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 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 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).

%d bloggers like this: