Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act

On August 2, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and as of January 1, 2014, the Act established a four-year pilot program in Illinois that authorizes the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis for the use of registered qualifying patients (RQPs). These patients are those who have certain specified debilitating medical conditionsand obtain state registration cards.

medical marijuanaDebilitating medical conditions include 40 chronic diseases and conditions that include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Are “medical” and “street” marijuana different?
In principle, no. Most marijuana sold in dispensaries as medicine is the same quality and carries the same health risks as marijuana sold on the street.

However, given the therapeutic interest in cannabidiol (CBD) to treat certain conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, strains with a higher than normal CBD:THC ratio have been specially bred and sold for medicinal purposes; these may be less desirable to recreational users because they have weaker psychoactive effects.

Cannabinoids in medicine
Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. In 2700 BCE, Shen Neng, Chinese Emperor and father of Chinese medicine, used cannabis as a remedy. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, also mentions cannabis. It was written in 1500 BCE and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical works known.

Two FDA-approved drugs, Dronabinol and Nabilone, contain THC and are used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting disease (extreme weight loss) caused by AIDS.

For more information about marijuana, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

Gateway Foundation Alumni Support Others in Early Recovery

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Chicago West

At Gateway Foundation Chicago West, three dedicated Alumni women are bonding with others in early recovery on a regular basis. The threesome takes turns, visiting Gateway Foundation support groups every week to share their stories and connect with women in treatment.

“I keep going to the support groups to give back to where I came from—my foundation,” says Kelli, an Alumnus who volunteers at Gateway Foundation Chicago West. “I am showing newcomers that they can do it no matter what. I encourage them to give themselves a chance and to stay strong.”

“I believe it is particularly powerful when Alumni come to talk to others in treatment. The Alumni have walked the walk. They have worked with our counselors, followed the rules and lived with 15 other women (not easy to do),” explains Gabriela Raijer, Clinical Supervisor at the Chicago West Treatment Center. “Their experience is validated by the Alumni and they can see that early recovery can lead to long-term recovery.”

Supporting others is a great way for people in recovery to enhance their own recovery efforts as well. Ms. Raijer points out that assisting others keeps individuals in recovery grounded and creates an opportunity to reconnect with counselors if needed. What’s more, visiting Gateway Foundation acts as a reminder of where they came from and how challenging it was when they were first getting into recovery.

“It is dangerous to disconnect. I have to give it, for me to keep it,” states Novi, an Alumnus who is active in leading recovery groups at Gateway Foundation Chicago West.

“About a month ago, one of our clients was walking out the door, dragging her clothes with her. Novi, a Gateway Foundation Alumnus, happened to be waiting to start the Saturday monthly Alumni meeting in the lobby when she noticed the woman leaving. Novi pulled the client to the side, told her to ‘hold on’ and next thing we know, Novi convinced the woman to stay. Novi was in the right place at the right time and I was grateful to have her here,” explains Ms. Raijer.

Concerned Your Spouse is a Functioning Alcoholic?

A functioning alcoholic is someone who can hold down a job, pursue a career or care for children while continuing with his or her alcoholism. Some can do these things successfully, but the question becomes, how well are they handling their role of spouse, parent, driver, financial manager or community volunteer while under the influence?

It’s important for someone who is a functioning alcoholic to understand the health risks for them may be just as serious as they are for someone who has a more obvious addiction to alcohol.

Take the Alcoholism Test created by Dr. Neill Neill, Ph.D., R.Psych., Author of Living with a Functioning Alcoholic: A Woman’s Survival Guide. Dr. Neill’s Alcoholism Test is designed for anyone who suspects their partner may be a functioning alcoholic.

Alcoholism Test

1. Your spouse sometimes admits to a drinking problem; quipped about being a functioning alcoholic.

Key Insight: Intuition is usually right.

2. Your spouse has lost days at work or school because of drinking. He/she has gotten into fights when drinking and lost friends due to drinking. There has been a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Key Insight: These and many other negative things begin to happen when the alcohol consumption has become a compulsion. What counts is not an isolated incident, but whether there is a pattern of such events.

3. Your spouse says he/she needs alcohol to reduce tension or stress, and a drink helps in building self-confidence.

Key Insight: Many high-functioning alcoholics have low self-esteem. The real issue is whether or not your partner has become dependent on the alcohol to overcome another mental health problem, low self-esteem.

