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Todd Bridges Pops into Gateway Springfield; Shares Key to Addiction Recovery Success

CHICAGO, October 2, 2014

Approximately 100 adults and teens confronting their own issues with addiction and substance abuse at Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Springfield filed into the center's dining room last week to hear from a very special guest, "Diff'rent Strokes" star Todd Bridges. Eager to give back to others in recovery from addiction, Bridges set aside time in his busy schedule on Friday, Sept. 18, 2014, while in Springfield performing standup at a local comedy club.

With 21 years of sobriety, the 49-year old actor spreads his message of hope to thousands each year through speaking engagements at schools, community centers, churches and substance abuse support groups. At Gateway Springfield, Mr. Bridges spent an hour and a half with clients in the Adult Residential, Adult Outpatient and Adolescent Boys Residential programs. Following his speech, the gracious celebrity spent about 45-minutes with individuals, posing for photos and signing their personal AA and NA books.

Recovery Is Not a One-Man Show
During his remarks, Bridges divulged that the key to preserving his 21 years of sobriety has been giving back in order to keep it ("it" being recovery) and enlisting the support of the recovery community. A committed family man, Bridges reminded those with children how drug addiction impacts the entire family. He also urged attending teens to make better choices, reminding them that relapse only jeopardizes their freedom, families and potentially, their lives.

"Mr. Bridges revealed coming to places like Gateway and meeting people in the same shoes he once walked helps keep him grounded in recovery. He articulated the importance of working one's recovery program, having a sponsor and associating with healthy, positive people in recovery," says Kerry Henry, Executive Director, Gateway Springfield. "Bridges made it clear that he truly understands recovery is not a one-man show but rather an ensemble with a strong, supporting cast."

At Gateway Treatment Centers, former clients have access to life-long recovery support and fellowship via an Alumni Program. The program offers sober fun in the form of social outings, safe holiday celebrations, volunteer opportunities, recovery group meetings and useful workshops to enhance life skills. For more information, please visit

About Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: to help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness, that is productive, socially responsible, and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the country that specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders, providing treatment for men, women, adolescents, and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Gateway's Community Division has treatment centers located throughout Illinois, including Carbondale, Chicago, Lake County, Fox Valley, Springfield, and the St. Louis Metro East area. These centers offer residential and outpatient treatment services for adults, teens, and adolescents accessed through insurance, state funding, and self-pay.

Gateway's professional clinicians help thousands of individuals successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan that treats the underlying causes of substance abuse—not just addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Learn more about insurance coverage, treatment options, or Gateway's confidential consultation at or call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Reporters and Editors, for more information, please call Jason Stutz at 312-663-1130.