What Is SMART Recovery® & How Can It Help With Addiction Treatment?

SMART Recovery® is an approach to addiction treatment that allows individuals to explore their condition, learn from others, and develop rational solutions to embrace sobriety. Short for Self-Management and Recovery Training, this non-profit program has successfully helped people across the globe for more than 20 years. If you’re considering your options for overcoming drug dependence, the following questions and answers can help you become more familiar with SMART Recovery®.

5 FAQs About SMART Recovery®

Who Should Consider SMART Recovery ®?

The best option for addiction treatment will ultimately depend on the nature of a person’s dependency and their overall personality. The program is ideal for any person looking for reliable support with opiate or heroin addiction, as well as other forms of addictive behavior. It is especially attractive to those who are interested in strengthening self-reliance and moving away from powerlessness.

What Is the SMART Recovery ® Approach?

The program focuses on four points to help support sobriety, including:

  • Developing and sustaining motivation
  • Identifying urges and healthy ways to cope with them
  • Managing negative thoughts, emotions, and actions
  • Living a balanced life

What Are Meetings Like?

Group meetings are generally small and held at various locations across the country as well as internationally. Meetings are conducted by trained SMART Recovery facilitators. They are easy to attend and fairly informal. Instead of having people talk at you, you can expect them to give you an opportunity to share thoughts and learn from others. Beyond in-person discussions, people can also engage with others in recovery through online forums.

Is SMART Recovery® Similar to AA?

While AA and SMART Recovery® both use the group meeting format, they are fairly different in their approach.  Mainly, SMART Recovery® is founded on a scientific basis, whereas AA adopts a more spiritual perspective. In addition, SMART Recovery has no formal steps to recovery nor does it use sponsors.

How Much Does SMART Recovery® Cost?

There is no cost to attend SMART Recovery® meetings, but donations are always welcome.

People living in the Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, area can attend convenient SMART Recovery® meetings at Brightside Clinic. Appreciating the goals of this program, this supportive addiction treatment facility takes pride in offering weekly meetings to anyone who needs it, whether they are Brightside Clinic patients or not. For upcoming meeting times and locations, visit this clinic online or go to for a full list of meetings. If you are interested in the center’s other programs, including opiate detox and addiction counseling, call a friendly Northbrook team member at (224) 205-7866 or (708) 292-0044 to reach the Tinley Park location.

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Is SUBOXONE® Addictive?

addiction treatment

When actively recovering from drug addiction, it’s understandable to worry about being prescribed medicine for your addiction treatment, such as SUBOXONE®. In fact, the number one question Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, gets from their patients is whether or not SUBOXONE is addictive. The short answer is no. SUBOXONE simultaneously eliminates withdrawal symptoms and blocks the effects of opioids. Brightside Clinic specifically uses this product in their treatments to help make the detox transition as smooth as possible and takes steps toward a healthier body and mind overall.

While SUBOXONE has buprenorphine (a narcotic) as an active ingredient, the addiction treatment process does not have the same effects as heroin or other opiates. Because it is a partial agonist, there is no high as there is with full agonist opioids, when used as directed. Buprenorphine helps individuals slowly wean off opiate addiction by attaching to the receptors and putting them to sleep with little to no stimulation. This helps make the opiate withdrawal process easier. Over time, the dosage can be decreased as the brain heals by eliminating unneeded receptors. An increased dosage of SUBOXONE doesn’t increase the effects of buprenorphine, making it very difficult to misuse the medicine.

Since recovering from drug addiction is not an overnight process, dependency is often the first step for patients to acknowledge and learn to live with without compromising their health. Prescribing SUBOXONE as part of an addiction treatment allows a patient to live with the physical dependence to opioids rather than having their opioid addiction take over their ability to function.

If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, Brightside Clinic is ready to help with the recovery process every step of the way. Their individualized addiction treatment takes into account one’s health, medical history, and even their location to determine the best course of action for each patient. With a number of programs available, Brightside Clinic makes it their mission to provide accessible treatment that’s inclusive to anyone who wants to overcome their addiction. For more information, call the Northbrook location at (224) 205-7866, the Tinley Park location at (708) 292-0044, or visit the website.

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FAQs About Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

addiction treatment

Medication-assisted addiction treatment is a form of therapy utilizing FDA-approved medications to improve a user’s chance of achieving a successful recovery. While this method is controversial, the caring counselors at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, are here to discuss everything you need to know about this form of treatment and what it entails.

FAQs About Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

1. How Does the Treatment Work?

The main obstacle preventing an addict from staying clean is the craving for the substance, even months or years after recovery. To help reduce the risk of a relapse, therapists use a combination of medications with mild opioid effects as a form of treatment.

2. What Are the Different Types?

The most common types of medications used in this form of therapy include buprenorphine, methadone, and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist while methadone is a full agonist, which is why it’s typically prescribed to addicts with a higher tolerance, as it doesn’t have a ceiling effect.

3. What Are the Benefits of the Treatment?

One of the main advantages of this form of treatment is that while they can fulfill an addict’s cravings, they cannot be taken to achieve the full effect of an opioid. This makes it difficult to abuse and can be used to slowly wean an addict off of opioids and increase their chances of a successful recovery.

4. Are There Any Side Effects I Should Know About?

Common side effects of these medications may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and irritability. It’s also important to note that the patient must undergo behavioral therapy to ensure they are making the most of this treatment.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an opioid addiction and want to learn more about medication-assisted addiction treatment, turn to the therapists at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL. Call (224) 205-7866 today to speak with a representative, or visit the website for more information about their full list of programs and services.

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Welcome to Brightside

Learn more about our heroin and opiate addiction treatment services from CEO Phil Atteberry:


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The Effects of Drug Dependence on Everyday Life

addiction treatment

Addiction can negatively impact your life in a variety of ways. From body chemistry to finances and relationships, the effects are often devastating and widespread. Below, the addiction treatment specialists at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, further discuss the impact of addiction on everyday life.

5 Areas of Life Affected by Addiction


Long-term addiction can have serious health consequences. Depending on the drug, users may experience skin infections, tooth decay, a weakened immune system, and heart problems, all of which will have a major effect on the quality of life. Diet and physical activities, such as sports and exercise, often fall by the wayside, making it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and physique.


Those suffering from addiction often experience financial trouble. As the use of the drug escalates, individuals must spend more money to maintain their habit. Funds that would otherwise go toward rent, the mortgage, groceries, or entertainment are spent obtaining the drug, often leading to excessive debt and poverty.


Addiction makes it difficult to maintain relationships with friends and family members. As dependence takes hold, these bonds tend to suffer greatly and often deteriorate. While it is possible to create a new social circle while using, more often than not, the addiction serves as the main bond.


Because many employers impose random drug screenings, those struggling with addiction will most likely experience difficulty gaining or retaining employment. The signs and symptoms of addiction and withdrawal can also be hard to conceal, making termination a likely possibility.

Psychological Effects

Once an individual is dependent on a drug, they will be unable to function “normally” without it. As cravings for the drug become more intense, the users will often lose their ability to make good decisions. Additional psychological effects may include daily mood swings, depression, hallucinations, violence, and paranoid behavior.

If you or someone you love is ready for addiction treatment in Northbrook or Tinley Park, IL, Brightside Clinic is the place to turn. Offering counseling for prescription drug dependence and heroin addiction, Brightside Clinic has you covered for the personalized and effective addiction treatment you need to kick the habit once and for all. Call (708) 292-0044 for their Tinley Park location and (224) 205-7866 for their Northbrook location. You can also visit the website to learn more about the recovery programs and services available.

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Brightside expands medication-assisted treatment to include Vivitrol

Medication-assisted treatment is a very effective strategy to aid in recovery from opioid addiction. Brightside has been the leader in providing outpatient treatment for this condition using counseling and medication-assisted treatment with Buprenorphine products, such as Suboxone. It is now expanding its medical treatment options to include Naltrexone injections, known as Vivitrol, to be given at its multiple clinic locations.

“Vivitrol is an effective treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and we are excited to be able to give patients another option in fighting this disease,” said Dr. David Kushner, medical director of Brightside. “Patients fight an uphill battle to remain sober and a medication which helps control cravings to use drugs again is a powerful tool. Vivitrol is quite effective when given by monthly injection and is an attractive option for patients who do not wish to be reliant on daily medications. More medication options allow patients to have a greater opportunity to decrease the likelihood of relapse and concentrate on recovery and repairing their lives.”

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that attaches to a receptor in the body to help reduce cravings and also blocks the effects of the opioids in the brain. The effects of this non-addictive injection can last about four weeks and are effective when combined with counseling. Brightside has highly trained and compassionate doctors and counselors who have years of experience in this kind of combined treatment and have helped over 700 people start their life in recovery.

Importantly, Brightside believes that the community needs to work together to get this valuable treatment to patients in need.

“We cannot do this alone,” said CEO Phil Atteberry. “While we have methods to get patients on this life-saving medication, we are working with local residential treatment providers, detox facilities, hospitals, drug courts and other inpatient programs to safely detox patients prior to getting patients on this life-saving medication. For the highest success rate in recovery, it is advisable to begin with resident treatment first before starting Vivitrol.”

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3 Tips for Staying in Recovery After Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a powerful disease, and even people who have successfully entered recovery are at risk of relapsing at any time. Many individuals who complete addiction treatment find themselves facing the same personal, professional, and social situations they were in before entering recovery, which can threaten their sobriety.

Below, the compassionate team at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, shares a few tips for staying in recovery:

Set Goals

Staying in recovery is easier when you stay busy. Devise a few tangible goals for yourself, and then, start taking the necessary steps for achieving them. Whether you set personal or professional goals, working toward something will give you a sense of purpose and direction.

Live in the Present

When you were in the throes of your addiction, you may have done a few things you now regret. Although it’s important to acknowledge your mistakes so you can learn from them, you should not dwell on the past. Living with regret is emotionally draining, and it can wear you down until you’re so vulnerable, you convince yourself that it’s okay to use again. Instead, forgive yourself for past transgressions, and make an active effort to live in the present.

Build a Strong Support Group

When it comes to fostering personal relationships following addiction treatment, quality matters more than quantity. Consider creating a support group composed of just a few choice people who genuinely care about your well-being and will serve as pillars of strength when you’re feeling weak. Your support group might include a professional therapist, a sponsor, a few close friends, and your spouse.

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug dependence, contact Brightside Clinic to discuss addiction treatment. To learn more about the programs offered to individuals who abuse opiates, visit the website. Call (708) 292-0044 to speak with someone in Tinley Park or (224) 205-7866 to discuss treatment in Northbrook today.

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Understanding Drug Dependence as a Disease

drug dependence

To counter drug dependence, one must first understand how to define it. Realizing addiction is a disease rather than a choice is the first step toward healing. To help, Brightside Clinic, a top addiction treatment center in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, has shared their knowledge on drug dependence.

Drug Dependence Changes the Brain

Addiction has numerous effects on the brain. Drugs, heroin, and opiates have the ability to cause the brain to release chemicals that give you a sense of pleasure or satisfaction. The same chemicals are released for food or sex. The drug dependence disease then causes you to need these items in the same way you need food. If one does not have access to drugs, they can experience harsh side effects, such as depression and the inability to feel “normal.”

Drug Dependence Is Chronic

Drug dependence is considered a chronic disease. This means it’s long-lasting and cannot be cured, only controlled. Approximately 25% to 50% of those with the disease have a severe form. Addiction may be managed through treatment, proper aftercare, support, and determination. Because one of the signs of addiction is impaired control over the use of drugs, controlling the disease can be difficult. Even so, many people have found relief through treatment.

