Gateway Featured in ABC News Segment: “Fentanyl deaths spike in Chicago area”

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers was featured in an ABC News segment addressing the spike in fentanyl deaths in the Chicago area. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, more than 100 deaths last year were attributed to new varieties of fentanyl.

Gateway is here to help individuals struggling with opioid addiction by offering customized treatment plans and providing highly qualified substance abuse specialists.

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Photo Credit: ABC News

 

ABC News Article: “FENTANYL DEATHS SPIKE IN CHICAGO AREA”

Chicago area public health officials are grappling with an increase in deaths due to overdoses of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

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Photo Credit: ABC News

On Monday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported a sharp increase in fentanyl-related deaths. They join officials in Will and DuPage counties who are also troubled by more overdoses related to strong new batches of fentanyl.

Now, a new FBI campaign hopes to education people about the threat.

Fentanyl is a drug commonly used for surgeries and post-operative care. The drug is in the family of opioids, which includes morphine and heroin.

At Gateway Treatment Centers in Naperville, patient service representatives take calls around the clock. Most of their concerns are opioid addiction.

“We know treatment works, but if we can’t get people to treatment it’s really hard to help them change their behavior as well as their use of medicines,” said Jim Scarpace, executive director of Gateway Aurora.

Making the heroin epidemic worse is the use of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is something that we use during surgery or during procedures,” said Dr. Steven Aks, of Stroger Hospital of Cook County. “It’s routinely used in the hospital every day. It is an ultra-potent pain medication.”

Staff at Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago also have seen increases in fentanyl overdoses – some of them fatal.

More than 100 deaths last year are attributed to new varieties of fentanyl, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“We really started seeing a big spike back in September. We had one day where we had nine victims come in at once,” Aks said.

Efforts to prevent opioid use now coming from a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The federal agencies will premiere their new documentary in the Chicago area at Westmont High School on Wednesday.

WATCH: Clips of FBI/DEA documentary about opiate addiction

However, John Roberts – whose son Billy Roberts died of a heroin overdose — worries that new, powerful illegal opioids will lead to more grieving families.

“If anybody were to take a pure dose of fentanyl, it would kill them on the spot,” Roberts said.

After Billy Roberts died seven years ago, his father started Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization (H.E.R.O).

“Until I join my little boy, I will fight this battle until that day,” Roberts said.

Treatment experts suspect those using heroin may mistake fentanyl as heroin, but the drug is much more powerful and can take several does of the antidote to revive a patient.

Anyone concerned about a loved one can now be trained and get naloxone from a pharmacy or recovery advocacy organizations.

H.E.R.O. is hosting an event on April 29 at Edwards Hospital in Naperville.

Source: ABC News

Are you concerned a loved one may be addicted to opioids? Learn more about prescription drug abuse online at RecoverGateway.org or call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers for a free consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

 

Gateway Supports Safe Passage Initiative Program

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers is part of a program called Safe Passage Initiative through the Dixon Police Department. The Safe Passage Initiative is a program that allows individuals struggling with heroin addiction to go to the police or sheriff’s department and turn over their drugs and drug equipment without fear of being arrested. Instead, the person is placed directly to treatment. As a treatment partner, Gateway has taken placements at all our northern locations. For more information on the Safe Passage Initiative Program, visit the Dixon Police Department.

News Release from the Dixon Police Department:

“Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Provides Support to Safe Passage Initiative”

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police is providing critical support and backing to the Safe Passage Initiative. This program allows heroin addicts to go to the police or sheriff’s department, turn over their drugs and drug equipment and not fear being arrested.  Instead, the person is placed directly to treatment.  This program was created by Dixon Police Chief Dan iStock_000019204232LargeLangloss and Lee County Sheriff John Simonton.  This is the second program of its kind in the country and the first in Illinois.  Since September 1, the Safe Passage Initiative has placed 56 people directly to treatment.

The program expanded March 1 to include Whiteside County.  This expansion occurred after a Law Enforcement Heroin Summit held by Lee and Whiteside County Law Enforcement Executives.  To date, five people have been placed into treatment through Whiteside County.  Bureau and Putnam counties are expected to become partners soon, and Dixon Chief Danny Langloss is working very closely with Chief Todd Barkalow of the Freeport Police Department and police chiefs from Pontiac and Dwight to create a program in their community.  Chief Langloss said, “Law enforcement agencies are eager to help people suffering from addiction.  This program has given new hope to making a positive difference in people’s lives and reducing drug usage and crime.”

