Safe Passage Program Hosts Recognition and Celebration Event

gold star trophy against blue background

On September 1, 2015, the Dixon Police Department in northwest Illinois launched the Safe Passage Program to help people addicted to opiates receive the proper treatment to get their lives back on track. Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers has partnered with the Dixon PD in the Safe Passage Program to help provide treatmen
t to those seeking help.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Safe Passage Program, the Dixon PD will be hosting a recognition and celebration event on Wednesday, September 21 at That Place on Palmyra in Dixon, IL. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Awards will be provided to all treatment partners, including Gateway Treatment Centers.

The Dixon, IL website describes the program:

Safe Passage – Opiate Addiction Program

Are you addicted to heroin or other opioids? Do you know someone who is?

It’s time to get help!

The Dixon Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Department have a revolutionary new policing program aimed at getting people suffering from addiction the help they need, instead of putting them in handcuffs. Lee County is changing the way they handle addicts who request help with their addiction to opiates such as Morphine, Heroin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Percocet and Percodan and Hydrocodone as found in Vicodin.

Any Lee County resident who enters the police station or sheriff’s department and asks for help with their addiction to opiates will be placed into appropriate treatment.

The Safe Passage Initiative was created to help heroin and opiate addicts get into recovery. If you need help or know someone who needs help into recovery from addiction, you just need to come to one of the stations and ask for it. We are here to help with the steps towards recovery. There will be some paperwork that needs to be completed and then you will be paired with a volunteer who will help guide you through the process. We have partnered with treatment centers to ensure that our patients receive the care and treatment they deserve—not in days or weeks, but immediately.

You can bring drugs or drug paraphernalia with you to the police or sheriff’s department. We will dispose of it for you. You will not be arrested. You will not be charged with a crime. You will not be jailed. You will be directed to treatment.

All you have to do is come to the police station or sheriff’s department and ask for help. We are here to do just that.

Source: Dixon Police Department

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

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse Highlighted During National Safety Month

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As part of National Safety Month in June, families are encouraged to learn about the dangers of prescription drug abuse—along with how these drugs are obtained.

“Prescription drug abuse often starts with a legal prescription, or from someone diverting pills from a friend or family member,” said Karen Wolownik Albert, Executive Director at Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers. “National Safety Month is a great time to remind parents and families about the issue of addiction and how it may be prevented.”

Poisonings are the leading cause of preventable deaths among 25 to 64 year olds, largely from drug overdoses and prescription opioids, according to the National Safety Council.

“Because these drugs are prescribed by a doctor, many people falsely believe they’re risk free, but prescription drugs can be just as addictive and lethal as illicit drugs bought on the street,” Albert said. “Your brain and body sees no difference between a prescription opioid like hydrocodone and street-purchased heroin.”

Young people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to prescription drug abuse and addiction. Teens prefer prescription drugs as their drug of choice, second only to marijuana, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Teen brains are not yet fully developed, and can be very sensitive to drugs and alcohol. Frequent use of drugs and alcohol may permanently alter or impair brain development.

Gateway offers these steps parents can take to reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse within their families:

  • Use medications only as prescribed or directed on the label.
  • Keep such medications in a secure and concealed location.
  • Don’t share prescriptions with a friend or family member.
  • Properly dispose of unwanted or expired prescriptions to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Local pharmacies or the police may accept unwanted medications.
  • Monitor family members for any unusual behavior if they’re taking prescription drugs, especially young people who are more susceptible to risk taking and addiction.

Warning signs of prescription drug abuse include changes in health such as sleeping habits, energy level, hygiene, appearance or weight loss. Other signs might include changes in friends, personality or a loss of interest in school or other activities.

Gateway offers a free downloadable guide to prescription drug abuse at: RecoverGateway.org/RxDrugs

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/

 

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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Congressman Bill Foster Addresses Heroin Issues in Our Community

congressman bill foster, gateway, heroin issues, illinois

Pictured (l to r): Pam Davis, Silver Cross Hospital; Larry Dunbar, Bremen Youth Center; Gloria Bloodsaw, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers; Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL11); Katheryn Wiedman, Stepping Stones; Mardi Wunderlich, Joliet Police Department; and Maria De Leon, Office of Congressman Bill Foster.

Gloria Bloodsaw, Outreach Coordinator, represented Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers at the Southwest Coalition’s holiday luncheon on December 17, 2014. Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL11) presented on the heroin use issues the Chicago suburban communities are facing.

According to Illinois Consortium of Drug Policy at Roosevelt University, in the past 5 years heroin use has increased 75 percent; and the Illinois State Crime Commission reports heroin use in Illinois is an epidemic. To enhance public awareness, Gateway offers a host of reliable resources on this dangerous drug trend at RecoverGateway.org/Heroin.

Drug Rehab Expansion Advances Fox Valley Response to Heroin Epidemic

drug rehab, fox valley, gateway alcohol & drug treatment aurora

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Aurora

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers announces today it has been approved by Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to receive a $500,000 grant, which will help fund the investment surrounding a 10-bed expansion construction project at its drug rehab center located in the Aurora, IL. As heroin continues to lure a following of young adult users from the Fox Valley area, the additional capacity will help Gateway meet the escalating demand for inpatient substance abuse treatment services.

“The reality is the surge in heroin use in DuPage and Kane counties have caused a bleak “no vacancy” status quo for inpatient treatment services since providers, for the most part, have been working at full capacity. Thanks to the financial backing from DCEO, more individuals who struggle with addiction issues will have access to life-saving treatment and the kind of emotional support needed, when they are ready to get life back on track,” explains Jim Scarpace, Executive Director, Gateway Aurora.

Gateway Aurora also is an active participant in solution-minded community coalitions, which bring together elected officials, businesses leaders and concerned citizens to collaborate on strategies to address the area’s heroin problem. Thanks to unwavering support from State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) and Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14), progress has been made in alleviating vulnerabilities, educating the public and saving lives. For example, Naperville police now carry Narcan nasal spray to be administered in the event of an overdose, which has resulted in 25 lives saved in one year alone according to Chicago Tribune story published on Oct. 17, 2014.

“During my time in Congress, I have looked for ways to attack from head-on the problem of substance abuse. Healthcare providers know the best way to fight addiction is to provide in-patient treatment, like the services provided by Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers. This grant funding will go a long way in the fight against substance abuse in the Fox Valley and the surrounding area. Ten more beds at this facility mean more people will get the help they need and be on the road to recovery,” says Congressman Bill Foster.

When complete in July 2015, Gateway Aurora’s renovated inpatient annex will include a total of 44 beds, increasing client capacity by about 22 percent. The Aurora center also offers step-down services, Outpatient and Aftercare programs; please visit RecoverGateway.org/Aurora for more information.

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.

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.

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.

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