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Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Honors Red Ribbon Week in October
Date:10/21/2011

CHICAGO, Oct. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition of Red Ribbon Week, October 22-30, Gateway Foundation is elevating awareness about the fastest growing form of substance abuse in the U.S., prescription drug abuse. As the largest provider of drug and alcohol treatment in Illinois, Gateway Foundation will build upon the Red Ribbon Week anti-drug education efforts taking place in schools by reaching out to parents and community leaders with resources addressing the growing concern of prescription drug abuse.

"Over the past few years the number of individuals treated by Gateway for prescription drug abuse has nearly doubled. While many assume that mainly teens struggle with this form of addiction in our experience, prescription drug abuse is more prevalent in older adults, women and people who consume alcohol on a daily basis," explains Dr. Phil Welches, Clinical Director, Gateway Foundation. Low cost and accessibility has fueled America's prescription drug abuse frenzy. Often free and easy to find, 70 percent of teens and adults who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from a friend or relative, often without their knowledge.

The term "abuse" of prescription drugs is defined as use without medical supervision for the intentional purpose of getting high. Opioids/narcotics/pain relievers, depressants and stimulants are the categories most commonly abused.  If a person gets in the habit of abusing pharmaceuticals, bad things can happen, including:

  • Individuals who abuse depressants, including benzodiazepines, tranquilizers, barbiturates and sedatives, place themselves at risk of seizures, respiratory depression and decreased heart rate.
  • Stimulant abuse can cause high body temperature, irregular heart rate, cardiovascular system failure and fatal seizures. It can also result in hostility or feelings of paranoia.

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SOURCE Gateway Foundation Alcohol and Drug Rehab
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