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).

 

 

Durbin Introduces Bill to Expand Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Under Medicaid

Source: http://www.durbin.senate.gov

2.29.16 – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined doctors (including those from Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers) and substance abuse treatment clients at Haymarket Center to discuss legislation he is introducing this week that will expand access to treatment for vulnerable populations who currently are not receiving the addiction care they need while the heroin and opioid prescription drug abuse epidemic continues to grow. The Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (Medicaid CARE) Act would modify the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion policy—a decades-old Medicaid policy that has had the unintended consequence of limiting treatment for our most at-risk populations.  The measure would allow more than 2,000 additional Illinois Medicaid recipients in Illinois to receive care annually.

 “Too many substance abuse centers do not qualify for Medicaid because of an outdated understanding of addiction, which restricts access to care. Less than 12 percent of Illinoisans in need of substance abuse treatment actually receive it.  That unacceptable treatment rate is hindering our ability to help these individuals turn their lives around and start curtailing this public health epidemic that’s feeding on our state’s youth,” Durbin said. “That’s why I am introducing a bill to change this outdated and ill-advised policy to ensure that patients in need of substance abuse care can get it.”

 Currently, the IMD Exclusion prohibits the use of federal Medicaid financing for care provided to most patients in residential mental health and substance use disorder residential treatment facilities larger than 16 beds. Illinois has 585 residential addiction treatment beds across 15 facilities that are larger than the 16-bed threshold and thus ineligible for Medicaid payments.

Under the Medicaid CARE Act, residential addiction treatment facilities across the nation and here in Illinois would qualify if they:

  • Provide substance use disorder treatment services;
  • Are accredited by a national agency;
  • Have less than 40 beds; and
  • Provide services to adults for up to 60 consecutive days

The legislation also establishes a new $50 million youth grant program to fund inpatient substance abuse treatment to Medicaid beneficiaries younger than 21 in underserved, high-risk and rural communities.

Durbin is introducing the Medicaid CARE Act as the Senate this week begins debate on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2015—of which Durbin is a cosponsor.  The CARA legislation authorizes grants to help states adopt a comprehensive approach to the opiate crisis that involves law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the public health system and the recovery support community

The bill would:

  • Require the establishment of a federal interagency task force to develop best practices for pain management and pain medication prescribing;
  • Require a national drug awareness campaign on the risks of opioid abuse;
  • Authorize the Justice Department, in coordination with other federal agencies like the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make grants to states, locals, and non-profits to:
    • expand education campaigns and prevention strategies to combat opiate abuse;
    • fund treatment alternatives to incarceration for addicts;
    • provide training for first responders for naloxone use;
    • make grants to help develop disposal sites for unwanted prescription drugs;
    • fund heroin and methamphetamine law enforcement task forces
    • implement medication-assisted treatment programs;
    • provide for school-based programs to support recovery from substance abuse;
    • expand education opportunities for offenders in jails or juvenile detention facilities
    • expand family-based substance abuse treatment programs, and expand services for pregnant substance abusers and those with young children;
    • support veterans treatment courts

Illinois experienced 1,652 overdose deaths in 2014 – a nearly 30 percent increase since 2010. Forty percent of those deaths were associated with heroin. Illinois is ranked number one in the nation for a decline in treatment capacity between 2007 and 2012 – and is now ranked the third worst in the country for state-funded treatment capacity.

Nationally, the number of deaths from heroin overdoses more than tripled since 2010. Yet according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, less than 12 percent of the 21.5 million Americans suffering with a substance use disorder received specialty treatment in 2014.

Durbin was joined at today’s announcement by doctors from the Haymarket Center and the Gateway Foundation.  The Haymarket Center is the largest substance use and mental health disorder treatment facility in Chicago.  Founded in 1975, it is one of the only treatment centers in the state that offers all levels of care as defined by the American Society of Addictions Medicine.  Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment was founded in 1968 and is the largest provider of substance abuse treatment in Illinois, with locations throughout the state. 

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.

