“Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow”

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness – The Key to Community Change, Personal and Family Recovery
28 Years of Improving and Saving Lives Through Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This April, NCADD highlights the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences.

Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous—both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors. Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured.


  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

Reducing underage drinking is critical to securing a healthy future for America’s youth and requires a cooperative effort from parents, schools, community organizations, business leaders, government agencies, the entertainment industry, alcohol manufacturers/retailers and young people.

“Underage drinking is a complex issue,” says Greg Muth, chairperson of the NCADD Board of Directors, “one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort. As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment, and recovery support are essential for them and their families,” says Muth. “We can’t afford to wait any longer.”

The Ben Gordon Center provides Substance Use treatment for Youths and Adults and we also fight the trends of underage drinking and drugs with the work of the Prevention & Education team.  Call 815-756-4875 for more information.

When the alcohol or drug use of someone you care about is cause for concern, our substance abuse treatment professionals can provide a thorough clinical assessment and recommendation for further treatment. Treatment Services:

  • Comprehensive assessment of alcohol/drug use and recommendations
  • Variable intensity outpatient treatment services
    • Intensive outpatient program
    • Outpatient treatment groups
    • Individual therapy
    • Education about alcohol and other drugs
  • Family education and support
  • Residential support for women in recovery and their children
  • DUI evaluation and risk education
  • Urine chemical screening for clients in treatment


Prevent….who is the most powerful influence in your children’s life?


Did you know: kids who learn a lot about the risks of substance use from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not?

Talk to your kids and help prevent substance misuse.  Check out the link below for some great resources.  You can also reach out to our Prevention & Education team at the Ben Gordon Center.  Call Capri or Mary for more information at 815-756-8501.

Did you know: kids who learn a lot about the risks of substance use from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not? Talk to your kids and help prevent substance misuse. http://www.drugfree.org/prevent?utm_source=drugfree%2Bhomepage&utm_medium=prevent%2Bbanner&utm_campaign=home,%2Bprevent,%2Bbanner

Be A Voice, Not An Echo

tumblr_mje8lthbmw1r97vsno1_500As we get closer to Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Ben Gordon Center encourages that you share your concern to your loved one who you think might have an eating disorder.  When you confront someone with an eating disorder, you begin to break down the walls of denial and secrecy and allow the person to accept help.  Be a voice, not an echo, to the person who needs you the most. 

Be honest and straight forward, and make sure you are not accusing them of doing something wrong.  Look into possible treatment options so you can provide them with the information and offer to help them make that first phone call.  

Community Support Helps Fight Substance Abuse

Check out link below for the great work our Prevention & Education team is doing out in the community.  They were featured in the Jan/Feb edition of InVironments magazine for all their efforts with DCP/Safe coalition.

 The Ben Gordon Center Prevention and Education program’s mission is to facilitate the promotion of community based prevention, wellness and healthy lifestyles for youth, adults and the community as a whole within DeKalb county.





Offices to close today, Monday – January 6th at 5:00 p.m.

downloadAll the offices of the Ben Gordon Center will be closing today, Monday 1/6 at 5:00 p.m.  

Individuals may call the BGC response Line at 1-866-BGC-0111 if they are experiencing a crisis or go to the nearest emergency room.

Ben Gordon Center will be open on Monday

downloadWe will be open for services on Monday, January 6, 2014.  Please call 815-756-4875 with any questions you may have.

Small Resolutions for a Big Happiness Boost in 2014

7 small changes to guarantee a happier and more fulfilled year ahead!
Published on December 31, 2013 by Emma M. Seppälä, Ph.D. in Feeling It
 ”The happiest people don’t have the best of everything but they make the best of everything they have.”

Did you know that most of us live our lives according to outdated (or even false!) happiness theories? It’s a new year and that means a new opportunity for you to make small choices that will help you make the best of everything you have and experience a big boost in your health and happiness!

1. Replace Self-criticism with Self-Compassion 

Outdated Theory: Self-criticism and being hard on ourselves is a great way to get things done and be successful and strong.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong! A number of studies now show that self-criticism weakness us while self-compassion provides us with the skills we need for resilience, happiness and productivity

2. Replace Complaints & Negativity with Gratitude

Outdated Theory: It’s good to be realistic, which means realizing that life sucks.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong! Research by Shelley Gable and Jonathan Haidt suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. What keeps us from fully capitalizing on all the good in our lives, making us a slave to the bad? Our brain tends to focus on the negative and forget the positive. Gratitude is the perfect antidote and research shows it can be harnessed for greater health and well-being. 

- We also get caught up in an eternal chase for what we think will bring us happiness but that really just fools us. Here again, gratitude is the answer. 

3. Balance Seriousness with Play

Outdated Theory: Adults need to be serious. Play and idle fun is for children and pets.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong! As adults, we often fail to remember to play, but research shows it boosts our creativity, health and well-being. 

4. Balance Stress with Breathing

Outdated Theory: Yea, yea, “take a deep breath” and all that jazz… There’s no reason to pay attention to the breath. We all know how to breathe, it happens on its own. Breathing differently won’t make a difference.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong! Research shows that your breath is intricately tied to your well-being and the state of your mind and that it holds the key to greater self-control and resilience. 

