25-Year Old Woman Enjoys Life Free of Alcohol and Heroin Addiction

heroin addiction, substance abuse treatment, drug addiction treatment, drug treatment programs, “It’s really important to be aware. When see you personality changes or when someone withdrawals from you, the sooner you intervene, the better the odds you won’t lose a loved one,” explains Angela, a 25-year-old female from a suburban town in Illinois who got help for alcohol and heroin addiction following a heroin overdose.

Like many Americans who suffer with depression and anxiety, Angela abused alcohol and prescription drugs like Vicodin and benzodiazepines to escape her uncomfortable feelings and unresolved emotions, which also chipped away at her self-esteem. She eventually sought out the “ultimate high” of heroin.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry* reveals Angela’s experience is representative of a growing trend in America: Today’s typical heroin user who has sought treatment is more likely a 20-something white woman from the suburbs. Researchers have concluded that this represents a shift in the demographics of users seeking out treatment over the past few decades.

The study says that Caucasian men and women have turned to prescription pills as their drug of choice, but heroin eventually becomes more attractive to them, as it is much cheaper. According to lead study author, neuropharmacologist Theodore Cicero of Washington University, heroin use in women has rose from 20 percent in the 50s to around 52 percent of heroin users today.

Angela, who is now 73 days sober, is enjoying a very different life since first walking into a Gateway Treatment Center. No longer aching to escape reality, she’s working full-time as a cook and genuinely enjoys appeasing her diners’ hunger. When she isn’t working, Angela likes to unwind by hula hooping, creating music and hanging out with her family.

To get to a better state, Amanda’s integrated treatment for addiction and mental health issues included medication assisted treatment services that addressed withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings for opiates and alcohol. She worked with a dedicated counselor along with other substance abuse experts to create her own personalized treatment plan, one grounded in her own values and life goals. Through individual and group therapy sessions along with education about substance abuse and mental health, Amanda was able to unravel her painful past, working through haunting problems that she had buried and avoided.

“For me, the best thing about going through treatment at Gateway is I discovered the beauty I have inside me and what I have to offer the world. Treatment is all about rebuilding self-esteem,” she explains. “It’s empowering to feel confident in my abilities and positive about my future—I feel so lucky to be alive.”

Gateway Treatment Centers are located throughout the state of Illinois and offer Residential Treatment Programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs for adults and teens struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse. Call today to learn about our free, confidential consultation at (877) 505-HOPE.

*JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 28, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.366

I Need Help for an Alcohol or Drug Abuse Problem

Do you ever feel guilty following heavy drinking/drug use? Do you drink or use drugs to help you unwind after work? Have you ever thought about cutting down on your alcohol/drug consumption?

help for substnace abuse, drug problem, alcohol problemPeople often believe their alcohol/drug usage is under control until something bad happens, such as a DUI or hospitalization.

If your unhealthy habits are causing problems at home or affecting your performance at work, Gateway has the answers you need to overcome substance abuse. The dedicated staff will be with you every step, making sure you receive the treatment, guidance and support for lasting recovery. In treatment, you will learn healthier coping skills and how to confront problems in your personal life. Think about the possibilities with a fresh start.

Individual Needs Come First at Gateway

Gateway gives you the power to get your life back on track. Along the path to recovery we want every person to know that they are not alone. Our experienced team of substance abuse experts is here to provide support and guidance, every step of the way. Rest assured, or dedicated counselors and team of clinicians work hard to understand each person’s unique needs and circumstances.

Through personalized treatment, we learn the underlying causes of one’s addiction, so recovery may begin.

At Gateway Treatment Centers, we provide the most advanced treatment options, which include clinically proven evidence-based therapies. Our goal is to empower people by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to support their lasting recovery.

Learn more about Gateway’s substance abuse treatment for Men, Women and Teens.

Teen Substance Abuse Self-Test

teen drug abuseIt’s especially important for teenagers to get help for substance abuse before it gets out of control. Research shows the developing brain of teenagers is especially susceptible to irreversible damage from alcohol and drug use, including an increased risk of mental illnesses like schizophrenia and addiction issues.

If you are a teenager and have trouble controlling your drinking or drug use, here is a self-test to help you assess if you are at risk for dependency.

Please answer every question; if a question is not applicable, select ‘No.’

Yes No  
    Do you use alcohol or other drugs to build self-confidence?
    Do you ever drink or get high immediately after you have a problem at home or school?
    Have you ever missed school due to alcohol or other drugs?

Does it bother you if someone says that you use too much alcohol or other drugs?

    Have you started hanging out with a heavy drinking or drug using crowd?
    Are alcohol and other drugs affecting your reputation?
    Do you feel guilty or bummed out after using alcohol or other drugs?
    Do you feel more at ease on a date when drinking or using other drugs?
    Have you gotten into trouble at home for using alcohol and other drugs?
    Do you borrow money or “do without” other things to buy alcohol and other drugs?
    Do you feel a sense of power when you use alcohol or other drug?
    Have you lost friends since you started using alcohol or other drugs?
    Do you drink or use other drugs until your supply is all gone?
    Do you ever wake up and wonder what happened the night before?
    Have you ever been busted or hospitalized due to alcohol or use of illicit drugs?
    Do you “turn off” any studies or lectures about alcohol or illicit drug use?
    Do you think you have a problem with alcohol or other drugs?
    Has there ever been someone in your family with a drinking or other drug problem?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to three or more of these questions, you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs. For help visit recovergateway.org or to schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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