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).

 

 

Gateway Embraces Solutions to Heroin Overdose Epidemic

Pictured: Sitting - Patricia Kates-Collins, Deputy Director, Division of Program Services, Illinois Department of Human Services / Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse - Standing - Carl Scroggins, Program Director, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers, Heroin

Pictured: Sitting – Patricia Kates-Collins, Deputy Director, Division of Program Services, Illinois Department of Human Services / Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Standing – Carl Scroggins, Program Director, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

To help further awareness surrounding the heroin overdose epidemic, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers participated in the first Drug Overdose Awareness Event hosted by the Illinois Department of Human Services / Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) on Aug. 26, 2014, at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Hundreds of attendees gleaned from expert presenters the physiological effects of opioid/heroin intoxication, the importance of adopting overdose prevention strategies and how to get involved with DASA Drug Overdose Prevention.

As part a concerted state-wide effort to save lives, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Program Supervisor Carl Scroggins encouraged other treatment providers to implement heroin and opioid overdose rescue strategies as Gateway has done. Scroggins stressed the importance of training to ensure that staff feel comfortable administering Naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose. He also encouraged attendees with family members who may be at risk for overdose to obtain Naloxone rescue kits and training through participating community agencies.

heroin problems, heroin overdose

According to The Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, the Chicagoland area has the nation’s most severe heroin problem as measured by 2010 emergency room visits—24,360 heroin-related admissions—in comparison, the second highest recorded number of heroin-related emergency room visits was 12,226 in New York City.

“Most fatal overdoses are unintentional. That’s why it’s so important to get Naloxone in as many of ‘right hands’ as possible because it has proven to be an extremely effective solution—with the potential to  save thousands of  precious lives. Quick access to Naloxone can mean the difference between manageable drug relapse and death,” explains Dr. John Larson, Corporate Medical Director, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers.

To help individuals recover from heroin and opioid addiction, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers rely upon a personalized, integrated substnace abuse treatment approach. To manage the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when heroin use stops, individuals under Gateway’s care have on-site access to medications like Suboxone® and Vivitrol along with substance abuse counseling, therapy and education offered at Gateway Treatment Centers.

For more facts and resources about heroin abuse and treatment options, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Heroin.

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

HEROIN ADDICTION: WHY IS HEROIN SO HARD TO QUIT?

heroin addictionFast acting, heroin quickly enters the brain, affecting the region responsible for physical dependence. Highly addictive, about 1 out of 4 people (23%) who use heroin become dependent on it. 

After repeated exposure, heroin users develop tolerance and increase their dose to achieve the desired high. Thus, the vicious cycle of heroin addiction begins.

To make matters worse, people who want to quit heroin often find themselves using again to manage withdrawal symptoms.

“Heroin users describe physical withdrawal from opiates like the worse flu one can ever imagine, multiplied by 10. They don’t sleep for days. Major anxiety in addition to horribly aching bones and muscles also are common,” explains Sally Thoren, Executive Director, Gateway Foundation Chicago West.

HEROIN RESURGENCE: DEVASTING RISKS & DERAILED DREAMS

heroin As consumption of heroin continues to escalate, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is examining the issue and the devastating consequences of abuse.

Consider these concerning heroin abuse trends:

  • Heroin production and availability has grown significantly in the past decade. Reports from the National Drug Intelligence Center highlight the larger yields in Mexico, which has resulted in purer, less expensive and more abundant heroin in U.S. markets.
  • According to Illinois Consortium of Drug Policy at Roosevelt University, in the past 5 years heroin use has increased 75%.
  • The Illinois State Crime Commission says heroin use is an epidemic.

As a result, Gateway Foundation has responded by ensuring the highest quality treatment for heroin addiction to support lasting recovery, including:

  • Providing integrated treatment using medication to address opiate withdrawal symptoms and relapse in addition to counseling and therapy.
  • On-site administration of opiate overdose antagonist, naloxone.

To provide these standards in care, Gateway Foundation has expanded its multidisciplinary clinical team, adding medical doctors and industry experts to ensure individuals experience personalized care underscored with clinical expertise and evidence-based practices.

You, too, can help Gateway Foundation address this public health concern. For more educational resources about heroin abuse, visit RecoverGateway.org/heroin.

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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