Drug Dependence Is Caused by Many Factors

It can be brought on by a multitude of factors. This includes behavioral, environmental, and even your genetic makeup. In fact, genetics plays a large role in this specific disease. The likelihood of developing a drug dependence is approximately 50% related to genetics. All of these play a part in addiction. To prevent it, people must remove themselves from tempting environments and keep an accountability partner.

Drug dependence is a serious disease that affects around 23 million Americans. Understanding it as a disease can help in acceptance and treatment. If you need addiction counseling or an opiate detox, consider Brightside Clinic. Their use of Buprenorphine medicine has helped hundreds in their recovery. For more information, visit the website, or call (224) 205-7866 for Northbrook and (708) 292-0044 for Tinley Park.

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3 Alternatives to Opiates for Pain Management

addiction counseling

While opiates are an effective form of pain relief, they are also highly addictive and only a temporary form of treatment. Fortunately, if you are suffering from a chronic condition or injury, there are other alternative treatment options available without the need for prescription painkillers. Serving residents throughout Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, the professionals at Brightside Clinic provide a wide range of addiction counseling and treatment services for drugs, such as heroin and prescription opiates.

Below, the addiction counseling and recovery experts share a few alternatives to opiates for pain management:

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine using a needle to penetrate the skin and apply pressure to various points throughout the body for pain relief or to cure certain ailments. It does this by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural neurotransmitters, which reduce your perception of pain.
  • Massage Therapy: In addition to acupuncture, massage therapy is another holistic treatment for pain relief. A masseuse manipulates the soft tissue and muscle to alleviate pain and promote recovery, as well as reduce anxiety and improve blood flow. It’s not only for back pain—it can also help shoulder and neck pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia.
  • Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is one of the leading methods of drug-free treatment. It uses spinal adjustment to treat issues with the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, and tendons. In addition to relieving pain, it also helps improve mobility and restore joint mobility through spinal correction. Many patients often combine chiropractic care with massage therapy treatments.

If you need addiction counseling or treatment programs, the caring professionals at Brightside Clinic can help. Call (224) 205-7866 for the Northbrook, IL, location and (708) 292-0044 to speak with an expert at the Tinley Park location. You can also visit the website for more information about the comprehensive list of programs and services available.

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After Addiction Treatment: 5 Ways to Stay on the Recovery Path


After addiction treatment ends, many face the challenge of learning how to embrace sobriety outside the walls of a rehab center. With the right resources and attitude, however, it’s completely possible to protect all the hard work you put into your health. To help individuals discover the positive possibilities of life after treatment, Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, offers a few proven strategies to stay strong in recovery.

5 Strategies for Staying Sober After Addiction Treatment

1. Build a Support Team

Addiction recovery can be an isolating experience—especially as you adjust to life without drugs. But you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Make an effort to ask those close to you for help, and be open with them about how you feel. You can also turn to a support group for additional help. Whether they are family or friends, your team can be there to help you avoid triggers or simply listen to your feelings.

2. Embrace Healthy Habits

As you move on from the dangerous habits of opiate or heroin addiction, you’ll find more time to build your health. Use these pockets of time to focus on developing a few new healthy habits—such as hiking, swimming, or yoga—that can boost your mood and wellness at the same time. You can also try getting involved in less physical activities, such as painting or writing.

3. Set Goals

After addiction treatment, the future may seem blank and intimidating. This is often a point where individuals may feel worthless and return to drug use. That’s why people in recovery are encouraged to set specific goals, both long and short term. Whether they’re for your health, career, or education, these objectives will allow you to look past temptation and set your efforts on exciting possibilities.

4. Reflect

Since anxiety and stress are common triggers for relapse, it’s important to take the time to catalogue your thoughts and reflect on your emotions. Regular meditation, journaling, and addiction counseling are all excellent ways to recognize all the feelings you experience and help keep your mental health in check.

5. Continued Therapy

The end of your addiction treatment doesn’t have to be the end of therapy. There are many programs that offer continuous counseling to those in recovery. These resources can be incredibly helpful for those who need to navigate life’s challenges while avoiding the triggers that can lead to a relapse.

Offering both addiction and continuing treatment, Brightside Clinic is an exceptional resource for those looking to recover from opiate and heroin drug dependence. Visit the clinic online to learn more about their compassionate and complete approach to recovery. You can also call the Northbrook center at (224) 205-7866 or the Tinley Park location at (708) 292-0044 to get information about entering treatment.

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Pregnancy & Opiates: What You Need to Know


Opiate addiction is a serious and widespread disease affecting all kinds of people, even pregnant women. Due to the serious side effects associated with using opiates while pregnant, it’s important to seek help when a mother and baby are at risk. The compassionate team from Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, IL, and Tinley Park, IL, explains everything you need to know about this potentially deadly combination.

Opioids are found in a wide range of medications prescribed by your doctor, including OxyContin, Percocet, and Duragesic. Used to treat pain after surgery, doctors prescribe these medications in staggering numbers. This is one way someone can develop an addiction to opiates; others, meanwhile, may begin using them recreationally.

Between 2000 and 2009, the number of pregnant women using opiates at the time of their delivery increased by nearly 500%. Opiates can significantly affect the physical and mental development of a fetus. Due to the varying strengths of this drug, some may pose more severe risks than other forms. Typically, babies born to mothers with an opiate addiction inherit this addiction beginning at birth. The baby will require immediate medical attention, in addition to a lifetime of support down the road. Opioid use may also lead to premature birth or fetal death.

If you or someone you know is using opiates while pregnant, it’s important to seek professional help immediately. The sooner the mother begins opiate addiction treatment, the less chance this harmful drug will affect the health of the baby.

For compassionate addiction recovery services in the Highland Park, Lake County, Tinley Park, Joliet and Chicago area, look no further than Brightside Clinic. When it comes to addiction, you’re not alone. You need support and expertise to make it through this difficult time. To learn more, call (224) 205-7866 or visit the website.

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How Addiction Treatment Helped Brightside Clinic Patient Danielle Davis

addiction treatmentIllinois resident Danielle Davis, 36, started taking Vicodin and Oxycontin for migraines when she was 15 years old as prescribed by her doctor. It wasn’t long before she developed a severe dependence on these substances, and her doctors just “weren’t giving [her] enough anymore,” she said. When she didn’t take them, she became physically sick. She looked to the streets to obtain the substances, only to find she couldn’t afford them. Instead, she turned to another opiate: heroin.

Her heroin addiction was a long battle, lasting about 10.5 years. Today, she is finally clean. Here’s what Danielle, an addiction treatment patient at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, IL, had to say about her experience:

“I have now been clean for eight months. I take Suboxone® 8mg twice a day now. I put one underneath my tongue: once in the morning, and then about 12 hours later. What it does for me is it helps to control the cravings that I have…I [also] go to outpatient treatment and see a therapist for issues surrounding my drug abuse. [Suboxone®] helps the physical withdrawals and it also helps just maintain a normal level [of dopamine] that most people are at, that I’m not at right now—because of what all the years of drug abuse have done to my body.”

Danielle is one of many people who did not choose to become addicted to opiates. However, she chose to free herself from her drug dependence. In part, thanks to addiction treatment, she plans to remain clean for a lifetime.

To regain control of your health and well-being, speak with the caring staff at Brightside Clinic about addiction treatment if you’re in Highland Park, Lake County, Tinley Park, Joliet or Chicago. To learn more, call a helpful professional today at the Northbrook location at (224) 205-7866, the Tinley Park facility at (708) 292-0044, or visit the clinic online. You can also like the facility on Facebook.

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How Parents’ Drug Dependence Impacts Children


Tens of millions of Americans suffer from drug dependence. This strong, chemically-wired addiction can affect anyone: the rich, poor, and the educated alike. An addiction to heroin, opiates, or another serious drug is pervasive, often affecting every aspect of the individual’s life. Unfortunately, this can lead to severe consequences for children of parents suffering from a drug addiction.

Most people love their children and want to do what’s best for them. Those suffering from drug dependence love their children and don’t want them to suffer — it’s just the circumstances of the addiction can easily cause negative repercussions for the child. In addition to the potential hereditary effects of being born to a mother addicted to heroin or opiates, there are numerous lifestyle factors that may hinder a child’s growth and development.

Those suffering from drug dependence may leave their children alone at home or forget to feed, bathe, and otherwise, care for their child due to their addiction. Children may feel lonely and neglected. Sometimes, drugs may increase the likelihood of violent, verbal, or sexual abuse. Even having drugs around children, whether hidden away or out in the open, can lead to undue, serious harm.

Studies show that a high percentage of currently and previously incarcerated people suffered some form of neglect in their upbringing. Quite simply, if parents use drugs, like heroin and opiates, their children are more likely to use them in the future. Part of this is due to socioeconomic factors; if parents were raised in a drug-ridden, poor environment and raised their children in the same environment, it is very difficult to break the cycle for future generations.

If you or someone you know suffers from drug dependence, it’s time to seek help. A difficult conversation today can save someone’s life down the road. To learn about drug addiction treatments in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, contact the caring team from Brightside Clinic. Call the center at (224) 205-7866 (Northbrook) or (708) 292-0044 (Tinley Park) to learn more. You can also visit the website

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Drug Dependence & Devastating Birth Defects


Addiction hurts the individual suffering, as well as the friends and family surrounding them. When a woman is pregnant, the situation becomes more complex, as drug dependence can cause life-altering birth defects for the unborn child. Brightside Clinic understands each situation requires personalized drug addiction treatment, particularly when there’s a risk of fetal harm.

The clinic works with women in the Highland Park, Lake County, Will County, southern Cook County, and Chicago area to combat the addiction as early as possible in attempts to improve the quality of life for mothers and babies. Sadly, even with early intervention, there can be permanent birth defects from opiate use during pregnancy. With Birth Defects Awareness Week kicking off May 14, the Brightside team wants to raise awareness of these issues.

Congenital Heart Defects

Expectant mothers who suffer from heroin addiction greatly increase their child’s risk for a congenital heart defect. In other words, the child could be born with some structural issue of the heart, which may even prove fatal. According to statistics, issues with the heart are the leading cause of newborn death compared to any other birth defect. Because it’s dangerous to simply quit taking the medications due to opiate withdrawals, Brightside Clinic wants to help safely eliminate the mother’s use as quickly as possible.

Spina Bifida

Drug dependence during pregnancy can also affect neurological development. For example, a condition known as spina bifida can cause motor problems, learning difficulties, and an array of other life-long challenges for the child.


Hydrocephaly, which can be a symptom of spina bifida or a free standing birth defect, is fluid on the brain with the potential to cause everything from seizures to slowed development. The Brightside Clinic specialists are passionate about helping these mothers throughout the addiction treatment process to fight potential negative affects on the way to recovery.


Gastroschisis is a somewhat rarer defect linked to drug dependence during pregnancy. In this condition, the infant is born with portions of his intestinal tract outside of the body, and this defect leads to surgery and long recovery for the infant after birth.

No mother wants to see her child in pain. Naturally, an expectant mother suffering from opiate addiction has even more motivation to seek help. The treatment experts at both Brightside Clinic locations welcome these women with open arms and guide them through addiction recovery.

If you or someone you love could use personalized help to get their life back, give the Brightside Clinic in Northbrook a call at (224) 205-7866, or call (708) 292-0044 for the Tinley Park location. Don’t hesitate to get more information or reach out online.

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Naloxone: Discover Its Life-Saving Benefits for Opiate Overdoses

Drug dependence has devastating effects, especially when opiates are involved. From prescription painkillers to heroin, opiate abuse is on the rise and so are overdoses. Tinley Park and Northbrook, IL’s Brightside Clinic knows seeking support isn’t easy, so they offer addiction recovery services for those who need them most. Putting lives back together one piece at a time, the caring professionals share the life-saving benefits of Naloxone.

