About Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa
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.
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.
Medical Assisted Treatment
To help an individual overcome mild to moderate physical dependency from alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines, Gateway Foundation recognizes the benefits of medication assisted treatment to address withdrawal symptoms, cravings and detoxification.
- Insurance Accepted
- Individual & Family Counseling
- Group Therapy
Dr. Thomas BrittonPresident & 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.Show Bio
Karen Wolownik Albert, LCSWExecutive Director
Karen Wolownik Albert is the Executive Director of Gateway Foundation's Lake County Treatment Services including a residential program in Lake Villa, and an outpatient program in Gurnee, Illinois. Ms. Wolownik Albert has over 20 years of behavioral health experience, and has worked in a variety of outpatient and residential settings throughout her career. She earned her Bachelors of Science, and Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan, and is a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois. Ms. Wolownik Albert is an experienced trainer locally, and also presented at national conferences on a wide array of topics. She is on the Board of Directors of the Lake County Opioid Initiative, as well as a co-chair of the Treatment, Recovery and Harm Reduction Committee, and a core team member in the development of the A Way Out Program, a law assisted diversion program in Lake County.Show Bio
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ABOUT GATEWAY FOUNDATION - LAKE VILLA
The Gateway Foundation operates 17 residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment centers in Illinois, Delaware, and California. It's a nonprofit organization, positioning this Lake Villa facility among the 54.3 percent of Illinois-based rehabs that operate as private nonprofits.
Set on 43 rural acres about 50 miles north of Chicago, the Lake Villa treatment center offers residential treatment and several levels of outpatient care for men, women, and adolescents who are struggling with substance misuse and dual diagnoses. Medical detox is not available on-site, but the center can provide referrals to local detox centers. The center is among the 26.5 percent of Illinois-based rehabs that offer dedicated treatment for adolescents.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Treatment at the Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa facility begins with an assessment by trained addiction counselors, which is used to put together an individualized treatment plan. Clients are then assigned to the most appropriate program for their needs. In the residential program, the length of treatment varies according to each client’s needs, though the typical length of stay is between two and four weeks.
Treatment is multidisciplinary, drawing on 12-step principles, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Clients participate in individual, group, and family counseling, and individuals struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders receive mental health services integrated into their addiction treatment, which may include medication management.
The adolescent program is similar to that for adults, but includes an added focus on family therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Designed specifically for young men between the ages of 18 and 23, the residential Bridge Program focuses on health education, living in balance, maturity development, and anger management.
The Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa also offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP, available at 65.7 percent of Illinois-based rehabs) and standard outpatient care. Weekly aftercare sessions are available for clients who complete the program.
The treatment staff at Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa includes an MD, a social worker, counselors, and therapists. All clients receive 24-hour support while living on-site. The seven individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the staff were impressed with their aptitude.
Staff Experience and Training: 4.4/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The 43-acre Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa campus features an indoor gym with a basketball court, a weight room with cardio equipment, a sand volleyball court, and comfortable, outdoor patio areas. Clients sleep in shared bedrooms, each of which has its own bathroom.
Schooling for adolescents is provided via partnership between Gateway Foundation, the local school district, and the resident's home school. The eight individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the center's accommodations and amenities indicated that the facility was clean, though somewhat lacking in extracurricular activities.
Exercise and Leisure: 3.3/5
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Alumni reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date were mostly positive, with some notes of strong, recurring complaint. The positive reviewers generally praised the center's effectiveness and treatment options. “I loved this place,” alum Michelle wrote. “Have been in others and this is the one that had the right combination of AA and therapy and groups.” Others, such as K.M.K., found favor in the aftercare provisions.
However, some alumni found the facility excessively strict and the staff unhelpful, while others felt that extracurricular activities were limited. "Don't go here! Horrible. Feels like a court ordered boot camp..food was horrible. Staff was not friendly at all," Mary wrote in a representative review, while an anonymous alum added: “There is not enough exercise offered."