The failure of the State of Illinois to pass a budget has caused significant strain on drug treatment centers across the State, several of which are partners of the Safe Passage Initiative.  Chief Langloss said, “Our treatment partners are being devastated by the State budget crisis.  Some will be forced to close their doors by the end of June if money is not released by the State.”  This money is in the form of grants and contracts the treatment centers have with the State.  One of the treatment partners is owed more than $700,000.  Chief Langloss added, “We have placed more than 15 people with this facility.  If they are forced to close their doors, it will cripple, if not destroy our program.”

Governor Rauner spoke last week at the Illinois Drug Officers Conference in East Peoria, Illinois.  Langloss was one of more than 600 people in attendance.  During his 10-minute speech, Governor Rauner stated that addiction and mental illness were the top two issues facing law enforcement.  He also said the state needs to find ways to keep violent criminals locked up while reducing the number of non-violent criminals in our jails and prisons.  Governor Rauner pledged to support law enforcement and give them the tools they need to be successful.

Lee County Sheriff John Simonton commented on the Governor’s statements: “We completely agree with Governor Rauner.  Addiction and mental illness are two of the most critical issues facing law enforcement throughout our State.  They are leading to overcrowding in our jails and prison system.  The Safe Passage Initiative was created to address this very issue, and we are seeing incredible results.”

Simonton added, “We cannot afford to have more substance abuse and mental health facilities close.  It is devastating our entire system.”

Within the past few months, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) was forced to make major cuts, laying off hundreds of treatment providers and closing a major treatment facility and several sober homes.

Rock Falls Chief Tammy Nelson said, “Illinois is being hit hard by this national heroin epidemic.  Things are only going to get worse.  We need more beds in treatment centers, not fewer.  We all recognize there is a cost to treatment, but the cost is far less than jail, prison, or emergency rooms.”  It is estimated that placing a person in jail or an emergency room is four times more costly than placing them into treatment.  This means if $25 million was put into treatment, it would have cost Illinois tax payers $100 million in jails and emergency rooms.

Recognizing the significance of this critical social issue facing communities across Illinois, ILACP President Frank Kaminski, Chief of Police of the Park Ridge Police Department, and Executive Director Ed Wojcicki of Springfield have pledged the support of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Chief Kaminski stated, “Police and sheriffs’ departments across our state must have the resources necessary to address the addiction and mental health issues we face on the streets every day.  We applaud Lee and Whiteside counties for this innovative approach.  We are aware of several other cities and counties across Illinois who are modeling approaches like this.  Our association will serve as a voice in Springfield to ensure we have the resources we need to be successful.”

Wojcicki said the Illinois Chiefs will work closely with our elected officials for a successful resolution to this crisis. “They are saving lives in Lee and Whiteside counties,” he said. “They are innovative. So we join them with our concern about the funding that treatment centers need so that all of them can be great partners in the Safe Passage Initiative.”

Source: Dixon Police Department

At Gateway Treatment Centers, we offer customized treatment plans for people who abuse heroin as well as alcohol and other drugs. Our highly qualified substance abuse specialists provide the counseling and skills people need to help rebuild positive connections, improve relationships and identify the triggers that lead to excessive, extended use of a drug like heroin.

If you know someone who is experiencing substance abuse, learn more at RecoverGateway.org or call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers for a free consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

 

 

Comprehensive Addiction Bill Passes Senate

Addictions to painkillers, heroin and alcohol are chronic diseases just like diabetes or heart disease. Up until a few weeks ago, there was no legislation authorizing much-needed funding for this health crisis.

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On March 10 2016, the Senate approved the first standalone bill to pass the Senate in years. The Comprehensive Addictions and Recovery Act, also known as CARA, authorizes funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help Americans struggling with addiction. With a near-unanimous vote, the bill moves to the House for consideration.

CARA authorizes $600 million for grants to address the national prescription, opioid and heroin addiction epidemic. Authorized funds could be used for treatment and recovery services, alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders, law enforcement initiatives and programs to prevent overdose deaths and improper prescriptions.

The National Council for Behavioral Health applauds the Senates approval of CARA. “It’s physically and emotionally crippling, wrecks families, jobs and local economies, and it takes millions of lives,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council. “The only way to attack a crisis of this magnitude is for the government, health care and law enforcement communities to attack the problem with adequate prevention, treatment and recovery services. Such an effort takes time, commitment, patience and yes, money. We are so gratified that the Senate has come to their aid.”

