Wheaton's Top Addiction Resource & Information Guide

Wheaton, Illinois, has been affected by substance abuse, especially opioids, in recent years. Since opioids can be addictive and dangerous, and fentanyl deaths have trended upward lately, learn what to look for when researching addiction rehab centers.

Wheaton, Illinois, is the county seat for DuPage County. It’s considered easily walkable, with a blend of big-city excitement and smaller-town charms.

Wheaton is located about 25 miles west of Chicago. As with many Illinois communities, it’s been affected by drugs.

The DuPage County Coroner released substance abuse statistics for 2019 and 2020. From Jan. 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, there were 46 opioid overdose deaths. For the same period in 2020, there were 70 deaths, an increase of 52%. Another 42 people died in the last six months of 2020, bringing the annual total to 112, an increase of 17% from 2019.

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, as well as other opioids, has become a greater factor in more overdose deaths over the years.

Polydrug use has always been risky, and factoring in synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, makes it even riskier. Fentanyl-linked fatalities have trended upward across the United States over the last several years.

Student Substance Abuse in Wheaton, Illinois

Many colleges and universities—both private and public—can be found in the Wheaton area.

College life, especially for the student who lives on campus, is viewed as a chance to indulge in more grown-up behaviors away from grown-up eyes. That includes drinking or experimenting with drugs.

Alcohol use went down in 2020, possibly because of the pandemic and study-from-home mandates. It remains to be seen if it’ll rise again for the 2020-21 school year.

Despite the one-year drop, alcohol is traditionally problematic for college students:

  • In 2019, more than one in three college students said they’d been intoxicated in the past month.
  • For 2020 that number dropped to 28%.
  • In 2020, nearly one in four said they’d binged alcohol (five or more drinks at one time, or four for women) in the past two weeks.
  • In 2019, 32% admitted to bingeing recently.

Cannabis use has gone up in recent years. In 2020, 44% of college students admitted to using marijuana. That’s the highest it’s been in decades. That could be due to the decriminalization of marijuana in many states, but a lot of colleges ban its use. Reasons for that vary. Some schools believe it’s safer to prohibit marijuana and other drugs. Some rely on federal funding, and because marijuana is illegal on the federal level, so that’s another reason to outlaw it.

Substance use among younger populations can be problematic for several reasons. The brain continues to develop into one’s early to mid-twenties, so drug and alcohol abuse can affect that, particularly the areas of the brain that govern impulse control and reward processing. Substance use at a young age is more likely to lead to dependence. It can also put someone at high risk of accidents and assaults.


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Choosing a Rehab in Wheaton, Illinois

A person researching addiction rehab may be faced with many questions, including what kinds of treatments are available and the services offered. Answers to those questions and more can make it easier to decide.


Accreditation and licensing are two things to consider when looking into rehabs in and around Wheaton, Illinois. Those are signs that a facility is likely to be legitimate and have current healthcare offerings. The Joint Commission and LegitScript are two licensing and accrediting authorities who perform inspections on rehabs (and other healthcare providers) to make sure they are safe, that the staff is well-trained, and that the care is top of the line.

Rehab centers and the accreditation or licensing authorities can provide more information.


If a rehab center serves specific demographics, that can be helpful in deciding on a place. All addiction treatment facilities treat substance use disorders, but not everyone might offer programs designed for LGBTQ+ populations, certain age groups, or different cultures.

Wheaton, Illinois, is mostly white (85%), but 4.5% of the city is Black, 6.4% Asian, and 6.5% Latino or Hispanic. Twelve percent of the population is foreign-born, and 15.4% of households speak a language other than English at home.

An immigrant in need of substance abuse treatment, or someone raised with values that differ from American norms, they may do better with culturally competent care. That type of care takes the individual’s language, customs, and attitudes toward mental health into consideration. The goal is to listen and understand their struggles and motivations rather than simply tell them how to act or feel. That can make the patient feel more heard and can result in better outcomes.

Patient-to-Staff Ratio

The patient-to-staff ratio is the number of patients each healthcare staffer has been tasked with treating. The lower the ratio, like one staffer for every four patients, means more prompt and more thorough care. That’s because it gives nurses, clinicians, and therapists added time to devote to each patient. That can result in a better understanding of the clients, including what may have contributed to their substance abuse.

Expectations for Inpatient Drug Rehab in Wheaton, Illinois

Substance abuse centers usually offer care in three stages, starting with patient assessment (or evaluation) and followed by treatment and aftercare.

  • Assessment. Shortly after the patient checks in, the staff will do a check-up (of both mental and physical health), do lab work, and get the paperwork processed. This information helps staff learn what the patient needs and helps to shape a treatment plan.
  • Treatment. Inpatient addiction treatment usually takes place in two stages. Part one is detoxification. That’s when the patient gets clean of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, he or she may need medication to make withdrawal safer and more comfortable. After detoxing, the client gets treatment. That is a blend of support groups and therapy, plus some other options like holistic healing or life skills training.
  • Aftercare. The goal here is to ready the patient for life after rehab, specifically to avoid relapse. They may receive guides on how to avoid using, be given contacts for support groups and therapists, or schedule outpatient care.