Gateway Foundation Lake Villa has mixed feedback on secondary sites at the time of this writing, with average ratings of 3.3 out of five stars based on 47 reviews on Google, 2.8 stars based on six reviews on CiteHealth, and 2.5 stars based on eight reviews on Yelp, plus a single five-star rating on YellowPages.com.   
Some reviewers praised the center's staff and noted that treatment was effective. However, numerous others complained of poor treatment from staff, intimidation by fellow clients, and a general sense that the facility was more interested in making money than in helping people. "Very unstructured environment and only a few good counsellors. Most counselors at gateway lake villa simply have too much on their plate and therefore cannot give full attention," Lee wrote on Yelp in a typical comment.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The six loved ones polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave mostly positive feedback, awarding the center high ratings for its family program and a solid score for its counseling options. However, the center's holistic options fare more poorly.
Family Participation: 4.4/5
Counseling Options: 3.8/5
Holistic Offerings: 3/5
Several individuals commended the facility for its involvement of families. “Good program to help parents understand what their kids are going through,” one reviewer wrote. However, K.W. echoed alumni posting on secondary sites by suggesting the center is primarily interested in money, adding: "This establishment is in NO WAY prepared to handle anyone with substance abuse issues- addictions - or mental health problems." Another reviewer wished for more supervision, and a third reviewer felt that visiting hours were too short.
WHAT STAFF SAY
Rehabs.com has also received two survey responses from former staff members, both of whom would recommend treatment at Gateway Foundation - Lake Villa. “ONE MUST WANT AMD BE SERIOUS ABOUT ONES TREATMENT, POINT BLANK AND VERY SIMPLE,” R.L.D. wrote. This staff member gave five out of five stars for treatment effectiveness, accommodations and amenities, and meals and nutrition. In response to commentary about unqualified staff members, the other staff member described an “educated and caring staff that take all residents care very serious.”
Gateway is in-network with many health insurance plans. State funding and charitable assistance may also be available for some services. The eight individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the center's affordability were mostly impressed.
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MaryDon't go here! Horrible. Feels like a court ordered boot camp..food was horrible. Staff was not friendly at all. After three days detoxing in bed, vomiting, shakes..ECT. no staff checked on me. Once I had strength to get up I asked to go to the hospital. They said no. I walked off the grounds and called an Uber. I was admitted into the hospital for major dehydration. Please go somewhere else!
Maggie UDo not go there if you are serious about your recovery. There is one women's house and the ages range from 18-80. I am 52. It was like summer camp. Fighting and arguing and crying every day I was there. It would take 2 days to get an aspirin. Most of the "women" were court ordered to be there so they were not serious about the program. I asked to use the phone to call my husband, one of the counselors would not let me. I told her I wanted to leave, knowing my husband would of talked me out of it. I said I don's have to be here I want to be here but I can't handle the peanut galley. She looked at me and said 'BYE'. So I put my shoes one and walked over a mile and called the police. Nobody ever came looking for me. The staff treats you like you're making them go out of your way. DO NOT GO!!!! The food was awful. I gained 7 pounds in one week. No exercise. The place was dirty and gross.
KWSadly We were very disappointed. This establishment is in NO WAY prepared to handle anyone with substance abuse issues- addictions - or mental health problems. They are not patient centric/ only insurance driven. They lack in staff education/development. Most of their staff are unsupervised, under- developed- and previous residents of their program. As I would find it completely appropriate to take a reformed resident and offer them a position to “pay it forward” the lack of professional development will be at my son’s and our families detriment. i encourage you to NOT choose this as an option if you want your needs to be met. I’ve waited a few weeks before I chimed in with my opinion, as it is not my nature to be judgemental or a blame seeker- however, Gateway has set us so far behind in what should’ve been a part of a recovery process. Now we have an entirely new host of issues to deal with. The lack of supervision was horrific. Provided opportunities for my son to be introduced to new demonds. It was a nightmare. The administration provided no support. I reached out to Dr and received NO response. My child had clothes stolen as well as his shoes ( the only pair we sent him with).