Seeking Help

Nearly 1 in 10 American adults and teens have a drug or alcohol dependence problem. That one person could be your neighbor, cousin, best friend or even your boss. The truth is – odds favor that someone you know is struggling with drug abuse or alcoholism.

If you know someone who is experiencing substance abuse, learn more at RecoverGateway.org or call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers for a free consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Source: http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/

 

Marijuana Update: Legalization Support and Teen Use Trending Up

From board rooms to family rooms, marijuana legalization continues to be a hot topic due largely to rapidly changing attitudes toward marijuana in the United States. According to a new 2015 Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans (58%) say marijuana use should be legal.

Young Americans have always shown the most support of any age group for making marijuana legal, but this number has grown form 20% in 1969 to 71% currently.

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Marijuana Legalization Support Trending Up: Young Americans have always shown the most support of any age group for making marijuana legal, but this number has grown from 20% in 1969 to 71% currently.

According to a new 2015 Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans (58%) say marijuana use should be legal.

To counter the hype, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers continue to carry out a marijuana awareness effort to educate affiliated professionals, as well as consumers, on why it’s important not to minimize the effects of marijuana use. With marijuana in the headlines nearly every day, it is important to separate the fact from the myths of this extremely popular drug.

Interested in learning how marijuana use impacts brain function and can lead to addiction? Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers recently published a free guide available for download at RecoverGateway.org/MarijuanaFacts.

Teen Use Trending Up

Marijuana use continues to exceed cigarette use among high school seniors. In 2015, 21.3% of high schools seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days compared with 11.4% who smoked cigarettes. In 2015, for the first time, daily cigarette use was lower than daily marijuana use. Moreover, 79.5% of high school seniors say it is easy to get marijuana.

Treatment for Marijuana Use
At Gateway Treatment Centers, we offer customized treatment plans for people who abuse marijuana as well as alcohol and other drugs. Our highly qualified substance abuse specialists provide the counseling and skills people need to help rebuild positive connections, improve relationships and identify the triggers that lead to excessive, extended use of a drug like marijuana.

If you know someone that you think may be struggling with marijuana use, visit RecoverGateway.org to access free information on prevention and treatment options in Swansea, Illinois. For a free, confidential consultation call our 24/7 helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673). With more than 45 years of experience treating teens and adults, Gateway is here to help.

Emerging Teen Drug Trends and Treatment Options

teen drug trendsKeeping teenagers drug and alcohol free can be an especially difficult challenge parents face. There are many emerging teen drug trends they need to be aware of.

For example, the heroin epidemic sweeping the country is primarily among middle and upper class 18 to 22-year-olds. Coroner officials reported there were 29 heroin-related deaths in Lake County, Illinois alone last year. With many heroin users, their first experience with drugs is a prescription pain reliever provided by their very own doctor.

Teenagers with an opioid-based prescription are three times more likely to wind up misusing these drugs after high school, according to the Michigan study. Many of them turn to heroin when prescription drugs become too expensive or unavailable.

Parents also need to watch out for the use of synthetic marijuana, a dangerous and unpredictable product that many teens believe to be a legal and “natural” alternative to real marijuana.

This includes information on the signs and symptoms of teen drug use, teen drug trends, effects of drug use on developing brains, tips for talking to your teen about drugs and alcohol.

Concerned parents can also visit RecoverGateway.org to access free information on prevention and treatment. To talk to our treatment specialists about teen drug or alcohol treatment options throughout Illinois, including Lake County, call our 24-Hour helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673). With more than 45 years of experience treating teens and adults, Gateway is here to help.

New Year’s Resolutions Can Increase your Chance of Success with Drug Rehab

new years resloutionThose who make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who don’t, according to researchers at the University of Scranton. A resolution to enter drug rehab can be an important first step towards a new and better future.

Every New Year brings a significant increase in people accessing drug rehab, so anyone resolving to break free of their addiction won’t be alone, according to Gilbert Lichstein Program Director at the Chicago West facility of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers.

“One of the best predictors for success in treatment is one’s readiness to change.  Committing to change, like making a New Year’s resolution, means you’re more likely to succeed,” Lichstein said.

Setting specific goals can increase the chance of a New Year’s resolution succeeding: simply resolving to lose weight is not as effective as deciding to exercise a set number of days each week. Those looking to break free of addiction can increase their chance of success by resolving to enter a drug rehab program in January of the New Year.

Enlisting the support of friends and family members can also help a New Year’s resolution succeed.

