Gateway Foundation— Chicago Independence 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.
Meet the Staff
Dr. Thomas Britton
President & CEO
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
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.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT GATEWAY FOUNDATION – CHICAGO INDEPENDENCE
Gateway Foundation’s Chicago Independence facility is one of 10 treatment centers run by the Illinois-based alcohol and drug treatment provider. The continuum of services includes residential and day treatment programs for adults and adolescents, as well as recovery homes for adults struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Clients receive a free consultation and assessment prior to intake to determine the appropriate level of care. Chicago Independence facility offers gender-specific residential programs for adult men and women, as well as teens. Length of stay is determined by the client’s needs, but most attend for about two to four weeks. A specialized Young Men’s Program serves individuals age 18 through 26.
Gateway offers an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Individualized treatment plans combine group and family counseling, while incorporating 12-step framework and education about addiction. Medication management may also be available to dually diagnosed clientele.
Individual therapy focuses on healing trauma, preventative education, and relapse prevention. Round-the-clock medical assistance is available, and the facility offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including Suboxone and Vivitrol, to help minimize the discomfort of withdrawal and help curb cravings. In Illinois, Gateway is among the 20.2 percent of facilities to administer Suboxone.
Residential alumni are offered aftercare options. Clients may continue with weekly therapy sessions or participate in a half-day treatment program at the facility. The rehab also provides recovery housing and hosts monthly alumni group meetings.
Within Illinois, Chicago Independence is among 22.5 percent of substance abuse treatment centers accredited by The Joint Commission. The treatment team includes psychiatrists, certified alcohol and drug counselors, licensed professional counselors, and licensed clinical social workers, as well as 24-hour medical staff. Of the over two dozen individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date, 18 individuals polled on the matter praised the aptitude of staff.
Staff Experience and Training: 4.2/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Chicago Independence, located four miles from downtown just off I-290 and near the Medical District, is easily accessible by public transportation. Residents engage in regular fitness activities such as Pilates, basketball, and other sports. Personal electronics are not allowed, though smoking is permitted. The 18 individuals polled on the matter generally appreciated the facility's cleanliness.
Cleanliness and Upkeep: 4.4/5
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
More than a dozen alumni were polled by Rehabs.com to date, most offering favorable opinions about Chicago Independence. Many praised the counselors, staff in general, and programming, all of which helped them achieve sobriety, such as an anonymous alum who wrote: “They helped me accomplish my goal comfortably. Offered continued support” but noted “activities and food were not all that great.”
Eileen, who had a life-saving experience, appreciated the facility’s “multi-faceted approach.” Jessica agreed: “I was in there and didn’t want to leave they helped me work out more than just my addiction and I have been clean ever since!”
Critical comments concerned low staff-to-client ratio, insufficient holistic options, and difficulty making phone calls. Even among reviewers who reported an otherwise positive experience, a common complaint was a lack of fun activities in general.
Likelihood to recommend: 4.2/5 stars
Counseling Options: 3.4/5
Holistic Offerings: 2.8/5
On secondary sites, the facility garnered very positive coverage to date: 4.5 out of five stars based on 24 reviews on Google, and 4.5 stars based on 13 reviews on Facebook, which the facility may manage.  Numerous reviewers reported that the program, staff, and overall experience saved their life, such as C.J., who wrote: “This place truly saved me from a life of pain, dispare, hopelessness, I did the inpatient care and it was eye opening.” Isolated criticism cited focus on money matters over care, “horrible food,” and issues with the nursing staff.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Feedback from nine friends and family members to date who reviewed the facility for Rehabs.com was mostly positive. Most reviewers commended the staff and their level of knowledge and compassion, such as one loved one who wrote: “The staff was always there if & when we needed a question answered and they gave their 100% interest.”Another enjoyed attending groups: “I felt comfortable there and I would highly suggest this plan to anyone else…they made me feel like I wasn't crazy and they were caring and understanding.”
Family Participation: 4.4/5
Counseling Options: 4.1/5
Connectivity/Visitor Policy: 4/5
However, several complained about the cost of care as well as inadequate amount of treatment and aftercare, such as a reviewer who claimed: “Not much help in transitioning back into your home life or job.” Holistic offerings also had a somewhat lower rating.
Holistic Offering: 3.3/5
WHAT STAFF SAY
A staffer, T.O., who reviewed the facility to date called Chicago Independence “a wonderful place to work,”adding, “offers a strong employee roster of licensed professionals who are also in recovery themselves.”
Gateway accepts most private insurance plans, and Medicaid for some treatment services. State funding via the Illinois Department of Human Services is also available to qualified recipients. The 18 individuals polled on the matter generally appreciated the cost of treatment.
Published on October 2018
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