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Finding Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment in Skokie

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Outpatient Treatment

Over the past decade, substance misuse has been steadily rising in the Chicago area — and Skokie has been no exception. It’s essential to know the recovery options available and the right next step to take if you or a loved one is struggling with substance misuse.

There are plenty of Skokie outpatient substance misuse treatment programs to choose from, which can sometimes make this significant life decision more challenging. To clarify, let’s take a closer look at how substance use and addiction impact Skokie, the benefits of outpatient treatment programs and the best options for outpatient substance misuse treatment in Skokie.

Impact of Addiction in Skokie

Skokie is receiving more and more attention as authorities recognize Cook County as a high-intensity drug trafficking area. The county represents nearly 50% of total opioid overdose deaths in Illinois, with the number of opioid overdose deaths for Cook County increasing by 87.4% within just three years. Heroin is the primary drug involved in Cook County overdose deaths, leading to over 600 per year.

Despite the risk of death, substance misuse is sadly not unusual in Skokie. Indeed, 359,199 of Cook County residents aged 12 years or older reportedly struggle with a substance use disorder.

Of the most common means of addiction, here is the number of Cook County residents who used them within a month.

  • Binge alcohol: 1,164,662
  • Marijuana: 362,348
  • Illicit drugs: 129,597

And of the total drug reports in Cook County, these were the three most frequently misused.

  1. Cannabis: 50.2%
  2. Heroin: 19.4%
  3. Cocaine: 16.6%

Heroin use within the Chicago area has been on the rise since the mid-1990s. It continues to be Chicagoland’s primary opioid of choice, while being responsible for 68% of Cook County’s opioid-related overdose deaths. However, there is a growing understanding of the connection between the recent uptick in deaths from opioid overdose and doctors’ tendency to overprescribe prescription opioids in the last decade.

Research shows that about 80% of new heroin users used non-medical pain relievers first. Concerning prescription opioid misuse, hydrocodone was the most common in the Chicago area.

It is easy to become overwhelmed when looking at the disheartening statistics of substance misuse. However, being aware of this information can make it easier to anticipate and recognize the signs of substance misuse before the issue turns into an addiction. These numbers show that those battling substance use are not alone in their fight, and with more than 20 addiction treatment centers in Skokie, there are more options than ever to begin recovery.

Factors that Affect Addiction

Some factors can make a person more prone to addiction

Although anyone can become addicted to drugs, no matter their age, gender or economic status, some factors can make a person more prone to addiction. Namely, a person’s genetics and environment impact their likelihood of abusing a substance. Some genetic traits may speed up or slow down the development of addiction. At the same time, environmental influences, such as the views your family and friends hold on drug use, may also alter the rate of an addiction’s progression.

Here are some specific variables that may put an individual more or less at risk for developing an addiction.

Family History

Some people may be more genetically predisposed to addiction based on how their brain responds to dopamine. Scientists say that between 40 and 60% of vulnerability to addiction may be due to genetics, so those with a close blood relative who had struggled with substance use are more likely to develop an addiction themselves.

Family Involvement

If family history is the genetic component of addiction, family involvement is the environmental aspect. A lack of parental supervision or strong familial bonds can increase the risk of addiction in young people. Difficult family situations in which addiction is already present may also normalize the use of drugs, adding to the likelihood of future addiction.

Early Exposure

Often a result of a lack of family involvement, early use of drugs can affect the brain’s development and speed up the process of drug addiction.

Mental Health

Because people often turn to drugs as a coping mechanism, those with a mental health disorder — such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — are more prone to developing an addiction. Unlike healthier methods of dealing with the pain of loneliness, anxiety and depression, drugs make these painful feelings worse.

Peer Pressure

Surrounding yourself with people who regularly misuse substances makes it more challenging for you to avoid becoming addicted, too. Although this problem is particularly relevant to young people, peer pressure affects everyone.

Addictiveness of the Drug

Not all drugs have the same level of addictive quality. Stimulants, such as opioid painkillers and cocaine, may speed up the development of an addiction. Injecting or smoking drugs may also hasten your path to drug dependence. But this does not mean there are no consequences for using less addictive drugs — these “light drugs” often lead to progressively harder drugs and addiction.