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Gateway Unites Medicine and Therapy to Treat Drug Addiction

Individuals in Alcohol and Drug Treatment See Favorable Results with Medication Assisted Therapy

medication assisted therapy, drug addiction, drug treatmentJordan never planned for his life to turn down a path of drug addiction. At a young age, his life became more difficult after a life-changing tragedy: the sudden passing of Jordan’s father. Consequently, Jordan’s family started to move from place to place and his mother began dating. Feeling abandoned, by the age of 13 Jordan began using drugs to escape his unhappiness. After years of drug experimentation, Jordan first tried heroin when he was 18-years old.

 “Once I started using heroin, there was no stopping it. Within six months, my heroin dosage multiplied by three times,” explains Jordan.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, 100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States. Lucky for Jordan, he grew tired of living the way he was before becoming a statistic.

Today, Jordan sees things much differently. After seven years of heavy drug abuse, from marijuana and crystal meth to crack and heroin, and trouble with his relationships, work and the law, he turned to the Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center in Caseyville, IL, to help him put the use of heroin and other drugs behind him. Jordan is now 20-years-old and in recovery.

Jordan chose Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment to help him with his drug addiction because of its integrated treatment approach, which includes medication assisted therapy. To manage the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when heroin use stops, Jordan was prescribed a medication called Suboxone® along with the substance abuse counseling, therapy and education he received at Gateway Foundation.

“Using Suboxone® was a tremendous help. My mind wasn’t focused on getting heroin, and it helped me through the symptoms of physical withdrawal. Getting the medicine, therapy and counseling at the same place, from the same team was both reassuring and convenient,” says Jordan.

Reducing the Likelihood for Relapse

When medication assisted treatment is part of an integrated drug treatment program, the likelihood of a person staying in treatment and remaining drug free is increased. Treatment for dependency on opiates, alcohol or other substances can include the use of a few medications, including Vivitrol® and Suboxone. Gateway physicians and clinicians work closely with individuals to help determine the most appropriate drug treatment plan for them.

“At Gateway Foundation, we educate people like Jordan in intensive outpatient and residential treatment about medication assisted treatment options because they work and save lives. We make our clients aware of their options, benefits and potential risks. As a result, we are seeing that clients are considerably more receptive to how medication assisted treatment might work in their circumstances,” explains Gateway Foundation Caseyville Executive Director Don Bushnell.

In addition to prescribed medications, counseling helps individuals increase their motivation for recovery and enhance their overall quality of life. It also helps people develop the skills they need to recognize events that may trigger their use of drugs or alcohol and how to cope with those situations in a healthy way.

For questions regarding Gateway Foundation’s integrated treatment programs, including medication assisted treatment, please call the 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673) or visit RecoverGateway.org.

Illinois: In the Eye of the Heroin Storm

It is unfortunate for the residents of Illinois that heroin is so accessible here in particular—and it’s a matter of great concern to the clinical team at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

Heroin is an illegal Schedule I drug, meaning it is in the group of the most highly addictive drugs. It affects the regions of the brain responsible for producing physical dependence. Heroin is one of the most frequently reported drugs by medical examiners in drug abuse deaths. People who use heroin repeatedly develop a tolerance and consume higher doses to induce the intended high.

A 2010 study by Roosevelt University determined that the city with the highest prevalence of heroin use and associated problems in the U.S. is Chicago. The study reported that, from 2004-2008, Chicago had the most heroin-related emergency room visits per capita of any city in the U.S.—almost 50 percent more than New York City, the city with the second highest rate.

Historically an urban problem, heroin has spread into the suburbs and rural towns. Illinois police departments continue to report an increase in heroin use among adolescents in the suburbs surrounding Chicago. Most alarming, there have already been eight heroin-related deaths in Will County in 2012.

Treatment for heroin addiction is essential to overcoming the physical and emotional dependence it causes. We have more than 40 years of experience in treating heroin addiction in adults and adolescents. Heroin is the third most popular drug of choice among individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment (alcohol is first followed by marijuana).

If you have any questions about treatment programs offered at Gateway or thoughts to share, please comment below or call the toll free number for answers at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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