Brightside Clinic’s Honorable Mission

The clinic has come a long way in the past two years, and in honor of its second anniversary, these addiction recovery professionals are making a promise. This year, Brightside Clinic is committed to writing 1,000 prescriptions for Naloxone, a life-saving drug for those suffering an overdose from heroin or other opiates. By utilizing this life-saver, they’re on a mission to reduce opiate-related deaths throughout the entire Midwest.

Through a program with Kaleo, the company that manufactures EVZIO® injectable devices, and Adapt Pharma, the company that manufactures the Narcan® intranasal sprays, people can get this medication from a doctor for little to no cost. Prescriptions are available for anyone who needs them, whether they’re patients or not. Brightside Clinic wants anyone who needs this life-saving medication to have available access.

How Naloxone Saves Lives

Naloxone has unmatched, life-saving benefits. For someone who has suffered an opiate overdose, it can mean the difference between life and death. During an overdose, breathing slows, eventually coming to a stop. When someone is suffering, waking them can prove impossible, resulting in death. Treatment must be rapid, as brain damage occurs after just a few minutes of oxygen loss.

If you’re the only person present, the opportunity to save someone’s life is just a few minutes long. Naloxone can be used as either an injection or a spray, springing to action immediately. If you discover a friend who has overdosed on heroin, administering the drug blocks the opiate’s effects, reversing overdose, restoring breathing, and providing time to transport the victim to the emergency room. This miracle drug kicks in within minutes, so having it on hand has the potential to save thousands of lives.

After two years of dedication helping those suffering from heroin and other opiates, the addiction treatment team at Brightside Clinic is proud to prescribe 1,000 life-saving prescriptions of Naloxone over the next year. With two Chicago area locations, they offer comprehensive treatment for those seeking support. Visit the website to learn more about the services. To speak with a staff member, call the Tinley Park location at (708) 292-0044, or call (224) 205-7866 to reach the Northbrook location.

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How to Support Someone Going Through Addiction Recovery


Addiction affects 23.5 million Americans. Unfortunately, very few people actually seek help for their troubles: Only 11% of those struggling with alcohol or drug dependence ever receive treatment. So if a loved one is currently undergoing addiction recovery, it is important to give them the support they require during this difficult time. Brightside Clinic, a drug treatment center located in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, is dedicated to successful addiction recovery. Here, they offer their advice to help you support a loved one who is in recovery.

Here are three ways you can help:

  • Listen: When a loved one opens up to you about their drug or alcohol addiction, the most important thing you can do is listen with the intention of understanding. Take your time before you respond, and refrain from telling them what you think they should do. Instead, be compassionate and caring. This will build trust and allow you to have a greater impact in their life, and it will also help the person in addiction recovery feel accepted and cared for.
  • Keep Drugs & Alcohol Away: When someone you love is going through addiction recovery, they need to be in substance-free spaces. Keep drugs and alcohol out of your home, and if you decide to go out together, skip the bars and clubs and try a movie instead. It’s important not to put them in a setting that could result in a relapse.
  • Gently Suggest Addiction Recovery Treatment: While they might be set on getting better on their own, it’s best for your loved one to seek professional addiction recovery services to ensure success. If they’re not receiving treatment, gently suggest considering it. Stay positive, make sure your words express your love for them, and don’t push if they’re initially resistant to the idea. Insisting they seek help may permanently close the door of communication.

Dealing with drug and alcohol addiction is tough. If you know someone who is struggling, remember it is not your job to get them on the right path. However, you can help by showing your love for them. And if they’re ready to enter a program, Brightside Clinic is standing by. For more information, visit their website or call (224) 205-7866 for their Northbrook location or (708) 292-0044 for the Tinley Park facility.

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Drug Dependence: 4 Signs a Loved One Might Have a Problem


Many individuals try to hide their drug dependence, but it eventually impacts their lives and those of everyone they love. The professionals at Brightside Clinic know several ways to tell if a friend or family member is abusing heroin or additional opiates. With locations in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, their knowledge comes from experience providing people throughout the area with drug addiction treatment for heroin and opiate withdrawal.

Below, the experts share common signs that someone you know needs help:

  • Severe Mood Changes: Changes in personality are often a side effect of drug dependence. Often, even-keeled people exhibit extreme mood changes, from severe anxiety to euphoria and depression. Because opiates affect brain function, psychosis is also a symptom.
  • Deceptive Behavior: Has your once-open friend or family member suddenly become distant? Do they dodge certain topics or meet questions with vague answers? If so, drug dependence is often to blame. In an attempt to hide drug use, many people often lie about activities, whereabouts, and additional information.
  • Change in Appearance: Heroin is one opiate that slowly eats away at every part of the body. Because of this, it is harder for users to hide physical changes. Extreme weight loss, excessive sweating, and blisters from uncontrollable scratching are all common symptoms.
  • Paraphernalia: If you live with someone suffering from addiction, check your home for paraphernalia. Although most people keep drugs in hiding places, you might find discarded needles and old pill bottles in trash bins.

Don’t let someone you love suffer through the pain of addiction. For help in Highland Park, Lake County, Chicago, and the surrounding areas, call the Northbrook facility at (224) 205-7866 for assistance. For help in the Southwestern suburbs, including Will and southern Cook County, call the Tinley Park addiction recovery facility at (708) 292-0044. Visit Brightside Clinic online for more information about how they will help your loved one overcome their addiction, and don’t forget to like the Facebook page for updated announcements.

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4 Things to Expect From Your Drug Addiction Treatment


In the United States, opiate abuse has reached epidemic levels. It was reported that in 2015, nearly two million Americans over the age of 12 were struggling with a prescription drug addiction while over half a million more were coping with an addiction to heroin. If you have recently struggled with drug dependence and are seeking drug addiction treatment, you have taken the first step toward recovery.

Drug addiction treatment is highly individualized and may vary based on the substance you are addicted to and where you are treated. Brightside Clinic, an addiction recovery center in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, focuses on medically-assisted treatment. This form of treatment combines the use of medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms, with therapies meant to address and eliminate the root of the addiction.

Continue reading as the experts from Brightside Clinic explain their four-part treatment plan.


Whether you are seeking drug addiction treatment for heroin or prescription opiates, your treatment at Brightside begins by transitioning you off of your current drugs. The doctors will meet with you to create an individualized plan and begin your course of Buprenorphine medications such as Suboxone®. These medications allow you to stop using opiates and heroin right away without the withdrawal symptoms.drug addiction treatment


Over the course of the next week, the doctors at Brightside Clinic will closely monitor your condition to determine how well the withdrawal medication is working for you. They will use this time to further individualize your treatment and find which dose works best. Once they have determined the ideal dosage, they will finalize your treatment.


During the maintenance portion of your drug addiction treatment, the doctors from Brightside Clinic will introduce therapy alongside your medications. These therapy sessions look to identify the cause of your addiction and address the behaviors that may lead you to use again. This stage of treatment can last six months but may take longer, depending on the nature of your addiction.


The ultimate goal of your treatment is to break your dependence on drugs and the withdrawal medication completely. As your condition improves, the doctors from Brightside Clinic will work with you to taper off your medication safely and completely. There is no timeline for the tapering, and they will work with you to ensure it is only done when the time is right.

If you or someone you love is in need of drug addiction treatment, call (224) 205-7866 (Northbrook location) or (708) 292-0044 (Tinley Park location) to speak with a member of the Brightside Clinic team about your options. To learn more about the recovery services available, visit the clinic online.

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What to Expect From a Drug Addiction Treatment


Whether you’re addicted to heroin or methadone, coping with opiate dependence is never easy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to overcome this dangerous addiction and regain your health, well-being, and overall quality of life. In fact, millions just like you have succeeded in this precise journey. Today, the caring team from Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, tells you what to expect from a drug addiction treatment.

drug addiction treatmentAt Brightside Clinic, the experts stick to the “PACT promise,” which stands for a Program that works, Access to treatment, a Comfortable transition, and Treatment designed for you. At this clinic, drug addiction treatments are highly personalized and based on your unique needs, circumstances, and wishes. Ultimately, these professionals want to help you remain comfortable and deliver real results.

While Brightside’s drug addiction treatment programs ultimately vary from person to person, you might be a candidate for the heroin addiction treatment, drug dependence, methadone conversion, buprenorphine, or adolescent treatment program. Regardless of which one is right for you, the clinic’s highly trained team of medical experts and counselors will provide you with the medicine, therapy, and support system you need every step of the way.

With the help of safe and effective medications like Zubsolv® and Suboxone®, you can eliminate your cravings and overcome your addiction. Brightside doesn’t stop there, though: They also equip you with the tools and skills you need to truly make a change. With the help of this compassionate team, you’ll remain accountable for a lifetime. That means no relapses and the fulfilling life you deserve.

To become a healthier, happier you, see what this drug addiction treatment center has to offer. Learn more about how Brightside Clinic can help you by calling a friendly professional in Northbrook at (224) 205-7866 or (708) 292-0044 for Tinley Park. You can also visit the center’s website.

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3 Pros of Turning to an Outpatient Treatment for Drug Dependence


Mistakenly, most people believe the only way to sobriety for those suffering from drug dependence is intensive inpatient programs. Actually, there are many other addiction treatment options available, including outpatient treatment, and according to Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park, IL, many times, these are a much better solution to addiction.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug dependence, here are a few ways they might benefit from outpatient addiction treatment:

  • drug dependenceReduction in Life Interruptions: Not everyone has the means to take extended leave from their job, children, and daily life to seek inpatient treatment. Fortunately, many addiction recovery centers offer treatment programs with sessions that take place in the evenings and on the weekends. This allows more individuals to seek help without upturning their whole lives. It also removes the process of having the person make their life fit into their newfound sobriety, as the two will already be intertwined.

  • Network of Supportive Family & Friends:
    Getting sober is hard, and while your inpatient team and other patients can offer some support, they are no match for your family and friends. Being surrounded by supportive family members can be incredibly helpful when someone with a drug dependence is having a tough day.
  • Private Recovery: Many individuals fear what will happen to them in their public lives when others learn they have entered an addiction recovery program. Since outpatient programs do not require people to remain at the facility, it is much easier for the individual to continue their normal life and keep their recovery as private as possible.

If you would like to learn more about outpatient programs for those living with drug dependence, contact Brightside Clinic today. Since opening in 2015, they have helped over 200 people a month recover from opioid addiction. Reserve an appointment today in Northbrook by calling (224) 205-7866 or in Tinley Park by calling (708) 292-0044. Visit their website for more information about their programs.

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3 Devastating Side Effects Associated With Opiate Use


As one of the most abused drugs in the United States, opiates are easily accessible because they are readily prescribed by doctors for pain relief. Opiates, whether prescription painkillers or heroin, are derived from the chemicals found in opium poppies and are highly addictive. If not taken correctly with oversight from a licensed medical provider, using opiates can cause a drug addiction that’s hard to overcome.

The Brightside Clinic understands the hard battle with opiate addiction and works with patients to get back on the right track. Below, they discusses three side effects that coincide with opiate abuse:

Daytime Sedation

Eliciting a profound sense of drowsiness, the use of opiates causes its victims to slip in and out of consciousness throughout the day. Daytime sedation from opiate use does not only put the user in danger, but it also puts others in danger if the user is operating any sort of vehicle or machinery.

Respiratory Depression

An opiate drug dependence causes damage in users’ lungs as well. Prolonged use of opiates results in respiratory depression, which significantly slows breathing. If the respiratory depression is severe, the lack of air provided to the body can create debilitating injury to your lungs and can even be fatal.

Wreaks Havoc in Digestive Tract

Opiate use has a negative impact to your digestive tract. Abuse of opiates slows the digestive transit, causing constipation, nausea, and uncontrollable vomiting in users. If these become prolonged symptoms, greater problems can arise, such as bowel obstruction or perforation.

If you, a friend or family member has a drug dependence, seek drug addiction treatment from a specialized recovery center. With locations in both Northbrook and Tinley Park, Illinois, the Brightside Clinic can help you or your loved ones get back to the healthy, fulfilling life they deserve. For more information about their addiction treatments, give them a call at (224) 205-7866 or visit them online.

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Brightside Clinic Appoints Dr. David Kushner as Medical Director

Dr David Kushner

In 2016, Brightside Clinic in Northbrook and Tinley Park treated over 375 people seeking treatment for opioid addiction. To continue the mission of providing the best treatment for everyone, Brightside Clinic is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. David Kushner, D.O., FACP as our medical director.

Dr. Kushner has been a hospitalist caring for patients with addiction since 2000, and he has been associated with the clinic since its inception in May 2015. Since then, Dr. Kushner has become a sought-after physician in the clinic and is beloved by patients and staff.

“When considering our patients and our mission to treat the entire condition of opiate addiction, Dr. Kushner is the best choice to lead our organization to the next level,” said Phil Atteberry, CEO of Brightside Clinic and partner of PBJ Partners, LLC. “He embodies everything we strive for in this business, now and in the future.”

In his 17 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Kushner has treated addiction wherever it surfaces – in the intensive care units of leading hospitals, in emergency departments, and now in long-term management of patients struggling with this disease.

“The opioid epidemic is a disease that does not discriminate and affects people of all ages, races, and social status,” said Dr. Kushner. “From the introduction of heroin over 100 years ago to the recent surge in prescription pain pill dependence, this epidemic has evolved and treatment needs to evolve with it.”

As medical director, Dr. Kushner will help lead the medical team at Brightside, bring forward the most cutting edge treatment, and help develop and implement new treatment programs.

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The Best is Yet to Come for IL’s Leading Addiction Recovery Center

Helping patients overcome addiction to heroin and prescription opiates has been Brightside Clinic’s primary mission since day one. This addiction recovery center, located in the heart of Northbrook, IL, has seen patients accomplish so much over the last year with strength, resilience, and dedication. As the New Year begins, it’s important to reflect on all the progress and great work that’s occurred over the last twelve months. In addition, now is the ideal time to reset, create new goals, and celebrate because the best is yet to come for this trusted addiction treatment center.

Accomplishments in 2016

Finding the courage to seek treatment for heroin and opiate addiction is challenging and significant, marking the beginning of the addiction recovery process. In 2016, Brightside Clinic had the opportunity to help 375 patients begin this journey toward an addiction-free lifestyle. Month to month, 80% of their patients remained on their addiction recovery plan.

With added success and an influx of patients, Brightside Clinic proceeded to expand their staff over the year, making room for more physicians and partnerships, which led to expanded services to aid patients better. 2016 also launched Brightside Clinic’s “Wall of Hope” and “Tree of Hope” campaigns to share support for those suffering from addiction across the country.

Goals for This Year

At Brightside Clinic, they always believe the best is yet to come. The New Year signifies exciting times for this revolutionary addiction treatment center with major plans to help even more patients on the road to addiction recovery at their second location in Tinley Park. They’re also on the lookout for a new facility in the Chicago area!

The clinic will also continue their collaboration efforts with Live4Lali to raise awareness of opiate addiction and recovery options. Brightside Clinic will partner with pharmacies, so patients in remote parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois will have access to life-saving medication.

If you or a loved one in the Greater Northbrook or Tinley Park, IL, areas is suffering from an addiction to heroin or prescription opiates, contact Brightside Clinic today at (224) 205-7866 or (708) 292-0044 to learn about their addiction treatment programs. For additional information on how their staff can successfully help you through the addiction recovery process with strength and compassion, visit the website.

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Keep Your Kids Drug-Free: Advice From an Addiction Treatment Center


No parent wants their child to become addicted to drugs. Unfortunately, many parents avoid taking action to prevent drug use, often because they think it could never happen to them. Even if your child is a straight-A student who you don’t think could ever possibly fall victim to drug abuse, it’s important to realize that it can happen to anyone. All it takes is a tiny bit of peer pressure to forget a powerful addiction.

In honor of protecting children everywhere, the caring team from Northbrook and Tinley Park, Illinois’ top addiction treatment center, Brightside Clinic, will explain how to protect your kids. Here are three ways to prevent your children from using drugs:

Pay attention to What’s in Your Home

Teenagers are increasingly using prescription drugs for recreational use, which can quickly spiral out of control. To protect your child, pay attention to what potential drugs could be abused in your very own home. As a precaution, lock your medicine cabinet.

Make Time for Family Time

Prioritizing time with your family will help build a relationship of trust and understanding. As your child gets older, it becomes harder to sustain a close relationship, but doing so is more important than ever. Eat dinner together, take turns talking about how your day went, and create a safe environment for discussing your feelings together. Go to sporting events or piano recitals, and most importantly, lead by example.

Talk to Your Children

Have a two-sided discussion about the perils of drug dependence before your child enters their teen years. Don’t make threats or accusations—instead, gently explain the severity of using drugs. Don’t sugarcoat it—talk about opiates and heroin; explain how the chemicals in these drugs alter your brain permanently and how they can ruin lives and even kill you. Make sure you mention the legal consequences as well. Give an example of how you might refuse drugs in a social setting, and set clear rules and boundaries.

If you think your child is using drugs, first, talk to your child. Then, seek the support of a trusted addiction treatment center. To learn more about how the team at Brightside Clinic can help you and your family, call (224) 205-7866 in Northbrook and (708) 292-0044 in Tinley Park. You can also visit the addiction treatment center online.

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Top 5 Reasons People Refuse Addiction Treatment

Outdoor portrait of a sad teenage girl looking thoughtful about troubles

Addiction recovery appears to be beyond the grasp of many individuals suffering from drug dependency. In 2016, the Associated Press reported that nearly 50,000 Americans, the highest number to date, perished from drug overdoses during the previous year alone.

With heroin and opioid addictions on the rise, many people suffering from drug addiction refuse treatment for a variety of surprising, yet common reasons. The specialists at Brightside Clinic, with locations in Northbrook, Illinois, and Tinley Park, Illinois, make it their mission to offer caring and comprehensive addiction treatment to anyone battling the disease of drug dependence.

Here are the reasons many people won’t seek treatment:

Not Ready to Quit

Many individuals dealing with heroin or opioid addiction simply are not ready to quit. It could potentially be years before they are ready to stop using the substances they are addicted to. No amount of pressure or intervention attempts will spur them into treatment. They have to be ready, willing, and able to seek treatment on their own terms.

Shame & Weakness

Some people struggling with addiction feel shame because they see their addiction as a personal weakness. Often, pride prevents people from seeking the help they need. Sometimes, people also feel bad about admitting they are struggling with drug addiction for fear of appearing weak to their families and loved ones.

Fear of Job Loss

Loss of income is a major reason why people will suffer from drug addiction over seeking addiction recovery. Many times, these individuals cannot see they are damaging their work reputation by denying treatment. It is difficult for them to realize their career will both grow and thrive only after proper treatment is sought.

No Insurance

Some individuals simply don’t have the insurance or the funds available to afford proper addiction treatment at a comprehensive drug rehabilitative facility such as Brightside Clinic. Many times, people struggling with drug addiction don’t realize alternative payment methods or financial options may be available to them.

Suicidal Tendencies

Many individuals suffering from drug addiction find themselves in a terribly dark, dangerous, and threatening place they can’t escape on their own. They should never be left alone and should have someone close to them who is available to reach out regularly, offering help and guidance if and when necessary.

The doctors and staff at Brightside Clinic want to aid in the process of addiction recovery. They proudly serve the areas of Highland Park, Lake County, and Chicago, IL. For more information, or to speak to a clinician, call the center at (224) 205-7866 (Northbrook) or (708) 292-0044 (Tinley Park), or visit the website for more details.

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Staying Clean: Advice for Drug Addiction Treatment & Beyond

Meeting Of Support Group

Meeting Of Support Group

After completing drug addiction treatment, you have a lot to be proud about. Thanks to your strength and determination, you made it through the grueling process of overcoming addiction. While you should feel accomplished for your tremendous work, it’s important to keep in mind that this journey isn’t over yet. Today, the caring professionals from Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, and Tinley Park, IL, will give you the advice you need for staying clean after drug addiction treatment.

Addiction recovery is a multi-step process, and many survivors will tell you treatment is only the beginning. Now, it’s your job to prove your strength once again. If you want to maintain the quality of life you deserve, it’s time to be as proactive as possible. If you went to support groups or recovery meetings during treatment, don’t stop now. If you never went to meetings, forming a community is now more important than ever.

By joining a support group, such as Brightside’s weekly SMART support group, you can help hold each other accountable, as well as develop friendships with like-minded people who truly understand you. It’s easy to put off taking this initiative, which is why it’s so important to make a move the very first day out of drug addiction treatment.

Naturally, you want to celebrate your success, and you can, but first, you need to commit to maintaining your health. Hold yourself accountable, and invite others to help you too. In turn, you can support them; this way, everyone wins.

If you’re struggling with drug dependence or addiction recovery, it’s time to receive the help you need. To build and maintain the happy, healthy life you deserve, contact the compassionate team from Brightside Clinic. For more information, call today at (224) 205-7866 in Northbrook or (708) 292-0044 in Tinley Park. You can also visit the team online or on the Facebook page.

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3 Effective Opiate Abuse Prevention Strategies

blog post Jan 1

Drug addiction is a debilitating disease, which can affect your health, relationships, and lifestyle with equal severity. The good news is Brightside Clinic can educate you about effective strategies to prevent opiate drug abuse. Helping residents in Highland Park, Lake County, Tinley Park and Chicago, IL, the center offers some useful pointers to help you stay away from drug dependence.

Here are three surefire ways to prevent opiate abuse:

  1. Learn About The Risk Factors

The family history of drug abuse, mental illness, and your surroundings are some factors used to determine your likelihood of developing an addiction. In addition, studies have shown that young adults and adolescents are most likely to indulge in unhealthy drug use. If you’re at a higher risk of getting affected by opiate addiction, Brightside Clinic recommends getting timely support and help. The clinic’s efficient staff can guide you through preventative steps to help you lower your chances of encountering this disease.

  1. Seek Counseling

Mental and emotional suffering are two of the most common reasons why individuals try to find refuge in drugs. A healthier alternative is to find a mental health expert and attend regular counseling sessions with them. A professional counselor will provide you with a comfortable environment to discuss your issues and recommend ways to cope with them. Joining relevant support groups in your local Chicago and Lake County communities can also provide you with the outlet you need.

  1. Make Healthy Choices

Cutting out stress triggers and other unhealthy habits from your life are an excellent way to curb your risk of developing an opiate addiction. Brightside Clinic particularly recommends incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and meditative activities in your schedule to strengthen your defense against heroin or prescription drug abuse. The combined effect of all these elements results in a happy state of mind and decreases your risk of falling victim to drugs. Joining a recovery group can also assist in helping make the right choices. Brightside Clinic hosts a weekly SMART Recovery group every Thursday night at their Northbrook location.

These prevention techniques from Brightside Clinic are a guaranteed way to safeguard you from the harmful effects of opiate addiction. Call the center at (224) 205-7866 (Northbrook) or (708) 292-0044 (Tinley Park) to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment options. You can also visit the website to find out how they help you recover from drug dependence, and like the Facebook page for regular updates.

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What to Do About Heroin Abuse


If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse, it’s time to seek help. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you or your loved one can regain control of your health and well-being. The experts from Brightside Clinic, serving Highland Park, Lake County, and Chicagoland area, will explain what to do in the face of heroin abuse.

