Pregnant and Parenting Women
Pregnant women will be given priority for admission to all program components. If we are unable to admit pregnant women to services within 48 hours, interim services will be provided. Interim services will include counseling on the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the fetus and referral for prenatal care. GateWay Counseling Center recognizes that women have long been closing the gender gap with regard to their use of alcohol and other drugs. In fact, studies show that women are now drinking, smoking, and using other drugs at approximately the same rates as their male counterparts. Unfortunately, however, there are women who do not seek treatment, primarily out of fear: fear of what others might say; fear of prosecution; fear of losing their children; fear of losing their jobs; and fear of losing the support of their families. For these reasons, GateWay Counseling Center provides or has access to a variety of services to reach women. GateWay Counseling Center provides prevention services that educate the community and outpatient services to women. GCC can refer women to residential treatment services that are experiencing a greater level of need than Outpatient services can provide.
Intravenous (IV) Substance Users
IV substance users will be given priority for admission to all program components. If unable to admit an IV substance user to services within 48 hours, interim services will be provided. Interim services will include counseling and education about HIV and tuberculosis; counseling and education about the risk of needle sharing, the risks of transmission to sexual partners and infants, and steps that can be taken to ensure that HIV and tuberculosis transmission does not occur; and referral for HIV or tuberculosis treatment services, if necessary.
Addiction is a manageable but chronic disease, just like diabetes or asthma. Because it is a chronic, relapsing disease, treatment should not be viewed as a way to “cure” a young person. Instead, look at treatment as a first step in helping an adolescent manage his alcohol or other drug dependence. For young people, successful treatment is complete abstinence from all addictive substances, as well as sustained improvement in emotional, physical, and mental well-being and social functioning.
Individuals With or at Risk of HIV Infection
Substance abuse and HIV/AIDS have been described as linked epidemics. Behavior associated with drug abuse is the largest factor in the spread of HIV in the United States. Injection drug use and unsafe sexual practices with multiple partners or with known injection drug users resulting from alcohol and other drug use are leading causes of HIV infection. Evidence also suggests that alcohol and other drug use may suppress the immune system, making people who use these substances more prone to HIV infection.
Assessments for all clients entering substance use disorder treatment and intervention services at GateWay Counseling Center include a screening for behavioral risks and symptoms associated with communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. If services are indicated at the time of the assessment GCC clinicians will facilitate this referral.
Individuals Affected by Trauma
Trauma is pervasive and touches many aspects of life; between 55% and 90% of individuals have experienced at least one traumatic event in a lifetime. Many individuals who have experienced trauma in the past experience mental health disorders, problems associated with substance use, suicidal ideations, and other interpersonal struggles not always connected to trauma.
GCC offers a comprehensive clinical assessment that addresses trauma. The providers have specific adult programs directed to use a standard assessment tool to which additional trauma questions have been incorporated. When trauma is identified during the screening and assessment process, it is treated, monitored, or referred for further services.