AnonymousExcellent treatment. Good nutrition
BernieThe absolute best experience I’ve ever had. My life is on track because everything I’ve been taught by gateway is exactly how it is now.
RLDI am a former employee who left there in good standards. GATEWAY is a very good residential program ONE MUST WANT AMD BE SERIOUS ABOUT ONES TREATMENT, POINT BLANK AND VERY SIMPLE.....
RessieThe Gateway program does have college educations. I worked at Gateway Lake Villa and I would recommend this program to any and everyone that are serious about getting help with all addictions. Gateway has educated and caring staff that take all residents care very serious. So the young man made the comments about staff is totally wrong and misinformed, all anyone has to do if they are a resident is just about staff credentials. Gateway would NOT be open if they did not educated staff. Sincerely, Ressie
AnonymousIt was a good treatment center.
AnonymousGood counseling also for the parents. Can't think of any weaknesses Well staffed, good program to help parents understand what their kids are going through. Clean and bright and you can bring older siblings for visits
AnonymousGood counseling for the parents. Bright and clean. Good and caring staff I really can't think of any, they worked well with my son They made you feel comfortable at a very scary time. Very informative, helped you understand the effects of the drugs and what it does to your kids
AnonymousThe facility is very pleasant and the scenery is beautiful so it provides a serene and relaxing environment for the people. It is very willing to work with you when it comes to finances, making it very affordable. Everything is well explained and easy to understand, for family as well as the people staying there. Variety of counseling is good. My sister says that the food is good. Offers many activities to keep the residents active. Visiting hours are too short and offered only 1 day a week, making it a little hard for everyone in the family to visit. Facility is far from where I live. My sister was very opposed to going into rehab and after trying a few affordable rehab centers in the area, she finally found this one and agreed to go there for 30 days. She just got out after the full 30 days and is clean from her addiction. The counselor a were supposed to get her prepared for the world again and teach her different methods of coping. She just left the center about 1 month ago, so it's too early to tell how much she has learned when it comes to coping and interacting in this new life she recieved
MattI attended the youth program at this location, I have to say the food is below average for the price it is to stay here per night. the staff at this location is very friendly, they do lack in supervision though, they say no room visiting and no drug related movies but both room visiting and drug related movies happen, the schedule is good but they offer too much free time, where about 5 hours of the day we are not allowed to go outside and our rooms would be locked so were \"forced\" to watch cable programs throughout the day, most counselors also do not have a college education at all which I found strange. on the plus side the schooling opportunities offered through the youth care program was outstanding, if you or your child are falling behind in his or her high school education it is fast and easy to gain some credits while they are here, lastly gateway is pretty good at teaching the kids how to pick up after themselves and teaches them a lot about nutrition, life skills and personal hygiene, All in all I would rate my experience there a 6/10 and that\'s being generous
tcGood place but to strick on phone calls and personal belongings. People who pay good money to go here should not be placed with people who are made to come here from the court system or probation or the jail system. No coffee but 1 cup in the morning no coke or any drinks with caffeine must bring your own water to drink throughout the day. Was not impressed for what I got for 600 dollers a day. Felt like I was a convict there.
AnonymousI was able to meet new people with similar problems. There is not enough exercise offered.
AnonymousI understand that there has to be rules in rehab but sometimes I did not make it to call home, I could not get extra clothes, I could not walk outside without 2 other people and if I did not wanna participate in what they called fun I got in trouble. Overall it is a good place; the location is great, food is good, and most of the counselors are good..you can participate to outside meetings..accommodations are good. They need more staff to take care of unexpected situations and be less strict on phone calls and availability to counselors.
AnonymousIt was an overall good program. However, they need more supervision.
MichelleI loved this place. Have been in others and this is the one that had the right combination of AA and therapy and groups. It just worked for me from day one and the first time in about 6 treatments that I ever stayed sober
kmkThey do after care plan for everyone. They are awesome
anonymousWent due to location.
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