In general, drug addiction is defined by an uncontrollable urge to take a certain drug, even if you want to stop or if it’s harming you. Anyone is susceptible to the powerful addictive properties of many drugs, including heroin. Since frequent drug use alters the chemistry of the brain, quitting is nearly impossible without the help of a doctor or addiction specialist.

For this reason, the first and most important step in addressing heroin abuse is always to seek professional help. You may visit your doctor, who can refer you to a qualified treatment center. You also may contact an addiction treatment center directly. This step demands courage, but it will pay off down the road — you are not alone in this journey.

Once you have the experts on your side with your best interests in mind, treatment can begin. This may take the form of counseling, detoxification, medication, and other methods. It all depends on your unique circumstances. Self-help groups may also help bolster accountability, morale, and strengthen your path to a healthy recovery. Writing in a journal, engaging socially, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet will also help you cope both physically and mentally.

Without treatment, heroin abuse takes a serious toll on one’s health, well-being, and overall quality of life. Recovering from addiction is a challenge, but it is one you can overcome. All you need to do is seek the help you deserve.

The caring professionals at Brightside Clinic want to help you live well again. To learn more, call the Northbrook location at (224) 205-7866 or the Tinley Park location at (708) 292-0044. You can also visit the center’s website. And don’t forget to like the Facebook page for inspiration and updates.


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Since Brightside Clinic in Northbrook opened in 2015, they have seen an influx of patients, nearly 200 a month, seeking treatment for opioid addiction. To help more patients and expand access to care, Brightside Clinic announced today that it will open a new facility in Tinley Park.

According to the Will County Coroner’s office, Will County will set a new record for fatal heroin overdoses in 2016, largely in part to the prevalence of Fentanyl which causes a higher potency, cheap heroin prices and an increase in prescription opioid abuse. For those people who are ready to seek treatment, there are often long waits to see an addiction specialist or patients need to travel far distances to find a treatment center.

Brightside Clinic’s approach to care combines medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, or Subutex®) with counseling to stabilize patients, prevent relapse and help them successfully manage their disease to lead a stable, productive life. Similar to the Northbrook office, the Tinley Park location is a modern facility where patients feel welcomed and respected. The treatment rooms are designed to allow patients to relax and comfortably speak with doctors and therapists.

Since the beginning of 2016, Brightside Clinic has treated more than 160 patients with 80 percent of them returning for month-to-month treatment, a high number compared to other treatment options that retain just 20 to 30 percent of patients during the first three to six months, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

In addition to Northbrook, Dr. Oyasu will oversee this location and will be joined by additional physicians and addiction specialists.

“When a person is ready to commit to treatment, you want them to start immediately. Waiting on a list can have dire consequences for a person whose life revolves around their next high,” said Oyasu. “It is our hope that this new location will provide greater access, not only to people located in south and southwest suburban Chicago, but also those who come from Michigan and Indiana to seek treatment.”


Brightside Clinic is the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area. Our mission is to provide medically-assisted treatment in the most discrete, convenient and friendly environment. Whether dependent on painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and Fentanyl, or addicted to heroin, Brightside Clinic’s treatment programs are uniquely designed for each patient based on their addiction and lifestyle. Through our unique combination of Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®) and counseling, we get patients on their way to regaining their life.

Visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Google+.

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Brightside Clinic Discusses Heroin Addiction & Lali’s Law


Drug addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States. Every day, the families and loved ones of those in treatment for heroin addiction fear that they may lose a parent, sibling, child, or friend to an accidental overdose.  A new law, however, offers hope for patients seeking addiction treatment, as well as their families. The law, known as Lali’s Law, is part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and will allow for the opiate overdose reversal drug, naloxone, to be available nationwide without a prescription.

In this Daily Herald article, Brightside Clinic discusses the importance of making naloxone available without a prescription. He also addresses which stage in drug addiction treatment the medication is most necessary:

Former drug users might need naloxone the most right when they leave rehab or jail. That’s because overdose risk is highest after a period of abstinence. Taking the same amount of drugs will produce a stronger effect when the body’s tolerance has been reduced.

Heroin addiction can be notoriously difficult to beat, but as Dr. Oyasu notes, Lali’s Law is about giving patients in recovery the opportunity to continue trying, even after a relapse. Dr. Oyasu and Brightside Clinic have been a haven for Illinois residents seeking treatment for opiate addictions. Their combination of medically-assisted treatment and supportive counseling is helping patients like Danielle D. get their lives back:

Before I called Brightside, I was at a point in my life where I could not get past three days clean from heroin. I would get so sick and the cravings were so intensely high that I would go back and use within the third day. I was so tired of wanting to stop but my body wouldn’t let me. Now I can happily say that I am 45 days clean. The Brightside team: Phil, John, Brianna, and Dr. Burton, have done everything to help empower me so that I can now live a fulfilled life.

-Danielle D.

While Lali’s Law can provide a second chance at life after someone has overdosed, the Brightside Clinic can help those suffering from opiate and heroin addiction get control over their lives before they go too far. If you or someone you know is battling addiction in Chicago, Lake County, or Highland Park, visit the website or call (224) 205-7866.


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Dominick’s Story

Dominick entered this world addicted to Methadone. His parents were both drug users and his mother abused Methadone when he was conceived. Dominick, however, didn’t start Methadone on his own until his 20s. He started smoking pot with friends around 17. He tried cocaine and continued experimenting with other drugs. He liked the way it made him feel. “It allowed me to leave reality. I was always trying to figure out how I could try it (a drug) and not get into trouble,” he said.
Dominick was raised by his grandparents in the suburbs of Chicago. At age 24, his grandmother passed away. The loss was too great and he began experiencing panic attacks which he was able to treat with physician-prescribed Benzodiazepines.
It was after having his wisdom teeth removed, that he started abusing prescription opiates when he was prescribed Vicodin for the pain management. It was the first time he had taken a painkiller. “I had never had it before. It gave me energy and didn’t knock me out. I liked how it made me feel,” he said.
It was this continued “feel good” path that led Dominick to try stronger opiates. Subsequently, his criminal background started. “I started looking for what was even stronger. I was just going up the ladder.”
For the next three years, Dominick manufactured and forged prescriptions. He would use and sell the pills to support his drug habit. In an effort to increase his drug supply, Dominick visited emergency rooms complaining of back pain to score pills. “I spent a lot of time learning prescription lingo and symbols. Eventually, though, I got caught,” he said.
Dominic spent some time in jail and received two years of probation. While Dominick spent time in and out of the court system, his grandfather was diagnosed with late stage cancer. Opting to live his last two months at home, his grandfather’s strong prescriptions and pain killers were at Dominick’s fingertips. “I started abusing Methadone like I abused everything else. I just have that kind of mind,” he said.
It was around this time when Dominick missed a scheduled court date. He was eventually picked up on a warrant and sent to Kane County Jail.
Dominick tried to get clean. He worked through Illinois’ Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) program for seven months and spent 90 days in an inpatient rehab facility before moving to a halfway house and eventually, a 3/4 way house.
Sadly, the pull of addiction overcame Dominick once again.
When he ran out of pills, Dominick went looking for heroin in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. He found what he was looking for within 20 minutes. He began abusing Methadone again.
Dominick’s turning point occurred when he learned that his girlfriend was pregnant with their now three-year-old daughter. Through Suboxone treatment research online, Dominick made the decision to get clean and stay clean. He contacted Brightside and he immediately felt hopeful. “They said I could come in right away. I was getting responses at other places that were more like a two-month waitlist,” he said.
Dominick credits Brightside Clinic with helping him kick his Methadone habit. When he started experiencing withdrawals, Dominick said Brightside was just a phone call away. When the withdrawals became unbearable, he was prescribed Dominic some sedatives to give him some relief. “It was an instant flu. I was crawling out of my skin. I couldn’t keep still. I was just so sick,” he said.
Dominick said that the staff of Brightside has struck with him through his departure from Methadone and he considers staff at Brightside his friends. He has continued treatment with Brightside and has started counseling with Dr. Copeland, Brightside’s Clinical Director. The team is helping Dominick come up with a treatment program to address other health issues, including his panic attacks. “So, it’s not just about taking the medication. There are other areas. It brings a tear to my eye…that place,” Dominick emphasized.
Since his departure from Methadone, Dominic, now 36 years old, is finally using the potential he always knew he had. He has a good job with benefits and has not missed a day of work. He and his girlfriend have their own home and their daughter in in an excellent daycare. “My main goal is taking care of my daughter and making sure she and my girlfriend have what they need. We’re stable. Brightside really changed my life. They gave me that foundation,” he said.

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3 Reasons to Support Opiate Addiction Treatment


Treating people suffering from opiate addiction is beneficial not only for the individual but also for our community as a whole. Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, IL, knows exactly how drug, opiate, or heroin addiction can impact individuals and their loved ones. These drug dependence experts are devoted to offering caring treatment to help people get back on their feet. Rather than simply punishing or incarcerating individuals suffering from addiction, they believe in comprehensive drug addiction treatment.

Read on to learn how opiate addiction treatment can benefit individuals, their loved ones, and the community as a whole:

Save Money: Time and time again, studies have shown that incarceration costs taxpayers a lot of money. Investing in treatment can save society billions of dollars every year. Research shows that if merely 40% of eligible offenders were to receive appropriate addiction treatment, about $13 billion could be could be saved. Simply locking these individuals up without addressing the disease of addiction costs everyone in the long run.
Improve Society: People who are dealing with an opiate addiction are dealing with an illness, plain and simple. Incarcerating these individuals and then sending them back into society without treatment is a surefire recipe for failure. By supporting drug treatment programs, it’s possible to create brighter futures for these people, as well as the societies they return to.
Decrease Crime: Opiate addiction is often linked to crimes, from dealing drugs and committing serious offenses to buying them. Again, simply locking people up and sending them back into the community rarely helps. By targeting the root of the problem, which is opiate addiction itself, crime can be prevented.
A look at the reasons above leaves no doubt as to the importance of supporting opiate addiction treatment. Brightside Clinic offers comprehensive treatment for individuals dealing with these drug addictions. Located in Northbrook, IL, they serve the surrounding areas, including Highland Park, Lake County, and Chicago. Visit the website or call (224) 205-7866 to find out more about the services available.

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The Brightside Difference – Why Sixty Percent More Patients Remain in Treatment

For those suffering from addiction – and their family and friends, recovery may seem like an unattainable lifestyle change. But, Brightside Clinic provides new hope through its highly successful retention rates – in fact, 60 percent more patients remain in treatment with us, which is critical to true, long-term recovery.

During the first seven months of 2016, a remarkable 80 percent of Brightside Clinic’s patients returned month-to-month for treatment. This is staggering when compared to other treatment options that retain just 20 to 30 percent of patients during the first three to six months1.

Why does Brightside retain such a high rate of patients?
The high retention rates can be attributed to the combination of our unique treatment plan and one-of-a-kind approach to recovery.
Our treatment plan pairs counseling programs with Suboxone (or buprenorphine), a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs like heroin and painkillers. Click here to learn more about this treatment plan.
Brightside Clinic treats patients in a revolutionary way by combining what is generally found as individual treatment options into one, proven approach. By medically stabilizing the patient, Brightside Clinic is able to help prevent relapse over a greater period of time, which results in a high retention rate for treatment. Ultimately, their patients are equipped to truly manage their disease of addiction over a lifetime.

The unique experience at Brightside Clinic doesn’t stop with the treatment plan. From the moment a patient walks through the door, the Brightside approach is different.

Brightside Clinic’s patients love the warmth they experience with the compassionate team and modern facility. They feel welcomed and respected at Brightside, and they’re used to being shamed most places they go.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that between 26.4 and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. suffering from substance abuse disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. Use of both opioids and heroin has grown tremendously in the Chicago metropolitan area and especially in the suburban areas.
“In 2016, Brightside Clinic has seen a 57-percent increase in patients looking to quit opiates and start a new life in recovery,” said Phil Atteberry, chief business officer at Brightside Clinic.

