National Recovery Month: A Closer Look at Substance Abuse

Insight from Gateway Expert: Patricia Ryding

Patricia Ryding gateway lake villa

Dr. Patricia Ryding
Executive Director
Gateway Lake Villa

Did you know that nearly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 are classified has having a substance abuse or dependency problem?  At that rate, nearly 6,400 of the 64,000 Lake County community residents have a problem abusing drugs or alcohol, or both.  As you might assume, substance abuse negatively impacts those immediately around the person in need of help. In fact, the impact of substance abuse goes far beyond one’s friends and family members. Annually, thousands of dollars throughout Lake County go toward substance abuse in terms of higher costs for healthcare, the criminal justice system, welfare, taxes and in lives taken or damaged by substance abuse related violence, stealing or impaired driving.

September is National Recovery Month, and is a time I encourage you to speak openly about substance abuse and the realities around it with your family, friends and co-workers. Did you know that studies show when parents talk to their kids about the dangers of using drugs or alcohol, the message sticks? Visit RecoverGateway.org/Prevention to access a free toolkit designed to help parents start the conversation about prevention with their kids.

If you have a friend or family member that you think may be struggling with some sort of alcohol or drug abuse problem, please encourage them to get treatment. They may simply not know where to get help or what first step to take. If you aren’t sure about the first step to take, I want to share a few good places start. You may not realize it, but a Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center, located in Lake Villa provides free consultations and resources to help you better understand substance abuse and answer any questions you may have. Visit RecoverGateway.org to talk via live chat with a person who can tell you about substance abuse treatment options available in our community. This National Recovery month, so why should you wait? I urge you to talk to your friends and family about how to prevent substance abuse or get treatment if someone may need help.

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