Since 1996, Gateway Recovery Systems has provided residential substance abuse treatment for low-income men and veterans in Harvey, Louisiana—a city in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Gateway’s services were reserved for veterans, but in the years since 2007, it has expanded to serve the civilian population.
Currently, the VA is completing a new residential facility specifically for veterans requiring treatment, so due to budgetary and administrative issues, veterans cannot receive inpatient treatment at Gateway at this time—however, a comprehensive Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is available for day treatment in the interim. Indigent civilian men can also receive treatment in the IOP and are provided room and board in Gateway’s shelter residences in the evening. Gateway can accommodate up to 250 men in its residences.
Accommodations and Food
Clients are housed four per townhouse, with each resident sharing a double-occupancy room and a bathroom. Townhouses are in a quiet suburban neighborhood—the West Bank of Jefferson Parrish—with generous outdoor green space for recreation. Most townhouses have TVs in their common areas.
Residents are given a food allowance each week and are taken grocery shopping on weekends. The men are then expected to prepare their own meals and/or collaborate with housemates on family-style meal preparation.
Treatment and Staff
Clients usually stay in treatment for six months. Residents are transported to the nearby treatment facility Monday through Friday for group and individual therapy as well as psycho-education lectures. Those only enrolled in the IOP usually attend sessions three to four days a week for six months.
For those in residence, the day begins with an 8 am meditation followed by house cleaning. Clients attend treatment from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and have recreational activities after. Residents attend on-site 12-step meetings or are transported to off-site community meetings between 7 and 9 pm each night. Lights are out at 10:30 pm.
Group therapy incorporates evidence-based modalities including the Matrix Model, CBT and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). Groups are led by addiction counselors such as Licensed Addiction Counselors (LACs) and Certified Addictions Counselors (CACs) and therapists who have training in dual diagnosis support. Clients with co-occurring disorders who need additional therapy and medication management are transported to outside mental health clinics. Clients receive individual counseling as-needed and are expected to complete homework assignments from the Matrix Model workbook.
Treatment at Gateway is heavily influenced by the 12-steps and clients are asked to attend 30 meetings in their first 30 days of treatment. After this ‘intensive phase,’ they are required to attend three weekly 12-step meetings—on or off-site.
On weekends, residents are permitted visitors in the afternoons. Family members can also attend counseling during the week if a client’s counselor thinks it would be beneficial. Gateway offers a daily continuing care group each afternoon for aftercare that addresses employment issues, relapse prevention and life skills.
Gateway Recovery Systems offers men a strong therapeutic community that facilitates recovery skills through evidence-based treatment practices. It also enables residents to build sober social support through extensive 12-step meetings and by fostering healthy inter-dependence among clients in each residence. After construction is completed, veterans requiring residential treatment will also be well-served by Gateway with a facility dedicated to their specific recovery needs.
Gateway Recovery Systems
4103 Lac Couture Dr
Harvey, LA 70058
Gateway Recovery Systems: $5,500 for self-pay (42-50 days). Free for homeless men, those earning under $23,000 annually and veterans. Must be referred by the Veterans Administration, physician or local agency. Reach Gateway Recovery Systems by phone at (504) 368-9935 or by email at [email protected]. Find Gateway Recovery Systems on Facebook
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