1 “The therapeutic community claims a 30% success rate, but they only count people who complete the program,” according to Joseph A. Califano Jr., founder of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and a former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “Seventy to eighty percent drop out in three to six months.” More:

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Making It Through Heroin Withdrawal

heroin withdrawal
The decision to stop using an opiate is a substantial accomplishment in itself. To make it successfully through the heroin withdrawal process, it’s important to seek the help of an addiction recovery center. Brightside Clinic has emerged as a tremendous resource for those struggling with drug use in the Chicago area. With unparalleled drug addiction treatment services, the clinic has helped many patients reduce and eliminate their drug dependence through its medically-assisted treatment programs.
After enough time taking a drug like heroin, your body gets used to the input. When there is a lack of intake, individuals begin to experience withdrawal symptoms such as body aches, the inability to sleep, and anxiety, among other things. As the heroin withdrawal takes its course, the symptoms generally accelerate to nausea, diarrhea, and chills. Since the process will take weeks and even months to completely abate, it is wise to enlist all the help you can. At a recovery center like Brightside Clinic, you can expect empathetic support groups and therapy to help you through the difficult time.
In addition to the human element of support, there are a variety of medications that make the heroin withdrawal process more bearable. Medicines such as Naloxone stop the body’s absorbtion of heroin and stop overdoses, but do not provide the medicine required to eliminate the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Addiction treatment provders like Brightside Clinic offer medications like buprenorphine, which is designed to minimize yoru risk of overdosing and eliminate the cravings and symptoms associated with withdrawal. With the combination of a strong chemical regimen and a team of caring professionals, you will make it to the other side in the safest way possible.
If you’ve been struggling with opiates or heroin addiction, choosing Brightside Clinic as an ally in your recovery will go a long way toward changing your life. To find out more about the recovery process, feel free to call (224) 205-7866. You can read additional information about the clinic by checking out their website.

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Meet Regina


After abusing pain medication for much of her youth, Regina started using heroin when she was only 21 years old. She was introduced to heroin by the neighbors across the hall in her apartment complex. “It was really easy to keep going back to it,” she said because of her close proximity to the drug. Regina soon began to get in trouble at her job at a large retail pharmacy. She was accused of stealing a few weeks after employer discovered her drug use. Regina never stole the money.

By October of 2013, Regina’s life hit a new low. After a night of drinking with friends, she was driving home from dropping off her boyfriend and decided to try to end her life. She hit a highway guard rail and crashed her car. Thankfully, Regina lived, but she badly broke her back and needed surgery to insert metal rods and pins. Because she needed so much help while recovering, she moved back in with her mother who was able to care for her. To combat the pain while recuperating, Regina took pain medicine, as needed for her back, but as she became more and more mobile, she would go out looking for new and stronger pills. “I started using weekly and it turned into two times a week and more and more. It became a daily thing where I would crush the pills and chew them. Sometimes if I wasn’t able to find the pills, I would end up buying heroin again,” she said.

In the fall of 2014, Regina got in trouble with police after she and her boyfriend broke into a car window to steal a purse sitting on the seat. She went to jail, but made bail and spent the next year or so dealing with legal proceedings. During the legal process, Regina started treatment at a Methadone clinic and continued treatment for about nine months. Meanwhile, her boyfriend was on probation for six months and entered a rehab facility for three months. On the day he was released from rehab, Regina picked him up and they decided to get high to celebrate. “We decided we’ll just have a little fun. We’ll go buy some pills and crush them up and have a fun time,” she said.

Within no time, Regina and her boyfriend were abusing Methadone and Xanax, among other pills, and they added a new drug to their repertoire: crack cocaine. Within days, they started to buy heroin again. One day while shooting up with heroin, her boyfriend overdosed and Regina drove him to the hospital for treatment. During the car ride, she noticed his shallow heartbeat and blue-tinged ears and lips. At the hospital, doctors could not find his pulse and gave him an emergency shot of Narcan. He survived. “When I got home I didn’t want to be on the Methadone anymore. I ended up finding Brightside,” she said.

Regina said that the staff at Brightside was very understanding when she was in need of help, but didn’t have enough money to pay for her treatment. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to continue her desperately-needed treatment, but soon her fears subsided. “They paid for the prescriptions and helped me and didn’t make me pay until the next time I came in,” she said.

Now 23 years old, Regina is currently pregnant, but able to continue her addiction treatment at Brightside on Subutex. She said that she and her boyfriend no longer socialize with the drug-using people they use to. “Even before I got pregnant, we cut ties with them. It’s just him and me now. Me, him and my family. Me and him being sober and on the same path and having the same goals in life, it’s just a lot easier now,” she said.

Both Regina and her boyfriend are steadily employed and living with her family while preparing for their baby’s birth. They look forward to the day when they can live on their own as a family of three. Regina said she is hopeful about her future and thankful to be moving forward in a healthy and positive direction. “In 2014, I had started on Methadone, life was crappy, my boyfriend was in jail and there was nothing I could do about it. I was at a low point. Around the same time in 2013, I had just broken my back, another low point. I’m glad I’m not in the same place as the last couple of years,” she said.


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Brightside Clinic Provides Remarkably Higher Retention Rates Than Other Treatment Methods

Sixty Percent More Patients Remain In Brightside’s Medically-Assisted Treatment Plan


During the first seven months of 2016, a remarkable 80 percent of Brightside Clinic’s patients returned month-to-month for treatment. This is staggering when compared to other treatment options that retain just 20 to 30 percent of patients during the first three to six months, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Brightside Clinic’s high retention rates can be attributed to the clinic’s unique treatment plan and one-of-a-kind approach to recovery. Brightside Clinic’s medically-assisted treatment plan pairs the clinic’s recovery counseling programs with Suboxone (or buprenorphine), a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs like heroin and painkillers.

Brightside Clinic treats patients in a revolutionary way by combining what is generally found as individual treatment options into one, proven approach. By medically stabilizing the patient, we’re able to help prevent relapse over a greater period of time, which results in a high retention rate for treatment. Ultimately, our patients are equipped to successfully manage their disease of addiction over their lifetime.”

The unique experience at Brightside Clinic doesn’t stop with the treatment plan. From the moment a patient walks through the door, the Brightside approach is different. With their compassionate team and modern facility,  patients love the warmth they experience. They’re used to being shamed most places they go, but they actually like coming to Brightside because they feel welcomed and respected there.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that between 26.4 and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. suffering from substance abuse disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. Use of both opioids and heroin has grown tremendously in the Chicago area, and Brightside is continuing to help those suffering from the disease of addiction.

“In 2016, Brightside Clinic has seen a 57-percent increase in patients looking to quit opiates and start a new life in recovery,” said Phil Atteberry, chief business officer at Brightside Clinic.


Brightside Clinic is the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area. Our mission is to provide medically-assisted treatment in the most discrete, convenient and friendly environment. Whether dependent on painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and Fentanyl, or addicted to heroin, Brightside Clinic’s treatment programs are uniquely designed for each patient based on their addiction and lifestyle. Through our unique combination of Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®) and counseling, we get patients on their way to regaining their life.

Visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Google+.



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4 Tips for Easing Pain & Discomfort During Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you’ve committed to drug addiction treatment, you’ve already jumped over a huge hurdle that many struggle with. You’ve just made a positive decision for your future, and you should be proud of yourself. Now, it’s time to prepare for the journey ahead. Thankfully, the caring experts at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, Illinois, will help you get the vital support you need along your path to opioid addiction recovery.

Recovering from drug addiction requires strength and courage. Due to the powerful physical and mental effects of opiates and heroin, withdrawal is typically accompanied by uncomfortable and even painful symptoms. However, you can persevere.

After committing to make the change, here are some tips for making it through:

  • Be Prepared: Some side effects of heroin or opiate withdrawal are inevitable. Ask your drug addiction treatment center about what to expect throughout the recovery process, so there are no surprises. If you’re prepared for the potential onset of muscle aches, anxiety, and other symptoms, you will be better equipped to handle them.
  • Practice Acceptance: Accepting pain and hardship, while challenging, can actually be liberating. Just remember the pain is only temporary, and you can overcome it; eventually, it’ll all be worth it.
  • Stay Healthy: Your physical health can directly affect your mental health and vice versa. Stay as healthy and well as possible during this time by engaging in light exercise, eating nutritious meals, and spending time with friends and family.
  • Seek Support: No one can manage addiction recovery alone. Obtain the help of loved ones, doctors, counselors, and support groups throughout the process to help ease the burden.

For the opioid addiction treatment and support you need, look no further than Northern Chicago’s best recovery facility near Highland Park. The experienced, caring staff at Brightside Clinic know you can do it, so they will do everything to help you succeed. To start your journey toward health and happiness, call (224) 215-0219; you can also stay up-to-date on social media by liking them on Facebook and following them on Google+ and Twitter.

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You Can Do It: What to Expect From Heroin Withdrawal

You Can Do It

Recovering from addiction requires strength and perseverance. When recovering from symptoms of heroin addiction, it’s important to know what to expect, so you’re well prepared for the journey ahead. Fortunately, the caring experts at Brightside Clinic serving the areas of Highland Park, Lake County and Northern Chicago, can provide the recovery support you need.

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug that has a profound effect on your brain and overall health. For that reason, heroin withdrawal consists of powerful physical and mental effects. While withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, here’s what you might expect from your detox:

  • Stomach Issues: Heroin withdrawal often leads to abdominal cramping and nausea. In more severe cases, vomiting and diarrhea may occur.
  • Heart & Lung Trouble: Hypertension, rapid heart rate, and impaired breathing are among the more severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: You may experience rapid changes in body temperature leading to goose bumps, the chills, or sweating.
  • Aches, Pains, & Spasms: Your muscles and bones may ache, which may also be accompanied by general fatigue or tremors. More severe symptoms may include muscle spasms.
  • Anxiety & Depression: Heroin withdrawal can affect your mood and general mental health. You may experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, or an overall lack of sensation or pleasure. You may also become easily agitated.
  • Sleep Trouble: Some individuals overcoming heroin addiction will also experience insomnia, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

These are just some of the symptoms of heroin addiction withdrawal, which typically last between five to 10 days in total. While these effects are often strong, it’s important to know they will not last. Never attempt addiction recovery alone—there are trusted medical facilities that can provide you the support you need to make it through as easily and painlessly as possible.

Based on your unique circumstances, the compassionate professionals at Brightside Clinic will customize your treatment to best set you up for health and happiness. To start your journey today by calling our clinic at (224) 215-0219. For more information, visit the center’s website and Facebook page.

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Adolescents and Addiction: Helping Teens Change the Course of Their Lives

teens 2

When you think of pain killer and heroin users, you may not picture your neighbor’s teenage daughter, or your son’s teammate on the baseball team, or even your own adolescent child. But, with one in 10 children ages 12-17 having a substance use disorder, the scary and serious disease of addiction may be closer than you realize.

Yes, this can be terrifying for those of us with teenage family members or friends. But, it’s critical to know where to turn for help the moment that signs of illicit drug use appear.

With an effective, one-of-a-kind approach, Brightside Clinic Adolescent Treatment Program is leading the way for helping adolescents overcome addiction.

How is the Brightside Clinic program so unique? Brightside Clinic treats the whole person by coupling medically assisted treatment using Suboxone with mentally stabilizing the patient through frequent psychiatric counseling. Most rehabilitation options provide either medically assisted treatment or psychiatric counseling, but pairing the two together is a revolutionary concept to help prevent relapse.

