What are Designer Drugs or “Street Drugs?”

designer drugsDesigner drugs, also referred to as synthetic drugs or street drugs, are produced by altering the chemistry of existing illegal substances. Made by street chemists, designer drugs can vary greatly in terms of strength and purity. Often times, these drugs may contain agents that are highly poisonous such as liquid laundry bleach.

Because of the great variation of ingredients, the street names can vary from batch to batch. Due to unlicensed and untrained amateurs creating these drugs, they can be extremely dangerous. In many cases, these altered drugs are far more dangerous and powerful than the original illegal substance.

WHAT’S SO “DESIGNER” ABOUT THESE DRUGS?

These drugs are “designed” to sidestep laws against controlled substances. Before designer drugs came along, drug laws were specific. Drugs like Heroin, amphetamines, Valium and other drugs were put on a list in The Controlled Substances Act, created by the Federal Government. Substances on this list were explicitly banned by law.

Street chemists who originated designer drugs knew that, by switching base ingredients or otherwise tinkering with the chemical structure of drugs in the lab, they could create entirely new chemicals – or drugs, different enough from controlled substances that they wouldn’t violate the law, yet close enough to produce many of the same effects as the original drug.

Common physical symptoms among users of designer drugs include:

 – Increased heart rate  – Total paralysis
 – Clenched teeth – Chills and sweating
 – Blurred vision – Dehydration and heat exhaustion
 – Uncontrolled tremors  – Seizures
 – Anorexia  – Nausea and vomiting
 – Respiratory depression – Death
 – Permanent brain damage

To learn more about synthetic drugs, visit RecoverGateway.org/Synthetic-Drugs

If you or a loved one is struggling with designer drug use, Gateway can help. Visit RecoverGateway.org to learn more.

Gateway CEU Trainings to Enhance Heroin Overdose Prevention Awareness

heroin overdose, gateway treatment centers, naloxone, free ceu trainingGateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment will host two expert-led webinars in November regarding the importance of expanding Narcan® or Naloxone-friendly zones to help remedy the heartbreaking heroin overdose trend in Illinois. Healthcare professionals may earn 1 continuing education credit compliments of Gateway while increasing knowledge surrounding heroin abuse via online trainings offered Thursday, Nov. 13 and Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

According to The Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, the most severe heroin problem in the nation as measured by emergency room visits resides in the suburbs of Chicagoland. In 2010, Chicago metropolitan hospitals recorded 24,360 admissions related to heroin—the most in the nation.

“We have an unprecedented heroin problem here in Illinois, which calls for exceptional vigilance and a concerted community-wide response. Arming first responders with Naloxone has proven to save lives in areas hit hard by heroin, like DuPage County, so we must continue awareness efforts in order to expand Naloxone-friendly zones in Illinois,” explains Carl Scroggins, Program Supervisor, Gateway Treatment Centers.

Led by Carl Scroggins, Gateway’s resident expert on overdose prevention, participants will learn valuable information about heroin abuse and overdose prevention, including physiological effects of opioid/heroin abuse and steps healthcare providers and families can take to implement overdose prevention strategies. Healthcare professionals logged on for the entire duration of the 1-hour training will earn 1 continuing education credit—courtesy of Gateway Treatment Centers.

To sign up for a webinar, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Training. For resources about heroin abuse, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Heroin.

 

Gateway Provides Addiction Treatment Resources at Recovery Walk Celebrating National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month, Gateway Treatment Centers, GAteway Alcohol & Drug TreatmentIn celebration of National Recovery Month, the Governors State University Addictions Studies Alumni Club sponsored their third annual Walk for Recovery on Saturday, September 20, 2014 in University Park, Illinois. Each year, this walk honors individuals recovering or seeking recovery and celebrates the treatment providers committed to helping them.

This free community event featured a two to three mile walk, an addiction treatment resource fair, and guest speakers, Peter Palanca, Executive Vice President and COO of  Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC, Inc.), Mark Sanders, CEO, On the Mark Consulting, and Comedian Jay Washington.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers participated in the resource fair providing valuable addiction treatment information including our What’s a Parent to Do? Resource guide that helps parents understand the complexities surrounding adolescent drug and alcohol use. Download our free Parent Guide or view other addiction treatment resources at RecoverGateway.org/Resources.