“Many people will spend the holidays with their friends and loved ones. This is a great opportunity to share your resolution with them and rally their support,” Lichstein said. “If a drugs and alcohol have isolated you from those you care about, treatment can put you on the path to reconnect with them.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drugs, visit recovergateway.org or call 877-505-4673 to learn more about treatment options, insurance coverage, and Gateway’s free, confidential consultation.

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>

Recovery Story: Treatment Enables Victory over Drug Abuse

recovery-drug-abuse“Partying” was getting the best of Everett G., who had been abusing alcohol and crack cocaine for about 20 years. Over those years, he repeatedly let down his father, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews and damaged his relationships with his children and their mother. By the time his second child was born, the toll his abuse was taking became obvious to him.

Everett compares his experiences with cocaine and alcohol to being in a boxing ring, fighting a 12-foot monster. “I’m in the ring and I’m not even swinging any more – just taking punches. And I’m wondering why nobody threw in the towel, why nobody’s helping me. I turn around and look in my corner and I notice there’s nobody there, nobody at the fight with me. On December 10, 2013, I had the bright idea to get out of the ring.”

A staff member at Jackson Park Hospital recommended Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers to Everett and then his union steward and EAP representative at work helped him get into a program. Over the course of his alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, Everett had been in and out of six different treatment facilities.

“Participating in treatment at Gateway was one of the best experiences of my life. I knew I needed help again and I’m glad I went to Gateway,” Everett said.

As consequence of abusing drugs, Everett had closed himself off emotionally and spiritually, losing his connection with principles and his spiritual side. He believed he could lead a sober life if he could reconnect to his spiritual life. He explained, “I know the enemy is the disease and once it isolates me, it’s got me. Once I connect through the love and the people, it’s hard to go outside the lines and drink and use drugs again.” He said at Gateway, he felt a level of love he had never experienced before, but also points out that he was ready to receive that love.

Everett said that Paul, the director of the men’s unit at Gateway Chicago West, was especially influential and that he paid attention to every individual in the program. “His heart was in it and he helped me everywhere he could. I could go to him for anything,” Everett said, adding “Everyone was so approachable and I could go to anyone with a problem. The level of caring is just over the top.”

Everett said the coping skills he learned at Gateway prepared him for the “boxing match” he was going to have for the rest of his life. During his treatment, Everett discovered the best way to prepare for the fight was to stay out of the ring, or “stay away from people, places and things” that can bring you down. He pointed out that sometimes the fight comes to you, and compared his newly acquired coping skills to learning how to uppercut, jab and dodge to win the match.

Everett’s initial inpatient treatment program extended to 60 days and he’s grateful for Gateway’s help in working with his health insurance company to obtain the additional time in treatment he needed. Following his program, he went to a halfway house where he met people who were instrumental to his success on the second portion of his recovery journey. He chose to participate in both intensive outpatient (IOP) and basic outpatient (BOP) programs at Gateway. “The aftercare programs set Gateway Chicago West apart from anywhere else I went. The programs are there for you when you need the support” Everett said.

Everett sees staying connected as essential to his continued sobriety, participating in the Alumni Program and chairing its Leadership Program, through which he reaches out to people who are fresh from treatment to see how they’re doing and give them a sense of hope. He believes maintaining the friendships he made during treatment and making new connections is a great addition to his life. “My new friends understand what I’m going through in a way that people who are not in recovery cannot.” he explained.

Everett offers his interpretation of the significance of Gateway’s name. “They’re saying, ‘walk through this door and change your life.’  They provide the gateway, a process to live by.”

If someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, don’t wait. Call 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org to learn about insurance coverage, treatment options, and our free, confidential consultation. 

 

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 Alcohol & Drug Treatment Introduces New Vice President of Business Development & Strategy

gateway treatment centers jodi levine

Jodi Levine
Vice President of Business Development & Strategy
Gateway Treatment Centers

Chicago-based Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers announced today that Jodi Levine has joined the organization as its Vice President of Business Development & Strategy.

“We’re excited to have Jodi as part of the Gateway team. There are opportunities we’ve not fully explored to expand and deliver our services to more of those in need of treatment,” says Gateway President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Britton. “Jodi has developed proven growth strategies, successfully negotiated managed care contracts and orchestrated key acquisitions. She brings the expertise Gateway needs to continue its growth, and brings the character and integrity to support and drive our mission.”

Levine has more than 20 years of experience developing and executing growth strategies for a diverse group of health care organizations. Most recently, she was the Vice President, Corporate Business Development in the Healthcare Compliance Solution division at Stericycle, a global medical waste disposal services firm based in Northbrook, IL.

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