New Gateway outpatient center opens in Gurnee
The largest nonprofit providing drug and alcohol abuse treatment in the state is opening a new outpatient center in Gurnee that is expected to serve as many as 100 clients per day.
The new Gateway Foundation outpatient center at 222 S. Greenleaf Ave. is larger than the nonprofit's previous outpatient center in Lake Villa and it is also more centrally located.
Susan Cambria, the division president for community services, said while every patient's treatment plan is individualized, the intensive outpatient program they run means they need to be there a minimum of three days per week for at least three hours each time.Executive Director Karen Wolownik-Albert said the location allows them to be accessible to more clients, which is crucial because of how often they will need to visit the center.
Wolownik-Albert said the need for these services is strong because the heroin use isn't going away.
"Overdoses are going up despite the work being done," Wolownik-Albert said. "For some the relapse rate is as high as 85 percent. The pull of relapse is strong."
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Plano Republican, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new center Thursday and said Gateway has been a great organization for combating the heroin epidemic.
"Far too many lives are being taken by heroin and opioid abuse," said Hultgren, who represents the 14th District. "We need to do anything we can do to help them."
Hultgren said he has gotten the district community together to discuss and find solutions to the heroin epidemic. Hultgren said he is pleased that there are more first responders who have access to overdose treatment drugs like Narcan, but said that doesn't treat long-term addiction.
Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said curbing the county's drug addiction was his number one priority when he ran for office.
"We need to stop the death," Cooper said. "It is heartbreaking to talk to the family of victims."
Cooper said his office is reaching out to children in the county to talk to them about the perils of drug addiction.
Even as the heroin epidemic affects so many lives in Lake County people who abuse opioids aren't the biggest client group.
"People forget about alcohol," Cambria said, the legal substance that is abused by around half of their clients.
For more information about Gateway Foundation visit RecoverGateway.org.