Gateway’s Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in St. Louis Metro East Celebrates Its 1st Anniversary

Alcohol And Drug Rehab st. louis metro east, swansea

Gateway Swansea
1 Bronze Pointe
Swansea, IL 62226

In honor of the first anniversary of Gateway’s Swansea treatment center, an Open House is planned on Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 11 am – 5 pm. The opening commemorates the positive impact of substance abuse treatment and recovery on local residents living throughout the St. Louis Metro East area. In September 2013, Gateway’s treatment center in Belleville moved to Swansea and was able to help 670 more adults and adolescents than the previous year get their lives back on track. Gateway Swansea officially opened on Sept. 4, 2013, and provides outpatient counseling and therapy to help adults and teens struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. Whether traveling by car or public transit, the new treatment center is conveniently located near Interstate 64 at 1 Bronze Pointe, a professional office park with plenty of free parking and accessible to Metro and bus line stops.

Light refreshments will be served while community care providers and local business leaders network with other professionals, and learn how Gateway helps adults and teens gain the tools and knowledge needed for lasting recovery. Attendees will be able to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the location and understand Gateway’s integrated approach for treating opiate and heroin addiction, which includes on-site services for administering medications such as Suboxone® and Vivitrol®.  Gateway’s substance abuse professionals will also provide an overview of the evidence-based practices, relapse prevention curriculum and family programs offered at the center.

Gateway treatment programs are personalized and based on a person’s unique background including drug use history, environment, withdrawal issues, lifestyle and co-occurring stress and mental health concerns. Gateway’s collaborative approach to treatment encourages empowerment through improved awareness and self-discovery. Treatment professionals assist individuals with exploring one’s values, setting goals, preparing for setbacks, developing a sobriety plan and building a support system . Outpatient treatment also includes: substance abuse education, group counseling utilizing evidence-based relapse prevention, individual therapy and family engagement.

The Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center in Swansea offers outpatient treatment services in the morning and evening, Monday through Friday. The center also offers a free, confidential consultation to help individuals and families understand their treatment options.  Learn more about the Swansea location and free consultation by calling 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visiting RecoverGateway.org.

Heroin Epidemic Continues. Gateway Provides Valuable Information

 

The untimely death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at age 46, as well as similar tragedies in your own community has heightened concern about heroin. Yet, Gateway Treatment Centers want to ensure you know there is a co-star in these heartbreaking stories: Driven by the powerful effects on the human brain of drugs derived from morphine, the crossing of these two drug epidemics is creating an “opioid-vortex” across the U.S. Consider these related trends:

  • prescription drugsAmericans consume 80% of opiate prescriptions produced in the world, according to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.
  • Each day, about 45 deaths are recorded from prescription drug overdose in the U.S.

Consequently, Gateway Treatment Centers have responded by ensuring the highest quality treatment for opioid and heroin addiction to support lasting recovery, including:

To learn more about opioid and heroin trends visit RecoverGateway.org/Heroin.

Gateway Expert Discusses Robitussin DM Abuse or “Robo-Tripping”

gateway foundation clinical director, mindfulness trainingAsk the Expert:

Dr. Phil Welches
Clinical Director, Gateway Foundation

Question:

How can you help someone who is abusing Robitussin DM in liquid and pill forms?

Answer:

Abuse of Robitussin DM is not rare, especially among teenagers but also some younger adults.  It’s sometimes called “Robo-tripping.”  The “D” in the “DM” refers to dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), and that’s what causes the “high.” Robitussin DM is available over-the-counter and it’s not very expensive.  That, along with the effects users seek, make this a high potential drug for abuse.

The effects of Robitussin DM vary a little from person to person, but commonly they include altered time perception and visual hallucinations. Signs of abuse include: anxiety, excitability, slurred speech, sweating and obvious altered perception of reality in speech content and response. For some, the effects can include relaxation or drowsiness.

Finally, as to your question, what can be done to help someone stop abusing Robitussin DM? This will depend on the person. Since the drug is over-the-counter, some mistakenly believe that it is harmless. Some individuals, when they learn the risks, are motivated to stop using it. For others, even ones who are motivated to stop, actually quitting can be a struggle.

There can be serious side effects when one uses more than the suggested amount and even for some who use the suggested amount of Robitussin DM. These side effects can include: difficulty breathing, allergic reactions (sometimes with swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat), dizziness (which can be severe), anxiety/restlessness, confusion and shallow breathing.

If the person has been using high doses fairly regularly, there can be withdrawal symptoms, much like from narcotic drugs, and these can include: restlessness, insomnia, muscle and bone aches, diarrhea and vomiting.  If the person’s addiction is severe, then the withdrawal process may need to be medically monitored as, in some cases, it can be life threatening.

From your question, I don’t know the extent of this person’s Robitussin DM use pattern: how much, how frequently and how long? If learning the risks isn’t enough to cease abuse, I recommend that you encourage him/her to be evaluated as to the most effective kind of treatment, such as outpatient drug treatment, residential substance abuse treatment or hospitalization with medical monitoring.

This person can get a free and confidential assessment at a Gateway Foundation Treatment Center by calling us at 877-505-4673. Thanks for your question and your concern for this individual.

Have a Question? Ask the Expert.

Visit RecoverGateway.org/Alumni and click on “Ask the Expert.” Fill out the short online form and your question will be submitted to one of our staff experts. If we choose your question you may see it answered on our blog.

Gateway’s Mindfulness-Based Sobriety Webinars Well-Received

gateway mindfulness webinar, mindfulness-based sobriety

Nick Turner and Phil Welches, co-authors of “Mindfulness-Based Sobriety”

As part of Gateway Foundation’s on-going efforts to enhance knowledge about substance abuse treatment, Gateway’s own Dr. Phil Welches and Nick Turner, MSW recently led two informative CE webinars covering Mindfulness-Based Sobriety.

Consequently, Gateway was able to contribute to the professional development of hundreds of professionals working in the fields of healthcare and behavioral health. Participants shared positive feedback about the CE training, such as:

Several complex ideas were presented effectively and efficiently. I’ve been reading about this stuff for a long time and these concepts usually take a whole lot of pages to get across. Great job!”

“Keeping abreast of the recent trends helps in gaining a clearer understanding of the potential we have to engage the client in an effort to effect positive changes.”

Glad to hear about Gateway using mindfulness.”

Wow, Phil and Nick did a wonderful job! I can’t believe how fast the hour went by.”

“I wish to thank you for the opportunity to hear about Mindfulness Based Sobriety. I practice ACT and am in grounded in behavior therapies so this was very interesting.”

To view a recorded version of the Mindfulness-Based Sobriety webinar and download the presentation, click here. To keep up on industry news and future webinars, sign up for Today’s Resource e-newsletter.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment is Different…Find Out Why

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment CentersWhen someone chooses Gateway  Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers, our team of clinical professionals strives to ensure each person is treated with respect and feels empowered to turn their lives around. We don’t fixate about the past rather we look ahead to what life can be like in recovery, a life that is truly worth living.

At Gateway, shame dissipates and motivation appears. Families heal and reunite. The brave decision to manage substance abuse issues and the commitment it requires remaining sober is celebrated every day.

Here is what people who recently completed treatment at Gateway Treatment Centers have to say:

“I am truly thankful to have found my way to Gateway Chicago West. The ENTIRE staff has treated me with dignity and like a family member…they all have helped save my life!  I sincerely hope that anybody who needs help with substance abuse finds their way to Gateway.  Gateway is the family helping to save me and my family.”

“I am now 120 days clean and sober after trying to quit myself the past 40 years. I would and will recommend Gateway to anyone who has a problem like I have.”

“I have had a wonderful experience at Gateway, I have learned so much in the time I have spent in treatment. The program has offered me a lot of support outside the groups. I would recommend Gateway to anyone seeking help.”