“In a typical inpatient rehabilitation scenario, adolescents are expected to quit cold-turkey without medically assisted treatment or counseling, and they’re often successful while in this safe inpatient environment. But, when you put them back into their normal day-to-day life without the skills or tools to handle it, they struggle to find where they now fit in and these seemingly simple things can trigger use again,” said Dr. Diane Copeland, Brightside Clinic’s Clinical Director who specializes in addiction.

This is where the ongoing counseling piece is so critical. Brightside equips youth with the skills they need to live without heroin or pain killers, and also provides a real-time opportunity to help them get through their daily struggles, without going back to pain killer and heroin use. In addition, we evaluate and provide counseling to the patient’s family. Addressing issues and obstacles within the family dynamic is an important component of an adolescent’s recovery.

Having raised four children, Dr. Copeland understands the importance of relating to adolescents on a personal, real-life level and approaches each patient with compassion. Her goal with counseling is simple: for the adolescent to chose to participate and experience what life can be like without opiate addiction. She often encourages her patients by sharing, “Just try it – what do you have to lose? You can always go back. But you may not have this opportunity again.”

Getting adolescents into treatment early is critical for long-term health and development, so don’t delay in contacting Brightside if signs of pain killer or heroine use are present for a loved one. When adolescents abuse pain killers and heroin, brain development essentially stops, so the sooner a child overcomes addiction, the less brain damage takes place and the quicker the damage can be repaired.

Another benefit of early treatment? It helps us catch youth before they start down the common path of criminal behavior – such as robbery and theft – that enables them to continue using.

The Brightside Clinic Adolescent Treatment Program is open to children up to the age of 18. The program begins with a full evaluation that gauges the longevity of substance abuse and desire to quit, which helps the Brightside team develop a customized treatment plan. When appropriate, the patient will then begin medically assisted treatment with Suboxone (or buprenorphine), a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs and helps stabilize the patient.

“The Brightside program provides a different type of experience than what people may have experienced before,” Dr. Copeland said. “In typical rehab scenarios, adolescents are often not given any choices and they’re just expected to followed rules. My focus is empowering these kids to make good decisions and choices for themselves – now and later in life.”

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Brightside Clinic’s Adolescent Treatment Program Provides Revolutionary Approach to Helping Youth Overcome Addiction


One in 10 children ages 12-17 has a substance use disorder, with 1.9 million having a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 involving heroin. Brightside Clinic’s Adolescent Treatment Program provides an effective, one-of-a-kind approach in the Chicago area to helping adolescents overcome addiction. The unique program couples medically assisted treatment with ongoing psychiatric counseling.

“Most rehabilitation options available to adolescents provide either medically assisted treatment or psychiatric counseling, but pairing the two together is a revolutionary concept in this area,” said Dr. Diane Copeland, Brightside’s Clinical Director who specializes in addiction. “By medically treating the patient with Suboxone and mentally stabilizing the patient through counseling, we’re really able to treat the whole person.”

Adolescents who suffer from addiction typically also struggle with mental health challenges – such as anxiety, depression and trauma. Thus, managing the day-to-day stressors that trigger usage is critical for helping to prevent relapse.

“In a typical inpatient rehabilitation scenario, adolescents are expected to quit cold-turkey without medically assisted treatment or counseling, and they’re often successful while in this safe inpatient environment. But, when you put them back into their normal day-to-life without the skills or tools to handle it, they struggle to find where they now fit in and these seemingly simple things can trigger use again,” Dr. Copeland said. “This is where the ongoing counseling piece is so critical. Not only do we equip them with the skills they need to live without heroin or pain killers, but it also provides a real-time opportunity to help these adolescents get through their daily struggles, without going back to pain killer and heroin use.”

Getting adolescents into treatment early is critical for long-term health and development. When adolescents abuse pain killers and heroin, brain development essentially stops. The sooner a child overcomes addiction, the less brain damage takes place and the quicker the damage to their brain can be repaired so they can change the course of their life.

“By getting adolescents help as early as possible, we hope to catch youth before the alternate lifestyle of someone suffering from addiction begins. It’s common for pain killer and heroin users to engage in criminal behavior, such as robbery and theft, to enable them to continue using. So, the sooner we can treat them, the less likely it becomes for them to turn to criminal activity,” Dr. Copeland said.

The Brightside Clinic Adolescent Treatment Program is open to children up to the age of 18. The program begins with a full evaluation that gauges the longevity of substance abuse and desire to quit, which helps the Brightside team develop a customized treatment plan. When appropriate, the patient will then begin medically assisted treatment with Suboxone (or buprenorphine), a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs and helps stabilize the patient.

“The Brightside program provides a different type of experience than what people may have experienced before,” Dr. Copeland said. “In typical rehab scenarios, adolescents are often not given any choices and they’re just expected to followed rules. My focus is empowering these kids to make good decisions and choices for themselves – now and later in life.”



Brightside Clinic is the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area. Our mission is to provide medically-assisted treatment in the most discrete, convenient and friendly environment. Whether dependent on painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and Fentanyl, or addicted to heroin, Brightside Clinic’s treatment programs are uniquely designed for each patient based on their addiction and lifestyle. Through our unique combination of Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®) and counseling, we get patients on their way to regaining their life.

Visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Google+.

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Regulation Update on Opiate Addiction Treatment – July 2016


This month saw historic advancements in providing treatment to people suffering from pain drug dependence and heroin addiction. First, on July 6th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with buprenorphine. Then, on July 13th, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which would strengthen prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, largely by empowering medical professionals and law enforcement officials with more tools to help people suffering from drug addiction.

HHS Ruling (July 6th, 2016)

This Rule will become effective on August 5, 2016. This Rule will increase the number of patients that practitioners who focus on addiction treatment can treat with buprenorphine from 100 to 275 in their third year of treating patients. Thus, the number of patients certified practitioners can treat are the following:

• Year 1 – 30 patients
• Year 2 – 100 patients
• Year 3 and on – 275 patients

Under routine conditions, a practitioner would qualify for the higher limit in one of two ways:

• by possessing subspecialty certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or
• by practicing in a Qualified Practice Setting (QPS) as defined in the rule. A QPS is practice that:

o can treat patients in after hours, includes case-management services including behavioral health services;
o use health information technology such as electronic health records;
o participates in the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), and;
o has the ability to receive third party payments (such as insurance or federal funding)

The purpose of offering the 275 patient limit to practitioners in these two categories is to recognize the benefit offered to patients through people trained and educated in addiction treatments and the higher level of direct service and care coordination that comes from a qualified practice setting.

To read the entire HHS ruling click here

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (July 13th, 2016)

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was passed by the Senate in a monumental 92 to 2 vote. CARA is a compromise between the House and the Senate, combining 18 measures that passed the House in May, including the “Lali Bill” developed in conjunction with the Live4Lali organization, and the Senate’s more comprehensive legislation, which was approved in March. Now passed by the Senate, the bill will be sent to the President to be signed into law. The expectation is that it will be sent to him in the coming weeks.

Some of the highlights of CARA are:

• Treating substance use disorder as a chronic illness rather than a criminal offense;
• Expands education and prevention efforts;
• Strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs;
• Grants for expanded treatment and education;
• Increases first responder access to naloxone, and;
• Allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine with some restrictions.

To read the entire CARA bill click here


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Is Medically-Assisted Treatment Trading One Addiction for Another?


Anxiety. Vomiting. Insomnia. These are just a few of the symptoms that people recovering from opioid addiction experience as they go through withdrawal. It’s no wonder that 40 to 60 percent relapse and turn back to drug and opioid use as a form of self-medication, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

But, there is another option: medically-assisted treatment programs that transition people from pain killer drug dependence or heroin addiction to a safer, long-term maintenance of this disease that is opiate addiction.

It’s important to understand that recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and unique treatment options are critical for someone with an addiction who is looking to regain control of his/her life. Sure, some users are able to overcome their addiction without medication. But for some, including those who have tried and relapsed, medically-assisted treatment with Suboxone (or buprenorphine) provides new hope. And proven success.

Research has proven that medically-assisted treatment with buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Suboxone) at least triples rates of opioid-abstinence outcomes1, thus decreasing the use of illegal drugs, reducing overdose mortalities and resulting in a much higher retention rate for treatment.

Some opponents say this treatment option simply substitutes one drug for another. But, the truth is that medically-assisted treatment doesn’t rely solely on medication. The medication simply moderates withdrawal symptoms and cravings to prevent relapses, thus helping to keep someone in supportive counseling and allowing the body to slowly adapt by reducing opioid use over time.

The result? Treatment with Suboxone and counseling allows someone to return to normal day-to-day functions, such as working and parenting, while providing a safer and more stable environment.

Medically-assisted treatment transitions someone away from life-threatening addiction behavior to a more stable state of physical dependence. It’s important to understand the difference. Behaviors of addiction include impaired control over ones drug use, compulsive use, and continued use despite harm and craving2. When a patient undergoes successful Suboxone treatment, dangerous behaviors of addiction disappear and what’s left is a physical dependence on buprenorphine similar to a diabetic’s need to regularly take insulin to manage diabetes.

In addition, medically-assisted treatment greatly reduces the risk of overdose mortality. When users stop “cold turkey,” their tolerance starts to drop for opiates, which in turn reduces the quantity the brain can absorb without overdosing. When an individual recovering from addiction relapses and returns to using opioids, they have a high mortality risk because they may use the same quantity they did before their tolerance dropped and could overdose and die.

However, those in medically-assisted treatment programs have a much lower risk because they retain higher tolerance levels, and their buprenorphine medication limits the amount of drugs that enter the brain. Thus, they receive no high – or a very limited high – from the relapse, which reduces overdose risks, and continues the positive behavior of staying in treatment and continuing their path to recovery.

Like all drug dependence treatment options, medically-assisted treatment doesn’t provide a fail-safe process for recovery, but it has been proven to provide a more reliable, sustainable option for a road to true recovery for an increasing number of individuals recovering from addiction.

While the road to recovery is often long, and sometimes winding, the Brightside Clinic team is dedicated to guiding, supporting and encouraging patients every step of the way.


1. Connery, Hilary Smith MD, PhD. “Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: Review of the Evidence and Future Directions.” Harvard Review of Psychiatry. March/April 2015. Web. 27 June 2016.

2. “Is buprenorphine treatment just trading one addiction for another?” The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment. Web. 27 June 2016. <>

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Brightside Clinic Celebrates First Anniversary, Hires Four New Physicians and Extends Treatment Schedule to Better Serve the Needs of Patients

Patient that received heroin addiction treatment in Northbrook, IL
Brightside Clinic, the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area, celebrates its first anniversary of helping patients regain their life and manage their addiction. The clinic has also hired four new physicians and added Fridays to its treatment schedule to meet the needs of its patients.
Since opening its doors a year ago, the clinic sees more than 20 new patients each month and, unlike most treatment facilities, Brightside Clinic provides immediate access to treatment for those patients dealing with opioid addiction. In fact, Brightside Clinic recently hired four new physicians to its team to meet the growing demand for medically-assisted treatment. The new physicians include Dr. Jarrod Barker, M.D., Dr. David Kushner, D.O, Dr. Anand Patel, D.O. and Dr. David Zull, M.D. The clinic’s treatment hours were also extended to Fridays making treatment available to patients weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Making the decision to get treatment for opioid addiction is a brave and difficult one and we want to make sure that we have the right medical experts in place for our patients when they need them. Brightside is excited to have these seasoned physicians join the team so that they can continue to provide the personalized and respectful environment their patients deserve.
Brightside Clinic is the only provider of medically-assisted treatment programs in the Chicagoland area that specializes only on opiate addiction and immediately accept new patients. Every plan combines Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, or Subutex®) with individual counseling. This combination gets patients back on the road to recovery quickly and provides them with the tools to “manage” their addiction for the rest of their life.
Brightside Clinic is the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area. Our mission is to provide medically-assisted treatment in the most discrete, convenient and friendly environment. Whether dependent on painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and Fentanyl, or addicted to heroin, Brightside Clinic’s treatment programs are uniquely designed for each patient based on their addiction and lifestyle. Through our unique combination of Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®) and counseling, we get patients on their way to regaining their life.

Visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

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What Are the Health Risks of Opioid Dependence?


According to Dr. Nora Volkow from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug dependence can affect nearly every system in a person’s body. Opioids, in particular, have their own chemical structure, which can affect a person’s moods, learning prowess, judgment, and memory, among other things. The ultimate consequence of opioid addiction and abuse is, of course, death—but there is a slew of complications that will gradually cause a person’s health to decline.

Fortunately, these can be prevented through effective medically-assisted drug addiction treatment. The experienced specialists at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, Illinois, implement the proper programs to help people find the path to recovery.

If you need an extra push to seek treatment, here are a few ways opiod dependence can affect your health:

Physical Damage: The compulsive need to find and obtain opioids can overshadow your concern over your body. Because of this negligence, the body deteriorates at a rapid rate. Heroin addiction, for instance, causes heart failure, and unsanitary use of injectable drugs can result in blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis or HIV. Opioids, like Oxycodone, cause severe respiratory depression. Researchers are currently studying the long-term effects, which may include brain damage due to hypoxia—a lack of oxygen to the brain. 
Social Detachment: Opioid drug addiction can also take its toll on a person’s emotional and social well-being. By its nature, addiction detaches you from the people close to you because your relationship with the drug takes precedence over everyone and everything. Initial emotions of secrecy and isolation might progress to the addict’s total abandonment of their loved ones as the disease worsens.
Mental Instability: Opioid dependence can lead to or intensify mood and anxiety disorders. While initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs are capable of altering a person’s brain chemistry, which interferes with their decision-making abilities and can lead to addiction. Long-term changes in the brain caused by chronic opioid use may result in irritability, depression, paranoia, and the possibility of brain damage—as mentioned earlier.
No matter how serious the opioid drug addiction is, it’s never too late to seek proper medically-assisted treatment and rehabilitation. Through Brightside Clinic’s comprehensive programs and personalized care, there’s still hope for people to have a normal life. Call the clinic at (224) 205-7866 today and check out their website for more information on overcoming opioid drug dependence.

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Brightside Clinic on Dealing With the Stigma of Drug Dependence

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Recovering from drug dependence is incredibly stressful, not only because of the mental and physical effort involved in breaking the cycle of addiction, but also because of the stigma that surrounds drug use. Many recovering addicts find themselves labeled as “bad” people by others and struggle to find jobs that accept their history. The team at  Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, IL, knows drug dependence is a disease and offers addiction treatments that can help.

They know how limiting the stigma surrounding addiction can be and focus on giving the support necessary to help their patients get through each step of addiction treatment.

The medical professionals at Brightside Clinic want to offer a few tips to recovering addicts and their loved ones to help them beat that stigma:

  • Encourage Addiction Treatment Programs: Talk with your employer about providing a work-sponsored addiction treatment program for your coworkers. During the discussion, be sure to emphasize that drug addiction is a disease that should be covered by insurance the same way care for cancer is.
  • Fight Against Legal Barriers: Many employers have legal barriers in place to weed out anyone who has battled drug dependence. They often refuse to hire anyone in addiction recovery, opting for candidates who have never struggled with this issue. If you’re a business owner, remove these specifications from your applications and provide fair opportunities for those who are rebuilding their lives.
  • Advocate: In daily conversation, make sure you advocate and show empathy for those who suffer from drug addiction. Try to do your part to eliminate the shame that often stands between people in addiction recovery and an open discussion about these issues.

Don’t fall prey to the negative stereotypes and stigma surrounding alcohol and drug dependence. Put a new spin on the conversation and bring to light the facts and prejudice surrounding it. For more information on addiction recovery, visit the Brightside Clinic website or call us today at (224) 205-7866.

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How to Recover With Drug Addiction Treatments

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Whether you’ve suffered from drug dependency for years or have just recently developed a habit, the staff at Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, Illinois, says seeking help is vital for regaining control of your life. If you or someone you know is ready to conquer a drug addiction, Brightside Clinic suggests the following steps to reach the road to recovery.

To break your drug dependency, you need to:

Decide It’s Time For Change: The first and most important step to fighting addiction is deciding it’s time to make a lifestyle change. While it can be difficult to admit you have a problem, acknowledging it will give you the motivation you need to start drug addiction treatment.

Explore Treatment Options: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all addiction treatment program, so do your research to find a facility that offers help in the areas you need support. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are available.

Consider Medically-Assisted Treatment: If you’re recovering from an opioid addiction, a medically-assisted program can ease the cravings of withdrawal. It’s important to transition the body from one drug to a prescribed medication that can reduce the chances of relapse or overdose. Doctors will monitor and adjust treatment as needed, until you are ready to be tapered off.

Seek Support: Drug dependency often leaves addicts feeling alone. However, it’s important to reach out for help when you’re deciding to seek treatment. Discuss your battle with close family and friends you can trust, and ask that they support and encourage you through your program.

Learn Stress Management Techniques: Addicts often turn to opiates and other drugs to manage their stress and mask their feelings. It’s essential to learn healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety so you don’t fall into your old habits again. A treatment specialist will help you find stress management techniques that work for you, such as visualization or exercise.

Avoid Triggers & Cravings: While you’re in recovery, it’s important to avoid triggers. First, cut ties with friends who are active users, because they can impede your recovery. It’s also a good idea to avoid bars and clubs.

Build A Drug-Free Life: It’s important for recovering addicts to create meaning in their lives that doesn’t include drugs. Explore new hobbies, make new friends, or even adopt a pet. It’s also a good idea to set life goals.

Don’t Let Relapse Take Control: It’s common for recovering addicts to relapse, so if you do, don’t let it get you down. Relapse doesn’t have to mean failure, and asking for help is the best way to take back control. Seek treatment immediately by speaking with a drug counselor, attending meetings, or by visiting your doctor.

Addiction Treatment


To learn more about drug addiction treatment, call Brightside Clinic today at (224) 205-7866.

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How to Help a Friend or Relative Battling With Heroin Abuse


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Approaching someone about heroin abuse is challenging. Although it may be a difficult subject to breach, watching your loved one suffer is much worse. At Brightside Clinic in Northbrook, Illinois, their trusted addiction recovery center provides compassionate support and treatment to help people heal.

Many people feel uncomfortable confronting someone about a drug abuse problem. Often, they fear how the person will react. Other times, they may feel unsure whether the problem is serious enough to address. In general, if you notice your friend or family member’s health, relationships, work, or other aspect of their life is negatively affected by their habit, it’s time to talk about it.

It’s a good idea to carefully observe your loved one’s habits over the course of about a week, so you can provide specific examples of how drugs affect them. You may also want to approach other friends and family for additional support. A substance abuse professional is an excellent resource for not only assessing the situation, but advising you how to proceed. When a person takes illegal drugs, they put other people in danger, and you should address the issue immediately.

If you fear the person will be angry or try to deny the issue, this means an intervention is even more crucial. Until the person acknowledges their problem, they won’t be able to change. You should remember substance abuse can alter someone’s perspective and emotions, and try not to take their reaction personally. When you bring up the topic of heroin, make sure you’re in a quiet and private environment. Avoid expressing judgment and instead focus on an open-ended, compassionate discussion.

Addiction escalates quickly, so help your friend or family member now before heroin causes their life to spiral out of control. At Northbrook’s best addiction recovery center, their trusted staff provides expert treatment for a range of substance abuse problems, including heroin and opiate addiction. For advice on how to approach a drug dependence problem, contact a caring expert at Brightside Clinic today. Call them at (224) 205-7866, or visit their website to learn more.

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BRIGHTSIDE Meets with Illinois Rep. Bob Dold


On January 20th, 2016, the BRIGHTSIDE team had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Illinois Rep. Bob Dold about the heroin crisis facing the Chicagoland area. During the meeting, we discussed several key issues around the heroin epidemic and we suggested some potential solutions to get people better and more affordable longer-term treatment. After discussing the issues, Dold said he understands that this threat is real and needs to be addressed. He said he is working within legislature on solutions to tackle this insurmountable epidemic and we at BRIGHTSIDE are hopeful that these solutions come quickly and create real change in how the government views and treats this addiction.

BRIGHTSIDE is an outpatient opiate addiction clinic that is dedicated in changing the way people are treated for heroin addiction and opiate dependence. We provide both medically-assisted treatment with Buprenorphine (ie, Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Subutex) and individual counseling for patients and are always taking new patients. BRIGHTSIDE is located in Northbrook, IL. (

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BRIGHTSIDE Celebrates…Meagan

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Meagan can still remember the first pain pill she ever took. On the day of her high school graduation, she took a Vicodin. She loved the high so much she soon tried OxyContin and other pain pills.

Growing up in Missouri with divorced parents who let her live a “free range” childhood, Meagan started experimenting with drugs around age 14. She started with alcohol, then pot, and then turned to pills.  “I was just trying to find different highs and everyone was doing it. I’d try to quit taking them; it wouldn’t work. I’d get off them, go back on them,” she said.  At age 21, Meagan’s father passed away from brain cancer. She relocated to Illinois to be closer to her mother and soon began using heroin. At times, she managed to remain clean for about a month, but would quickly resume using. This cycle continued for eight years.

Meagan used to spend $100 everyday on her habit and would disappear for days leaving her mother to care for her two young boys.  “I used to dread coming home to take care of my kids because all my time and energy were spent on how I was going to get money, to use, to not get sick. How was I going to use for the rest of the week,” she worried.  After a tornado ripped through her community, Meagan received around $5,000 in monetary donations to help her get back on her feet. Instead of putting the money toward a new home, clothes and belongings, she spent $2,000 of it on her heroin habit.  “I was blowing through that money. People were questioning me. I was sick of using and watching all the money fly right out the window,” she said.

Meagan finally decided to make a change for good. While high, she told her dealer she didn’t want to use again.  “I wanted to fight for my life. I was sick,” she said.  She thought of her children and how her addiction affected them.  “I thought, if I don’t stop now, my 11-year-old might think it’s ok to use because mom does it,” she said.  After calling about 15 different rehab facilities in two days, Meagan was disheartened because all of them had a waitlist of at least one month. Brightside was the last call she made.

Meagan has been clean for six months since starting treatment at Brightside. With the help of the Brightside staff, she has a new perspective on her drug addiction.  “It’s not going to go away in a year. It doesn’t work like that. It is a disease I will have for the rest of my life,” she said.  When Meagan was in the depths of withdrawal, she had people from Brightside constantly checking on her.  “I’ve been to rehabs before and I’ve never felt the connection like I do here. Doctors at other rehab facilities would just say they would see you in a month,” she said.

Her treatment at Brightside includes Suboxone, a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs like heroin.  “Every day I wake up and take my Suboxone and think this is another day that I don’t have to use.”  Meagan said she feels successful every time she comes to Brightside for treatment.  “They make me feel so good that I’ve made it this far. I look forward to coming here. I look forward to taking the urine test to show that I can do it.”

Now, leading a new life, Meagan said she is able to pay for her boys to play sports; something she was never able to do before she was clean.  “I actually got to be a part of their summer. I’ve never had a summer with sobriety. I can wake up and laugh. Now me and my kids do so much,” she said.  Meagan’s next goal is to remain clean for a year. She’s started writing a book about sobriety and dreams of one day opening her own rehab facility.  “I want to help other people because this is something so hard to get out of once you start, she said.

“Every day now, I wake up and sigh and don’t have to use.” – a great reason to celebrate!

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