Gateway Nursing Manager Presents on Medication-Assisted Treatment

James Blasko, nursing manager at Gateway Foundation treatment centers in Pekin, Springfield and Jacksonville, will present on Medication-Assisted Treatment at the Tazewell County Justice Center in Pekin on Thursday, June 28 from 12 to 2 p.m. The first 30 minutes will begin with a lunch, followed by Blasko’s presentation and a question and answer session. In his presentation, Blasko will review the medications and methods used to assist patients suffering with substance use disorder and how these medications address withdrawal symptoms, cravings and detoxification and ultimately save lives.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders. Gateway Foundation centers provide MAT as part of a comprehensive program that includes counseling and therapy to help individuals modify their behavior to make better lifestyle changes for long-term success.

MAT is an evidence-based treatment option proven to reduce or eliminate cravings, decrease withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.

Who is James Blasko?

After spending 16 years in the intensive care unit at a hospital, Blasko took a job with Gateway Foundation treatment center in Springfield and has been with Gateway ever since. He currently serves as the nursing manager for Gateway treatment centers in Springfield, Pekin and Jacksonville. He cites the patients, the family dynamic of the staff, the work he is doing and how many people it is helping as what he loves most about his job at Gateway.

Blasko is no stranger to MAT. He was one of the main forces behind Gateway’s initiative to offer Narcan to patients and their loved ones after treatment.

“I felt very strongly about helping our clients succeed and their families to feel a little more relief about taking them home and knowing if there was a relapse they could save their loved one’s life,” Blasko says.

Blasko’s commitment to patients goes beyond the sites’ walls. When Gateway patients cannot access the facilities in Springfield, he drives 45 minutes to Lincoln to provide it. He picks up medications from CVS and Walgreens for patients who are unable to pick them up. He also administers shots at area jails because MAT has been proven to reduce recidivism.

To learn more or attend the free event, click here.

Gateway Foundation Opens New Outpatient Treatment Center in Pekin

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is proud to announce the opening of a new outpatient treatment center providing adult and teenage alcohol and drug addiction treatment in Pekin, IL. Conveniently located at 11 South Capital near the Tazewell County Clerk’s office, the center began serving the Tazewell County community in early October. Gateway Foundation Pekin is led by Executive Director Kerry Henry.

“Outpatient addiction treatment can be a good choice for people that have a strong support system, a stable living situation and the motivation to change. Our substance abuse experts will take the necessary time to understand the specific needs of each person. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual’s substance abuse and mental health history,” explains Kerry Henry.

The outpatient treatment programs at Gateway Foundation Pekin are not one-size-fits-all, but unique treatment plans that give individuals the highest chance for successful outcomes. The programs include substance abuse education and group counseling tailored to the needs of adults and troubled teens utilizing evidence-based relapse prevention curriculums as well as individual and family counseling as needed. While in treatment, individuals will focus on improving awareness, recognizing one’s strengths and truer personal values, learning strategies to avoid or cope with high-risk situations, enhancing motivation and development of coping skills.

The new center also provides treatment for individuals that may have co-occurring mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief or relationship problems in conjunction with substance abuse issues, as well as aftercare for on-going support once treatment is completed.

The outpatient programs have Morning, After-Work and After-School Programs for adults and teens.  Adult programs are offered from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and in the evening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Teenage substance abuse treatment programs are offered in the evening from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Pekin or call (877) 505-HOPE (4673).

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