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Gateway Foundation will add beds to help combat heroin crisis

October 30, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A $500,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will allow Chicago-based Gateway Foundation to add 10 inpatient beds to its present capacity at its Aurora facility, in response to soaring demand linked to heroin addiction.

“The reality is the surge in heroin use in DuPage and Kane counties has caused a bleak 'no vacancy' status quo for inpatient treatment services since providers, for the most part, have been working at full capacity,” Gateway Aurora executive director Jim Scarpace said in an Oct. 29 news release.

The Gateway Aurora expansion will involve a renovation of its inpatient annex and is expected to be completed next July, at which time the center will have 44 beds. Gateway also provides outpatient and aftercare services at the site.

Gateway Aurora officials emphasized that they also have maintained an active presence on community coalitions examining a range of responses to the opioid addiction problem. One byproduct of these groups' work is that Naperville police now routinely carry the overdose reversal medication Narcan in their everyday work.