5. Balance Self-Focus with Compassion for Others 

Outdated Theory: Everyone’s looking out for themselves, I need to focus on myself to get ahead in life.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong again!  - Self-focus is actually associated with anxiety and depression.

- We aren’t naturally selfish. Actually, our natural instinct is actually to act fairly. Compassion appears to be an evolutionarily adaptive trait that has tremendous health and well-being benefits.

- Compassion will benefit your relationships, including your romantic relationships.

- In fact compassion is the best kept secret to happiness.

- It’s good for your business – Both men and women are wired for it.

6. Balance Solitude with Connection

Outdated Theory: You’ve got to make it on your own, stand out, stand above the crowd, differentiate yourself and that, ultimately, is a lonely state of affairs.

What the Research Really Says:  - Our brains are wired for connection to others.

- We thrive when we connect .

Loneliness can be balanced with connection. You can even learn to be together and connected even when alone.

- Connection helps us overcome stress. 

- If you learn how to use technology and social media wisely.

7. Balance Activity with Doing Nothing 

Outdated Theory: I have to be productive every minute of the day to get things done and stay afloat.

What the Research Really Says: Wrong! You’ll get more done by doing more of nothing!

- Research shows it’s good for you and your productivity.

- A great way to get started is meditation.

- Turning your attention inward is a secret to well-being that the brain is built for.



Women In Transition Group at Ben Gordon Center

Group_women_networkingThis is for any adult woman who is experiencing a transition in their life from moving away from home, having children, getting married, getting divorced, work/family balance, retirement, or biological issues. If you are struggling to navigate these changes and would like a supportive atmosphere that will work to build skills for self-care, life balance, and stress management please join us.  

What do we work on in the Women in Transition (WIT) Group?

-      Identification of transitional stress.

-      Skills to cope with change and transition.

-      Social skills with an emphasis on conflict resolution, interpersonal effectiveness, boundaries.

-      Increasing self-care and feelings of self-worth

 What is a transition?

A transition is a change from one stage or situation to another.  Women seem to continually undergo transitions in their lives, many of them don’t seek treatment until they struggle to manage the transition.  If you are interested in joining this group, please call 815-756-4875 for more information.

Tips to Cope During the Holiday Season


These tips are from the Natural Resource Center for AD/HD but can really apply to anyone feeling stressed.  If you, your spouse or your child has ADHD, the key to a calmer more enjoyable holiday is to create traditions that suit your lifestyles. No single solution will fit everyone, but here are some suggestions to help create calm instead of adding to the chaos.


  1. Be flexible. Create holiday patterns that suit the needs of your family.
  2. Hold a family meeting. Discuss what traditions are important to each of you and do away with the rest.
  3. Ask for help. The holidays should be a family affair.
  4. Look for creative solutions. This might include buying a smaller tree to decorate, going out to dinner, having a pot luck instead of fixing everything yourself or bringing two families together to celebrate the holidays.
  5. Don’t give in to unreasonable demands. If you or your children with ADHD are exhausted by expectations that you fly home for the holidays, or that you visit with multiple relatives, let them know that this is stressful for you. Make sure you give your family early notice of the change in plans this year.
  6. Try to keep to your familiar routine even when visiting. Make sure your child with ADHD continues to take his or her medicine on schedule and that bedtime stays as close as possible to normal.
  7. Plan ahead. Shop early and avoid taking a tired child with ADHD with you.
  8. Order gifts. Use mail order or the Internet. Free shipping is usually found on many Web sites during the holidays.

Donate to the Ben Gordon Center Foundation on Giving Tuesday

67c91a8d-7977-4b2b-90fe-83889ac564a3At the Ben Gordon Center we have not yet realized the full potential of community-based care. In 2013, the Ben Gordon Center
continued to further our mission to reduce the burden caused by mental illness and addictions by:

• Expanding our crisis and emergency services, we have experienced a 138% increase over the previous year in psychiatric
emergency screenings.
• Opening the Living Room at our Community Support Campus as a crisis respite program. The Living Room is a comfortable,
non-clinical space that offers an alternative to hospital emergency rooms for anyone experiencing overwhelming symptoms
due to life circumstances.
• Hosting nationally-recognized Mental Health First Aid training for the community. The Mental Health First Aid training has
offered education to over 100 teachers, health workers, firefighters, police officers, college students, emergency services
personnel. and other community members.
• Adding qualified and professional clinical staff to our team of caring professionals
• Offering additional programs and services in the areas of eating disorders, non-suicidal self injury and anxiety treatments.

In 2014, we want to continue these strides to bring innovative mental health care to the DeKalb County residents. As the community mental health center, it is our mission and goal to guarantee that everyone receives the behavioral care and services needed. We want to always be accessible and provide mental health care experts to carry on their important work in our schools, neighborhoods, collaborative agencies and community.

Now we need your help. Any gift amount will help someone take that small step on their path to recovery. That’s one life changed, entirely because of you. Thank you in advance for helping us continue this important work of an individual’s mental health recovery in the community one step at a time.


Click Above Link to Donate Today!