Though all these factors play a role in addiction, changes in the brain solidify a dependence on drugs. The repeated use of drugs physically changes neurons, nerve cells that use chemicals known as neurotransmitters to send signals in the brain.

Changes to neurons alter the way your brain registers pleasure, requiring higher doses or harder drugs to achieve the same high. The more frequently you use drugs, the more likely it is that you’ll get hooked. These changes can remain even after someone stops using drugs, so therapy and rehabilitation are often necessary to overcome a former addiction.

The importance of outpatient treatment

The Importance of Outpatient Treatment

People might discredit outpatient treatment programs, thinking they are less successful at helping prevent a relapse. But just because patients are not in a controlled environment for 24 hours per day doesn’t mean the outpatient treatment method is ineffective. On the contrary, it is an excellent option for prospective patients searching for a way to get recovery help while juggling their everyday responsibilities and family commitments.

But before deciding on an outpatient treatment program, it is crucial to consider where a prospective patient is on their recovery journey. For those with more significant accommodation needs, less of a support system at home or a higher risk of relapse, a residential treatment program may be preferable. However, those with a less severe addiction can still get sufficient treatment and continuous care from an outpatient program.

For those uncertain whether outpatient therapy is right for them or a loved one, here are the five primary advantages of outpatient substance misuse treatment.

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1. Flexible Scheduling

Often, occupational obligations or family responsibilities can prevent people from getting much-needed treatment. An outpatient treatment program solves these issues by offering a conveniently flexible therapy schedule built around a patient’s daily tasks. By opting for an outpatient treatment program, a patient can receive counseling, get medical assistance and recover, all without leaving home.

Outpatient treatment typically takes the form of routine appointments several times per week that last only a few hours, allowing patients to keep working during the day and attending family events. If a prospective patient has a hectic lifestyle, an outpatient program is probably the right fit. This format makes outpatient treatment programs especially suitable for students, working parents and those who care for family members, as they can schedule their therapy sessions around class times and other activities.

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2. Cost-Effective

Outpatient treatment programs are ideal for those looking for a more affordable alternative to inpatient treatment programs. Because outpatient program patients are not living on the treatment facility’s campus, they do not have to pay the same room and board fees as residential patients. Thanks to outpatient treatment program options, patients can expect the same quality therapy and care during the day, while paying less than they would for a residential rehab experience.

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3. Supports a Dual Diagnosis

As previously mentioned, substance misuse and mental health disorders often go hand in hand. Rehab centers that offer dual-diagnosis treatment seek to treat the person as a whole and assess patients for co-occurring mental health conditions. A dual diagnosis requires creating a custom plan for each patient’s needs and addressing any recovery obstacles specific to them.

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4. Suitable for Milder Addictions

Although outpatient treatment isn’t always a viable replacement for inpatient residential treatment, it can be a perfect fit for those with a less severe addiction. Outpatient treatment is a less intensive approach to addiction for those less prone to relapse and able to navigate the pitfalls of living outside of a guaranteed substance-free setting. Despite living apart from the treatment center, outpatient patients can count on constant access to care and the availability of experts to answer any questions, concerns or cravings that may arise during hours outside therapy.

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5. Helps Establish Healthy Habits at Home

Because outpatient treatment programs are a bit milder than inpatient treatment programs, they are ideal for post-residential treatment follow-up or relapse recovery. Less intensive outpatient programs can help patients continue building long-term habits of sobriety while living at home and staying connected with their families. Going through therapy while living at home can help patients feel less alone as they develop healthy coping mechanisms and alternative responses to cravings.

3 Types of Outpatient Treatment Programs

Within the outpatient treatment method, there are different options for those choosing the road to recovery. These varying accommodations can meet prospective patients’ work, financial and family situations, so everyone can get the help they need.

These are the top three styles of outpatient treatment.

