Prescription Drug Abuse and the Road to Heroin

Prescription drug abuse is a growing trend.
heroin abuse, prescription drurug treatmenway foundation, gateway alcohol and drug treatment centers, gateway alcohol and drug treatmentFollowing marijuana and alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drugs have become the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.*

The process of becoming dependent on prescription drugs can begin easily and often, innocently. “Sometimes, people don’t finish their medication and might give it away to others who appear to need it, or the person’s children or other family members may come across it,” explains Carl Scroggins, Overdose Prevention Programs Supervisor at Gateway.

Link to Heroin
Research now shows addiction to prescription opioids such as Vicodin and Oxycontin may open the door to heroin abuse. Making the transition from one to the other is frequently a matter of economics and accessibility: The cost of prescription pills is $20 to $60, while the easier to access heroin sells for $3 to $10 a bag.

In the past five years, heroin use has increased by 75 percent** No longer a predominantly urban issue, heroin abuse has mushroomed in the Chicago suburbs, Springfield and throughout Central Illinois.

Read Full Article>

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Marijuana

marijuanaIn keeping with National Safety Month this June, Gateway aims to remind everyone of the dangers of marijuana use.

The use of marijuana has become increasingly accepted and is widely considered to be safe. A closer look reveals that may not always be the case. Individuals in the Baby Boom generation are often among those who consider marijuana to be harmless. What they may not realize is, today’s pot packs a mightier punch that their “weed” did. New growing and harvesting techniques produce pot that’s about 275 percent more potent than it was even 10 years ago.

Of further concern, it’s possible that some marijuana is laced with more dangerous substances including cocaine, crack, PCP or even embalming fluid.

Many people don’t realize the use of marijuana is associated with health and developmental risks for both adults and teens. The harm is even greater in young people whose brains are still developing. Its effects may include learning and memory problems as well as IQ loss.

The long-term effects of marijuana use may include impaired learning, memory, perception and judgment. Established users can also develop difficulty speaking, listening effectively, retaining knowledge, problem solving and forming new concepts.

It’s never safe to assume that any mind-altering drug is safe to use. A little education can go a long way toward keeping your body and mind in good shape.

To learn more about the dangers of marijuana use visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

Alcoholism: Is it in Our DNA?

alcoholism dnaAre our genes responsible for whether or not we develop a problem when it comes to drinking alcohol? The answer is, “Yes and no.”

According to research, about half of the risk for alcohol use disorder, often referred to as alcoholism or alcohol abuse, can be attributed to genetics. This would explain why problem drinking seems to run in families. Further, there is no single “alcoholism gene.” As with most other diseases, multiple genes play a part in whether or not a person will develop an alcohol use disorder such as alcoholism.

Environmental factors, and gene and environmental interactions are responsible for the balance of the risk of developing alcoholism. Of course, if a person who is genetically predisposed to an alcohol abuse disorder never takes a drink, a problem would not develop.

Are you concerned about the amount of alcohol a loved one drinks? Visit RecoverGateway.org/Alcohol to learn more about moderate drinking and the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse.

Binge Drinking and the Many Degrees of Alcoholism

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in 1987, Gateway aims to increase public awareness and understanding of alcoholism and the alcohol treatment options available for individuals and families who may need help.

Gateway’s substance abuse treatment Experts Patricia Ryding, Psy.D., and Paul Getzendanner explain binge drinking and the varying degrees of alcoholism: 

People tend to think of alcoholism as an all or nothing proposition. The perception is, if you can handle your liquor you are fine, as opposed to the drinker whose life is falling apart. The reality is, alcoholism is a progressive disease with many different degrees.

binge drinking

Substance abuse expert, Gilbert Lichstein explains binge drinking and the degrees of alcoholism.

Any level of alcohol abuse presents serious dangers. Consider: 60 percent of fatal burns, drownings and homicides involve alcohol; 50 percent of sexual assaults and 40 percent of fatal car crashes involve alcohol.

A prevalent and very deceptive form of alcohol abuse disorder is the functioning alcoholic. A functioning alcoholic can hold a job, take care of the children, and otherwise fulfill his or her roles in life. This ability to manage creates a false sense of security.

The question becomes first, “How well are they really doing these things?” and second, “How long can they keep it up?” It’s safe to say, any form of alcoholism eventually catches up, taking a toll on a person’s body that includes making changes to the brain.

Binge drinking presents another serious aspect of alcohol abuse…Read Full Article> 

To learn more about treatment options for alcoholism , or our free consultation, call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers today at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org

Gateway Expert Comments on Powdered Alcohol or ‘Palcohol’

powdered alcohol, palcoholA Columbia Chronicle article states that “While powdered alcohol could conceivably be sold in Chicago this summer, legislators, mirroring the concerns of health professionals, are working to keep this from happening. The state legislature is considering  a bill that would make its use a crime.