4. Your partner often has a drink in the morning. Sometimes you find your spouse drinking alone or he/she gets drunk without meaning to. Your partner forgets what he/she did or said during the previous evening of drinking.

Key Insight: The first three statements suggest that drinking has become a compulsion and is suggestive of addictive drinking. The last item describes alcoholic blackout, again characteristic of longer-term alcohol abuse.

5. Your partner has sometimes denied drinking when he/she obviously was drinking. You know that he/she hides alcohol so others won’t see it. Your partner gets resentful, defensive and angry if anyone comments on his/her drinking.

Key Insight: Denial is the major line of defense for most problem drinkers.

6. You often worry about your partner’s drinking and lose sleep over it. You make threats that you don’t follow through on. You sometimes make excuses or cover for your spouse when he/she has been drinking.

Key Insight: Your partner may well be a functioning alcoholic, but you have become codependent. All of these behaviors do more to support his alcoholism than to remedy it.

Understanding whether or not your partner is an alcoholic is not simply a matter of counting drinks or counting answers to a questionnaire. The issue is quite complex. The Alcohol Test exercise may help you see more clearly what your unique situation really is. If you have questions about your spouse’s drinking, Gateway Foundation has the answers you need. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Gateway Foundation at (877) 505-HOPE (4673).

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Learn the signs of substance use and misuse to help recognize the problem, so you can encourage your loved one to seek treatment and recovery support services.

Physical Signs

  • Bloodshot eyes or pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appeitie or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance or personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on the breath, body or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination

Behavioral Signs

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological Signs

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity
  • Agitation or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Appearing lethargic
  • Appearing fearful, anxious or paranoid with no reason

If you are concerned about someone who may be abusing alcohol or drugs, Gateway Foundation can help. Contact Gateway to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505- HOPE (4673) or learn more about Gateway Foundation at RecoverGateway.org. Renew hope today.

What are Bath Salts?

Bath Salts contain manmade chemicals related to amphetamines that often consist of mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone, also known as substituted cathinones. The powder-like substance is described as “fake cocaine” and is consumed by snorting, injecting or smoking.

BATH SALTS MAY BE AS ADDICTIVE AS COCAINE

Bath Salts have gained popularity among recreational drug users and act in the brain like cocaine, reveals a study published by Behavioral Bran Research journal. Scientists recently tested the effect of the synthetic drug on mice using “intracranial self-stimulation” (ICSS) – a method that has been used for decades as a way to look at how drugs activate the reward circuitry in the brain, which can lead to addiction. Certain drugs increase the brain’s sensitivity to reward stimulation, which in turn makes them work harder to receive the reward. The researchers measured the mice’s wheel-spinning efforts before, during and after they receive doses of cocaine or bath salts, and they found that bath salts had the same reward potency as cocaine. These finding suggest that bath salts, although marketed until recently as a relatively benign “legal high” – could be more addictive than people may realize.

BATH SALTS SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Anxious and jittery behavior
  • Insomnia, rapid heart rate, nausea, reduced motor control, seizures
  • Severe paranoia, panic attacks, depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Erratic behavior with potential for hallucinations, violence and self-mutilation
  • Lack of appetite

Gateway Foundation offers free educational materials that highlight signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org or email ContactUs@RecoverGateway.org.

What is Synthetic Marijuana or K2?

K2 Synthetic MarijuanaK2 can be produced using chemical compounds called JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200 and CP-47,497. These compounds are structured similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and can be sprayed onto varying mixtures of dried herbs, flowers and tobacco leaves. The most common consumption method is smoking.

Gateway Foundation Shares K2 Clinical Discoveries

Individuals in substance abuse treatment at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment have confirmed the dangerous effects of K2 use, such as:

Hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety and over-activation of the central nervous system (e.g., elevated temperature, rapid heartbeat) are common. An individual who used K2 reported he felt as though his heart was pounding so intensely it would explode.

Some users report a sensation that can only be best described as a temporary paralysis of motor movement. For example, an individual reported he was so high from K2 that he could not tell if he was breathing anymore, but was clearly conscious.

Some users report significant agitation and aggression when coming off of K2 or when hey are eager for their next fix; others may not have this experience at all.