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1. Intensive Outpatient Program

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) uses treatment sessions to provide individual, group and family therapy along with mindfulness-based training and relapse education for prevention. Because IOP treatment sessions are usually only a few hours long, this approach is perfect for someone looking to prioritize recovery while balancing a busy schedule.

An IOP focuses on clear, achievable milestones for the patient to accomplish as a measurable marker of their recovery progress. As you complete more and more accomplishments, your treatment requirements per week will decline.

Man leading discussion on group therapy

2. Continuing Care

Continuing care is the least intensive category of outpatient treatment and includes programs like alcoholism group therapy meetings. These outpatient treatment programs are excellent for those who have already gone through a more rigorous recovery program and looking to reinforce their commitment to sobriety. Continuing care therapy typically meets weekly and focuses on a specific component of recovery.

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3. Virtual Outpatient Services

Patients can now receive the same level of care they would expect in person without even leaving home.Thanks to modern technology, treatment centers can provide their patients with top-quality recovery therapies remotely through virtual outpatient services (VOP).

From individual to group therapy, VOP includes a wide variety of specialty programs. VOP is also suitable for all types of schedules because all it requires patients to do is sign up for their preferred treatment time and program, then get online at the start of their session. These aspects make VOP an ideal form of treatment for anyone in need of an extremely flexible recovery option.

What to Look for in an Outpatient Treatment Program in Skokie

Remember that recovery is possible

Outpatient treatment programs can differ in quality, as well as style. To avoid enrolling in an ineffective rehab or joining a center that cannot meet your recovery needs, do some research before agreeing to become a patient. Remember that recovery is possible, but you must choose a trustworthy facility first.

Here’s what to look for when searching for a Skokie outpatient treatment program.


Make sure that the outpatient treatment program you’re interested in meets the standards for quality care and has received accreditation. Double-check that it only employs licensed, qualified professionals to work with you on your healing journey.

Insurance Coverage

Financial worries should never get in the way of recovery, so look for a facility that will work with you to determine what your insurance policy will cover. Fortunately, the law requires all U.S. health insurance policies to cover at least part of addiction treatment costs.

Withdrawal Management

As discussed earlier, an extensive range of symptoms can accompany withdrawal, so make sure your outpatient treatment program can handle them. Look for a center that either has medical personnel on staff or partners with a local medical clinic.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Another reason to look for a recovery program that includes medical staff is to give you the option of medication-assisted treatment. This type of treatment uses both therapy and medications to help patients stay sober, which can be valuable, depending on their substance of misuse.

Dual Diagnosis

Because of the link between substance misuse and mental health disorders, find an outpatient treatment program that offers dual-diagnosis therapy and meets your psychiatric needs.

Individual Therapy

Look for an outpatient program that provides individual therapy, so you know you’ll get individualized care by talking with a therapist one-on-one about the barriers you encounter and new ways to cope.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an excellent way to build community and learn about drug addiction alongside others going through similar circumstances. Hearing their experiences and sharing yours will help everyone grow and get closer to both each other and recovery.

Family Therapy

Often, it’s impossible to fully address addiction without reconciling with family members. An outpatient treatment program that includes family therapy will let you get to the heart of addiction and make returning to your family upon completing treatment easier.

Continued Support

Addiction is a lifelong struggle, so choose an outpatient treatment center that’s going to stick by you for the long haul. Find a program that will continually check in with you, instead of abandoning you upon completion of your program.

Choose Gateway Foundation in Skokie for Outpatient Treatment

If you or a loved one is looking for Skokie outpatient substance misuse treatment, contact Gateway Foundation to ensure you receive the best care. Our intensive outpatient treatment program meets all the above requirements and then some, giving patients access to a full continuum of care, including dual-diagnosis treatment, medical attention, individual behavioral and family therapy sessions.

At Gateway Foundation, our goal is to support our patients throughout their regularly scheduled therapy sessions and beyond. We’ll stay by your side for life, so even after you’ve completed our program, you will continue to benefit from Gateway Foundation’s quality care.

Get one step closer to recovery today by calling 877-352-9566 and checking out what you can expect from outpatient treatment at Gateway Foundation.

Get in touch with Gateway Foundation