Read More Success Stories

To learn more about Outpatient and Residential Treatment Programs and our free, confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Newly Renovated Lake Villa Drug Rehab Center Inspires Recovery

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment recently completed major cosmetic renovations to its residential substance abuse treatment center located in Lake Villa, IL. Built to last, the “Main House” of the beloved drug rehab center dates back to the 1920’s. Originally built as a private lakeside residence, the 45-acre estate also once was a retreat for Catholic nuns prior to Gateway Foundation’s acquisition in 1972.

Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa

Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa

Located approximately 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the Lake Villa drug treatment center is situated along the shores of the Fox Lake. The peaceful location offers men, women and adolescent males the opportunity to pursue sobriety distraction-free, surrounded by nature.

Gateway Treatment Center Lake Villa - Residential Living

Gateway Treatment Center Lake Villa – Residential Living

“We embraced the remodeling project as an opportunity to not only revitalize the atmosphere here yet also make it as convenient as possible for individuals to focus on recovery. It’s our goal for each person to walk away confident and prepared to tackle life’s challenges without the use of alcohol or drugs,” explains Patricia Ryding, Executive Director, Lake Villa.

The renovated public spaces and corridors incorporate a soothing palette in hues of tan and green with purple and gold accents. Inviting lounge areas feature new comfortable furnishings and flat screen televisions. The updates to the guest rooms include new contemporary furnishings and linens. For easier accessibility, select guest rooms were reconfigured to make way for new areas dedicated to group counseling sessions, studies, meditation and DIY laundry.

Lake Villa Drug  Treatment Facility - Group Room

Lake Villa Drug Treatment Facility – Group Room

“The response to the enhancements here at the Lake Villa drug  treatment center has been extremely positive. The development team did an incredible job of creating a relaxed atmosphere with the look and feel of a stunning resort,” says Dr. Ryding.

Gateway Foundation’s Lake Villa Treatment Center offers separate comprehensive residential programs to address the specific recovery needs of each gender. Family counseling and ongoing after-care support are built-in as part of one’s treatment program. To obtain more information or take an online tour of the Lake Villa rehab center, please visit RecoverGateway.org/LakeVilla.

What to Expect in Substance Abuse Treatment

substance abuse treatmentWith a reputation for clinical expertise, and unwavering compassion and care, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment‘s team of licensed substance abuse professionals and addiction counselors will provide the guidance and support necessary for lasting recovery. Starting with your first consultation our dedicated staff will ensure your substance abuse treatment experience is always personalized and focused on helping you or your loved one reclaim a productive, healthy life.

The First Step: Free In-Depth Consultation

Gateway provides free in-depth consultations to help determine the severity of substance use and identify the appropriate level of treatment. Each individual will have different needs based on their unique history and current substance use. This confidential consultation will help you and your loved one better understand options and next steps.

Assessment: Personalized Treatment Options

The next step is an in-depth assessment which may include establishing a health history by our nursing staff and a physician review. The assessment will confirm what level of treatment is recommended such as Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Day Treatment, Residential Treatment and Aftercare. It will also determine what therapies and counseling an individual needs to give them the most effective tools for developing a sober lifestyle.

Counseling and therapy will vary based on the needs of an individual. Gateway‘s programs are developed using an evidence-based treatment model, through which our goal is to not just stop a client’s substance abuse, but to replace dangerous behaviors with new, healthier tools and coping mechanisms. Understanding what lies beneath the addictive behavior gives each individual the best possible chance of success in the treatment process and at long-term recovery.

Counseling, Therapies and Activities May Include:

  • Individual and Family Counseling
  • Group Therapy
  • Substance Abuse Education
  •  12-Step Facilitation and 12-Step Recovery
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Dual Diagnosed/Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Therapies to explore and manage emotions in a positive way, including: art therapy, music therapy, guided imagery and journaling
  • Physical fitness activities to build strong bodies, minds and a sense of teamwork. Activities may include yoga, Pilates or recreation such as basketball, softball or volleyball

Because each person, program and Gateway Treatment Center has its unique characteristics, the counseling, therapies and activities an individual receives will be unique as well.

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