overdose Awareness Day Events throughout the Chicagoland area.

Visit Gateway’s Outreach Team and Substance Abuse Treatment Experts at the Overdose Awareness Day Events Below: 

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