K2 users who were otherwise completely free of suicidal thoughts said they became suicidal after using K2. Users of K2 who overdosed reported blacking out, having seizures and vomiting.

Gateway Foundation offers free educational materials that highlight signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org or email ContactUs@RecoverGateway.org.

Red Ribbon Week: Growing Threat of Synthetic Drugs

As a resource and advocate for substance abuse recovery, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is working to build awareness among communities regarding the dangerous health risks associated with synthetic drug use. Banned by state and federal governments, synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts have proven to be a threat to public health and safety.

K2 and Bath SaltsIn 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to K2 and bath salts. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. To help reverse this trend, on July 10, 2012, President Obama signed a law banning more than two dozen of the most common chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

Gateway Foundation believes that communicating the dangerous and damaging effects of synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts through public awareness and education is critical. Therefore, we offer free educational materials that highlight signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as on-site presentations about current drug trends. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org or email ContactUs@RecoverGateway.org.

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).

Gateway Foundation Shares Tips on Discussing Substance Abuse with a Loved One

If you are concerned that someone you care about has a substance abuse problem, it can be extremely worrisome as well as challenging to confront the issue. In approaching a loved one with an issue with substance abuse, the key is to choose your words and moment carefully when telling him or her how you feel. Ideally, pick a time when he or she is sober and when both of you are feeling calm.Discussing Substance Abuse

  • Begin the dialog in an open, caring and supportive frame of mind. Anything less and the dialog may not go as planned.
  • Avoid a moralistic tone about substance abuse. It is better to focus on the consequences that you have observed for the person and for his or her family.
  • Plan what you are going to say. This can be an emotionally charged conversation. Script out what you’d like to say, and go over it—it will help keep you on track.

This is not the time to demand your loved one stop abusing alcohol or drugs. The goal is simply to acknowledge that you believe your loved one needs substance abuse treatment and that you can help with entering treatment.

  • State calmly that you believe drug or excessive alcohol use is occurring; provide the evidence, and what you want the person to do about it.
  • Be supportive and truly listen to his or her responses, but be firm in your course of action and refuse to argue with the person.
  • Have a definite ‘next step’ plan in mind, including a contact person at available treatment center and telephone numbers so you can proceed if he or she should agree to substance abuse treatment.

If you have questions about alcohol or drug use of someone you care about, Gateway Foundation has the answers you need. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Gateway Foundation at (877) 505-HOPE (4673).

Gateway Foundation Opens Outpatient Treatment Center in Bloomingdale

Leading Provider of Substance Abuse Treatment Expands Network 

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment BloomingdaleGateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is proud to announce the opening of a new outpatient treatment center in Bloomingdale, IL, which is now offering counseling and therapy for adults with substance abuse issues. Conveniently located at 1 Tiffany Pointe just east of Stratford Shopping Mall, the substance abuse treatment services are provided at Advance Psychiatry and Counseling under the Medical Directorship of Dr. Aqueel Khan. The new center is led by Executive Director Tracy Griffin Collander.

“I am pleased to join Gateway Foundation in providing convenient access to outpatient treatment in the western suburbs of Chicago. Gateway Foundation has a strong track record of success in treating substance abuse with use of effective, evidence-based clinical practices and more than four decades of experience in helping people thrive in recovery,” says Medical Director Dr. Aqeel Khan.

Outpatient treatment at the Gateway Foundation Bloomingdale center is offered during the evening hours for adults that have daytime responsibilities like work, childcare or school. Intensive outpatient treatment programs are offered Monday thru Thursday from 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Using an integrated approach to substance abuse treatment, Gateway Foundation’s Mindfulness-Based Sobriety outpatient program is based on two practices listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.  The new center in Bloomingdale provides treatment for individuals that may have co-occurring mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, guilt or relationship problems in conjunction with substance abuse issues, as well as aftercare for support following treatment. Adults in outpatient treatment will focus on improving awareness, quality of life issues, 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 program also includes:

  • Substance abuse education and group counseling tailored to the needs of adults utilizing an evidence-based relapse prevention curriculum;
  • Individual counseling and family counseling as needed; and
  • Treatment costs covered by most health insurance carriers.

Gateway Foundation Bloomingdale is located at 1 Tiffany Pointe in Bloomingdale; for more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org. To learn more about Gateway Foundation’s free and confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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