eNewsletter - January 2015

Behavioral health partners

Service Expansion in Arlington Heights

Linden Oaks and Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) are proud to announce their new partnership that has expanded behavioral health services in Arlington Heights, IL area.

Service expansion includes the addition of a dedicated assessment center located at 901 W. Kirchoff Road, Arlington Heights, IL.  The assessment center provides clients free and confidential behavioral health assessments and level of care recommendations. The assessment center’s hours of operation are: Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

In addition, NCH and Linden Oaks hope to better serve the community with a new 24-hour crisis management line; 847-HEALING (432-5464). Both the phone number and assessment center are now open. Patients treated in Arlington Heights are enrolled in programming specific to the severity of presenting symptoms.

The levels of care in Arlington Heights include the following:

  • Adult Inpatient Program (age 18 and older) is a solution-focused stabilizing stage of care intended to address urgent symptoms, then transition patients to less intensive care. This program offers:
    • Assessment
    • Medication evaluation and management
    • Crisis stabilization
    • Individual, group and family therapy
    • Education about mental illness
    • Relapse prevention, including a discharge plan that links patients to community resources or outpatient mental health services
  • Adolescent Sevices (ages 12 to 18) comprehensively address behavioral health and chemical dependency via multiple possible stages of care.
    • Inpatient treatment is available for those who need the most intensive care
    • Partial hospitalization includes weekday onsite, with nights and weekends at home
    • Intensive outpatient provides mornings at school and afternoons onsite, also with convenient evening sessions available
    • Residential Chemical Dependency treatment is available and the program offers:
      • Individual, group and family counseling
      • Medical and psychiatric assessment
      • On-call nursing support 24/7
      • A structured daily schedule
      • Classroom instruction coordinated with home school district
      • Team-building activities
      • Recreational therapy at The Wellness Center
      • Group lounge for sober activities
      • Dormitory facilities
      • Nutritional meals and snacks
      • Daily spiritual/meditation sessions
      • Continuing support, care planning and follow-up

The NCH/Linden Oaks partnership brings with it the opportunity expand service capabilities for patients in the Arlington Heights area by offering intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization services for adults at other Linden Oaks locations throughout Illinois. This partnership also yields opportunities for patients to work with a wider range of clinicians that specialize in diverse modalities of treatment.

This enhancement of access to behavioral health care services is integral to realizing the shared vision of NCH and Linden Oaks. The newly added assessment center and 24-hour phone line typify this shared vision.

For more information on services in Arlington Heights, contact 847-HEALING (432-5464).

Community Heroin Forum with State Senator Michael Connelly

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Linden Oaks and the Office of State Senator Michael Connelly, will host a presentation and community forum on the heroin addiction epidemic in suburban communities.

The event, The Heroin Epidemic, What’s Beneath It, and What You Can Do About It, will feature Richard Jorgensen, MD, DuPage County Coroner and Robert Berlin, DuPage County State’s Attorney.

Dr. Jorgensen and Mr. Berlin will talk about the production, distribution, addiction cycle of the drug, and legal ramifications associated with heroin abuse in DuPage County.

The event, held at the Linden Oaks Naperville Outpatient Center (1335 N. Mill Street, Education Center) from 7-9 PM, will also feature Linden Oaks Addiction experts, David Lott, MD, Addictions Services Medical Director, and Corey Worden, MA, LCPC, Community Liaison.

Dr. Lott and Mr. Worden will present on the substance abuse epidemic and highlight practical tips, ideas, and resources people can utilize to combat this growing epidemic.

The goal of this event is to educate the public and to provide tangible tools and resources for the community.

The presentation is open to the public; however, seating is limited so interested participants are asked to reserve a spot by contacting Linden Oaks at 630.527.6363 or online.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Trends and Programming Models
Jenny Wagner, LCPC, CADC
Nadjeh Awadallah, EdD, LCPC

In the United States, adolescent drugs of choice are becoming more readily available and used in more dangerous dosages. According to an annual survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a trend of opinion among adolescents surveyed asserted a “softening of attitudes around some types of drug use, particularly decreases in perceived harm and disapproval of marijuana use” (NIDA, 2014).

The chart below depicts the reported usage of various substances. In total, 41,551 students from 377 public and private schools in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades participated in the 2014 survey.

According to an annual survey conducted by the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS), 2012 State Report, Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Use Among Illinois Youth , there is a rise in prescription medication, MDMA/ecstasy, and over the counter medication use and abuse (IYS, 2012). Binge drinking was also found to be on the rise among 12th graders as the study found a statistically significant increase in consuming five or more drinks in a row during a two week period. The study also shows more 10th grade youth are driving after using marijuana or other illegal drugs.

The IYS chart below is consistent with substance abuse trends we are seeing in patients at The Youth Center, a private residential substance abuse program for adolescents at Northwest Community Healthcare’s campus in Arlington Heights managed by Linden Oaks.

Illinois Highlights –Figures and Tables
Figure 1.1 Use of substances in the past year among 12th grade youth
Source: Data and chart is from IYS 2012


While many of our patients at the Youth Center are using marijuana and alcohol; prescription medications, over the counter medications, and MDMA/ecstasy are also top drugs of choice. Typically, we find that our patients are more likely to use these substances because they are drugs of opportunity. Adolescents can get prescription drugs in the home or through friends at school and over the counter medication and alcohol can be stolen from stores.

Recently, we have seen a consistent increase in teenagers using multiple drugs at once and/or the use of drugs to regulate emotions. In addition, longer and more severe withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal symptoms with cannabis (the active ingredient in marijuana), benzodiazepines and ecstasy (MDMA) have also been observed.

Our teenagers are not only using stronger versions of cannabis but also “dabs”; a high grade hash usually made with butane. Butane hash oil is concentrated into an additive to be either combined with marijuana or smoked without being combined with anything. Dabs are more potent, physically addictive and have more severe withdrawal symptoms than traditional marijuana.

The Youth Center treatment approach for these adolescents is 12-step based programming that also addresses dual diagnosis, family dynamics and addiction as a family disease. In treatment, we have specifically found sensory integration to be effective in addressing comorbidity/dual diagnosis. In some cases, sensory and behavioral hyperarousal has been alleviated by the institution of sensory integration techniques.

“Techniques used by occupational therapists trained in sensory integration were adapted to treat hyperarousal and overreactivity to the environment in chemically dependent adolescents and young adults, in order to maintain them in the treatment environment until they were ready to graduate” (Stratton & Gailfus, 1998).

In programming, we incorporate a sensory integration group and allow clients to use sensory tools throughout their day. We teach parents how to have a sensory tool box at home to continue to reinforce coping skills once they leave treatment. Sensory integration techniques help us educate patients and their families about long-term maintenance strategies.

Our patients are also having success using sensory tools for flashbacks and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder.

The Youth Center embraces the clinical view that adolescents with substance use disorders require a specialized environment. Multiple levels of care, intense family programming and 12-step involvement from the first day of treatment are vital to the recovery of our patients.

Addiction is a family disease, and we are of the mindset to treat the entire family. Patients and families are required to participate in educational workshops, multi-family group, parent group and weekly family sessions.

Al-Anon and Families Anonymous groups are provided onsite and/or families are connected to services in their area and are strongly recommended to attend. While in programming, clients are required to get a sponsor, start working on the 12 steps, and attend daily Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.

The Youth Center residential stay is typically 28 days with a step down to a two week partial hospitalization program (PHP), followed by a transition into an eight to 10 week Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program (IOP), and up to a year of weekly aftercare and drug testing. Since all four programs are offered at the same location, treatment is convenient and our patients have continuity of care.

If patients complete all levels of care, we find that clients stay sober for longer periods of time or maintain continuous sobriety. The longer clients are held accountable and have structure the better they do in their recovery. In addition, parents can bring patients in day or night for an immediate drug test if they have concerns that their child is using again. This specialized environment helps adolescents in our program maintain long-term success.

For more information on programming and/or The Youth Center, contact our 24-hour behavioral health assessment line at 847-HEALING (847-432-5464).


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of national findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2014. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4887. NSDUH Series H-49.
  2. Stratton, J., & Gailfus, D. (1998). Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. A New Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment: Adolescents and Adults With ADHD, 15(2), 89-94.
  3. Center for Prevention Research and Development. (2013). Illinois Youth Survey 2012 State Report. Champaign, IL: CPRD, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois.

Jenny Wagner, LCPC, CADC
Jenny is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor who has worked at the Youth Center since 2010 as a substance abuse counselor. She has worked in mental health and substance abuse treatment for the last 15 years. Jenny has worked in a variety of clinical roles, including private practice counselor for Polaris Counseling, Illinois Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) worker, behavioral health technician at Rosecrance, assessment counselor at Gateway Foundation, and counselor in the Maryville Behavioral Health Mental Illness and Substance Abuse (MISA) unit.

Nadjeh Awadallah, EdD, LCPC
Nadjeh is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and has recently joined Linden Oaks as a Community Liaison. Nadjeh holds advanced degrees in clinical psychology as well as education, and has worked in the mental health field since 2008 as both a clinician and an educator. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Nadjeh earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and completed his practicum internship at Catholic Charities-Diocese of Joliet. Nadjeh also earned a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University. He is a member of the faculty at Argosy and Rockford University; teaching upper-division courses in Psychology and Human Development since 2012. Nadjeh previously worked as a therapist and program developer for Swedish American Hospital and the Intake and Assessment Department at Rogers Memorial Hospital.

Northwest Community Healthcare and Linden Oaks Management Agreement: Enhanced Behavioral Health Services in Arlington Heights

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) and Linden Oaks are proud to announce their new behavioral health partnership. Linden Oaks is now managing NCH’s behavioral health services, including adult inpatient services, adolescent behavioral health and the NCH Youth Center substance abuse residential program. Linden Oaks will provide onsite leadership, operational oversight, marketing strategy, program development, and support services.

Individuals seeking treatment will continue to rely on NCH’s behavioral health staff to provide the best holistic, patient-centered care in the community.

“This management agreement with Linden Oaks, a recognized leader in providing high quality, specialized behavioral health and chemical dependency services, underscores NCH’s commitment to behavioral health patients in our community,” says Steve Scogna, CEO of NCH. “Our partnership with Linden Oaks builds upon the foundation of NCH’s behavioral health services.”

“We’re excited about this opportunity to enhance the quality behavioral health services NCH is providing to residents of the northwest suburbs,” says Gina Sharp, President of Linden Oaks. “The partnership means adolescents and adults will have convenient access to a full array of services to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of behavioral health conditions and disorders.”

The management agreement is an innovative provider partnership between two Illinois Health Partners (IHP) members. NCH’s Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) joined IHP in early 2014. Edward Hospital and DuPage Medical Group are the founding joint venture members of IHP, which was created in 2011.

For Linden Oaks, this is a bold step into the future and the next big endeavor in its quest to be locally preferred, regionally referred and nationally recognized. For more information, visit Linden Oaks or www.nch.org.