Gateway Foundation— Aurora in Aurora, IL

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Overall Rating

(3.5 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
400 Mercy Lane
Aurora IL 60506

Gateway Foundation— Aurora Philosophy

Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness. A life that is productive, socially responsible, and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the U.S. specializing in substance use disorders for men, women, adolescents, and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders. Gateway's professional clinicians support over 6000 people a day to successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan to treat the underlying causes of substance use disorder —not just their addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Areas of Specialization

  • Intensive Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Treatment
    In an Intensive Outpatient treatment program, individuals participate in group and family counseling sessions several times per week, as well as one-on-one counseling sessions with their primary counselor. Treatment is usually four sessions per week that are three hours each, based on an individual's needs.

  • Dual Diagnosis Program
    Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose because of the complexity of symptoms. There are many possible combinations of dual diagnoses, which means there are many possible symptoms. Today, addiction and psychiatric health are viewed more as part of a continuum, and clinicians are specially trained to deal with patients who have a co-occurring disorder. We are certified as one of the only dual diagnosis rehab centers in the Midwest

Facility Highlights

Insurance Accepted

Individual & Family Counseling

Group Therapy

Meet the Staff

Dr. Thomas Britton

President & CEO

Photo of Dr. Thomas Britton

Dr. Thomas Britton began his career in behavioral health as a counselor where he developed a passion for effectively treating individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. For more than twenty years, Dr. Britton has been dedicated to helping others through various roles as a therapist, crisis worker, educator, clinical supervisor, executive director and most recently president for a division of Acadia Health Care. Dr. Britton believes strongly in the power of recovery, so much that in 2006, he founded a North Carolina organization that advocates for treatment for those without resources. His devotion to the field and a commitment to learning led him to earn a Master's Degree in both Addiction and Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Understanding the importance of strong leadership skills, Dr. Britton went on to earn a Doctorate in Public Health, Executive Management from Gillings School of Global Health at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Britton has aligned his personal mission to help others with his life's work. From his early days as a clinician, to his present leadership role, his focus remains on helping individuals and their families get their lives back on track.

Dr. Roueen Rafeyan

Chief Medical Officer

Photo of Dr. Roueen Rafeyan

Dr. Rafeyan brings over 20 years of specialized experience to Gateway, having served as a medical director for psychiatric and substance use programs at leading Illinois healthcare institutions including Rush, Michael Reese, Resurrection and Presence Behavioral Health. As CMO, Dr. Rafeyan is responsible for continuously advancing Gateway's wide array of services, upholding medical protocols, policies and procedures, as well as working closely with Gateway's team of experienced physicians/clinicians to deliver comprehensive high quality addictions, psychiatric and medical services/treatment as needed for each individual. In addition to Dr. Rafeyan's extensive medical experience, he is also a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is currently on the faculty of Northwestern University and an active member of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatry Association, the Illinois Psychiatric Society and the Illinois State Medical Society. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Located 40 miles west of Chicago, Gateway Foundation’s Aurora facility is one of 13 centers operated by the Illinois-based substance abuse treatment provider. Set on the campus of the Presence Mercy Medical Center, Gateway Foundation offers multiple programs for individuals struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health disorders. The center’s treatment continuum includes a short-term residential and partial hospitalization program (PHP) for adults, as well as intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for adults and adolescents. The center also offers medication-assisted treatment to ease symptoms of withdrawal and, if necessary, can provide detoxification support.


To determine the most appropriate level of care, clients first participate in an initial assessment. Individuals who require intensive treatment may be referred to the center’s residential program, which is offered in both co-ed and all-male settings. Medication, including Suboxone and Vivitrol, may be prescribed to individuals experiencing symptoms of withdrawal.

Most inpatient clients stay on-site for two to four weeks. During this time, clients participate in individual, group, and family counseling. Residents are also provided with 12-step education and opportunities for recreational and team-building activities. Program graduates are eligible for the center’s aftercare program, which consists of weekly group counseling sessions and 12-step meetings.

Clients who have a strong support system and a stable living environment may opt for the center’s PHP or IOP programs, which offer similar programming, but at a lesser cost and with more flexibility. Most outpatient clients remain in treatment for up to six weeks.


Gateway Foundation’s multidisciplinary treatment team is comprised of psychiatrists, physicians, registered nurses, and licensed professional counselors.


A modern, single-story building, the Aurora facility houses residential clients in double-occupancy bedrooms outfitted with twin beds, simple furniture, and work stations. Residents have access to 24-hour medical attention and dine in a cafeteria-style dining hall. The facility also offers spacious communal areas with televisions, and residents have access to sprawling lawns that surround the facility.


The three alumni polled by at the time of this writing provided mixed reviews of the facility. Both Mary and H.H. noted that they would recommend the center, providing five out of five stars for the program’s treatment effectiveness. However, Mary felt that the treatment failed to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “This is more common than they think,” she wrote. H.H., despite describing the facility as a “great place,” found that he encountered “too much drama.” G.T., a third reviewer, gave the program’s treatment effectiveness just two stars. “I spent 18 days at Gateway before moving on to a ‘Class’ facility,” they wrote.

Reviews submitted to third-party sites also revealed polarized opinions. On Google, 14 individuals gave the facility an average rating of 3.6 out of five stars[1]. Some alumni praised the caring staff members and comprehensive treatment. “Great treatment facility. Great staff who actually care about you and your sobriety,” Ralph wrote in a representative review. In contrast, multiple Google reviewers complained about the program’s structure and lack of amenities, likening the facility to a prison. “Patients are locked inside until the 10 minute ‘smoke breaks’ happen. No one can just step out for fresh air or go for a walk. Exercise is very limited. Going anywhere inside the facility requires a counselor to escort you because doors are locked…The food is cafeteria quality at best,” G. wrote in a one-star review.

The facility fared better on Yelp and Facebook. Kate, the one Yelp reviewer, gave her experience five out of five stars.[2] She appreciated the “strict & structured plan,” as well as the “professional & respectful” counselors. On the center’s unofficial Facebook page, 11 users provided an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.[3] “The Counselors are passionate and dedicated to showing you how to live life on life's terms without drugs or alcohol,” Allison wrote in a representative review.


The two loved ones polled by at the time of this writing both reported relapses. M. disapproved of the staff’s treatment of residents and felt that the co-ed program was “a bad idea.” “Wish they were more supportive and offered more family support and involvement,” M. wrote. Jonathon also reported billing problems in addition to his brother’s relapse.


Gateway accepts most private insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Multiplan, and more. Individuals without insurance may be eligible for state funding via the Illinois Department of Human Services.


Published on August 2017

User Reviews

Review this Center

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
My friend went here and relapsed the day he got out. Another friend is showing no signs of improvement. The counselors berate them and the coed program is a bad idea. wish they were more supportive and offered more family support and involvement.

This treatment center did nothing for my brother . He lost his life last year and these people are still billing him. I'm not looking for sympathy. What I want is for you to take the dirt out of my brothers name and instead pay our family for not helping him. Those letters that you keep sending to my parents house need to stop .

Official Facility Response

I am so sorry for you loss. We want to help everyone achieve and sustain recovery but recognize the disease of addiction can be difficult to overcome. With that being said I would be happy to speak with you in a attempt to resolve these payment concerns. Please feel free to reach out to me by email so I can assist you in resolving this matter. Again my sincerest apologies for your experience here and your loss.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Sorry I spent 18 days at Gateway before moving on to a "Class" facility.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It was a great place and works if you work it. It was very structured but there was too much drama.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Needs to address PTSD as this is more common then they think.

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