Gateway’s Substance Abuse Treatment Expert, Paul Getzendanner comments on powdered alcohol:

“The risks so clearly outweigh the benefits,” said Paul Getzendanner, program director for Gateway Foundation, an alcohol and drug treatment center in Chicago. “The creator of Palcohol says that you can take it camping because it is lighter, which is a limited need and catered to a very specific audience.”

Getzendanner said, “The sale and invention of alcohol is another way for distributors to profit off an idea and that the product is targeted to underage drinkers.”

View Full Article from the Columbia Chronicle

Source: Columbia College, Columbia Chronicle

Effective Alcoholism Treatment

The differences between support groups and treatment programs

Paul Getzendanner, JD, LCSW, CADC
Program Director for Gateway’s Chicago West and River North Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. gateway provides personalized treatment based on the extent and nature of a person's alcohol abuse.

No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. gateway provides personalized treatment based on the extent and nature of a person’s alcohol abuse.

Oftentimes people aren’t clear about the difference between 12-step programs, offered by groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and treatment programs, which are what Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers provides.

The primary difference between the two is that Alcoholics Anonymous essentially provides a support group as opposed to an integrated treatment program. The distinction between support and treatment is an important one to make.

How does a support group work?

12-step support groups provide people a roadmap to sobriety, with steps that everyone is expected to complete in the same manner. It’s more of a one-size-fits-all solution. Alcoholics Anonymous is a peer-based group, where members of the group encourage each other and provide guidance based on their own experience.

How does treatment work?

At Gateway, alcoholism treatment is evidence-based and flexible. It is provided by professionals who are trained, educated, licensed and accredited and who specialize in substance abuse counseling. We seek out current information and will try new things based on what research tells us is proven to work. This is a key factor that distinguishes us from 12-step support programs as well as the vast majority of treatment providers.

Gateway’s treatment programs are personalized, using what evidence tells us will work for each particular person. We assess and diagnose individuals, collaborate with them and devise a treatment plan that will meet their needs.

Among the resources we use in alcoholism treatment are dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, psychotherapy, art therapy and our own mindfulness based sobriety curriculum. Our programs also treat co-occurring disorders that include depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Treatment and Support Groups Working Together

Gateway supports involvement in 12-step programs and, as part of our therapy, introduces clients to the concept, hosts meetings for them to attend as part of their therapy, and recommends that patients take part in Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar 12-step offering following discharge.

12-step support groups play a valuable role in alcoholism treatment and many people are helped by them. Gateway believes the most benefit can be derived from experiencing both evidenced-based treatment and support.

To learn more about treatment options for alcoholism, or our free consultation, call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers today at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit Recovergateway.org

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).

Gateway Chicago River North Provides Lifetime Addiction Recovery Support

Gateway Chicago River North

Gateway Chicago River North
Located at 444 N. Orleans, near the Merchandise Mart, our center offers easy access to parking and public transportation
(Metra and CTA)
Merchandise Mart (Brown Line, Purple Line)
Clark/Lake (Blue Line subway)
Clinton/Lake (Green Line, Pink Line)
State/Grand (Red Line subway)

Fresh out of treatment, life in early recovery is bombarded with change. To help our former clients remain firmly grounded in addiction recovery, Gateway Chicago River North provides structured ongoing support and sober fun at no additional cost through our Alumni Program.

Our Alumni Support Specialist, Taylor Evers, is dedicated to ensuring former clients have access to fellowship and resources for lasting recovery. The Alumni Program meets the last Wednesday of every month at our River North Treatment Center from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Gateway’s River North center is located near the Merchandise Mart and is easily accessible via public transportation. Our Outpatient Treatment Programs are offered in the evening to accommodate the schedules of busy, working adult men and women.

For questions about Gateway Chicago River North’s Alumni Recovery Support Programs, contact Taylor Evers at tlevers@gatewayfoundation.org.

To learn more about treatment options at Gateway Chicago River North, visit Recovergateway.org/ChicagoRiverNorth.

Gateway Springfield Celebrates Outpatient Program Graduates

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Springfield

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Springfield

On Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 a celebration was held for those graduating from Gateway Springfield’s Outpatient Drug Treatment Program. Over 140 individuals including 43 graduates attended the ceremony at Secret Recipes Reception Center in Springfield. The staff at Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment wishes all graduates serenity as they continue down the path of recovery.

Gateway Caseyville Supports St. Louis Metro East Community

Gateway Caseyville

Gateway Caseyville

This holiday season, Gateway’s St. Louis Metro East Inpatient drug treatment center held its fifth annual food drive for the Caseyville Food Pantry.  Gateway Treatment Centers are committed to giving back and are proud to support the St. Louis Metro East community. Canned food donations from Gateway Staff were collected and delivered to the pantry by Gateway’s MaryBeth Reinger. The pantry is located at 119 W. Lincoln Ave., Caseyville IL 62232, and is run by the Caseyville United Methodist Church in conjunction with St. Stephen Catholic Church in Caseyville. The pantry was able to serve approximately 300 families and 1,000 individuals in 2014.

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