Aftercare Planning Procedures

Aftercare readies the patient for life following rehab. Some of that work is done during treatment, where the patient receives therapy, works on ways to prevent relapse, and begins to meet with support groups. That work continues after rehab, often with the patient checking back in at the center (by phone or in person), attending 12 steps closer to home, and visiting a therapist or counselor. Actually, staying in rehab is just one step of recovery, so aftercare is a way to continue that, as almost a transitional process on the road to being drug-free.

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Services Included in Treatment

The services a rehab center offers can make it easier to decide on a location. Special needs (like dietary restrictions, trauma therapy) and preferences (holistic healing, a swimming pool, or an oceanside setting), and other details can help you choose. Ask about therapies, amenities, and activities as your research treatment locations.

Treatment Options at Rehab Centers in Wheaton, IL

There are many kinds of treatment options at rehab centers in and around Tinley Park, Illinois. Twelve steps, dual diagnosis rehab, holistic treatment, and other components are worth considering as you decide on where to seek treatment.

Types of Treatment Available

Inpatient rehab includes intake, treatment, and aftercare, but there are treatment approaches that can make the process more suited to your needs. Some types of treatment to look into include:

12-Step Rehab in Wheaton, IL

The twelve steps are peer support groups with a more spiritual (but not always religious) focus. Members navigate the steps on their recovery journey, admitting powerlessness to their addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous is the oldest—and best known—and serves as a template for most other 12-step groups, of which there are many. Some cater to families of people with substance use disorders, and others focus on specific substances (Heroin Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, etc.)

Non-12-Step Rehab in Wheaton, IL

Non-12 steps provide peer support, but their approach is more secular. These kinds of groups may incorporate evidence-based principles of psychotherapy, motivation, and self-empowerment. If there’s new scientific data regarding recovery, those may be folded into some groups’ approaches. SMART Recovery is one example of a non-12-step, utilizing elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Wheaton, IL

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular (and often highly effective) type of talk therapy. With CBT, a patient learns about their more obstructive and destructive behaviors (illicit drug use to combat anxiety, for example) and develops healthier methods and outlooks to work through them. CBT can help people with trauma, anxiety, phobias, mental illness, and substance use disorders.

Luxury Rehab in Wheaton, IL

Luxury rehab offers clients the essentials of addiction treatment, but with high-end touches. Spa treatments, golf, five-star accommodations, gourmet meals, and more are possible options. So are more individualized treatments. Some executives may prefer luxury rehab as well, as they can provide workspaces so they can keep in touch with the office as they recover in privacy.

Alcohol Rehab in Wheaton, IL

Alcohol rehab is recommended for people with alcohol use disorders or alcohol addiction. They may drink to the point where they are physically dependent, so this type of rehab can help the patient go through withdrawal in safety. Medications are often administered to counter stress, anxiety, nausea, and sleepnessness. Once stable, the patient moves on to treatment, focusing on the root causes of their drinking.

Drug Rehab in Wheaton, IL

As in alcohol rehab, here, the patient will receive help weaning off illicit or misused substances. If they need medical oversight during detox, they may stay in a hospital room where nurses and doctors can quickly tend to them. Once the worst has passed they’ll move to a room (shared or individual, depending on the facility) and be given a structured regimen with therapy sessions, support groups, and skills-building activities. This structure—and being away from home—allows them to dive deeper into the recovery process, free of outside distractions.

IOP Program in Wheaton, IL

IOP stands for intensive outpatient program. For IOP, the patient will visit the rehab facility or clinic several times a week, usually a few hours at a time, for treatment. Once they complete the day’s therapies, they usually return home or to a temporary sober living facility. In some cases, IOP care can be a substitute for inpatient treatment, but it also can be a next-step approach to further solidify a person’s recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Rehab in Wheaton, IL

A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental illness, like depression or anxiety, and a substance use disorder. On the surface, it might sound scary, but it’s estimated that 9.5 million U.S. adults have such co-occurring disorders. Either condition can manifest first. A person might drink to self-medicate anxiety, or anxiety might result from drinking. The goal is to treat both. That can produce better outcomes in the long run.

Holistic Rehab in Wheaton, IL

Once considered an alternative approach, holistic rehab continues to gain mainstream acceptance, especially as the science unearths real benefits. Holistic rehab works on the mind, body, and spirit to produce overall health. It can include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and more. By promoting relaxation and easing stress, it can help a person avoid relapse.

Paying for Rehabs in Wheaton, Illinois

Even if you have an excellent insurance plan, you might have questions about the cost of rehab.

Fortunately, many plans cover mental health care and some substance use treatment, thanks to the Affordable Care Act deeming them essential health benefits. Exactly what a person will have to pay will vary, depending on deductibles, co-pays, and services covered.

Your insurance provider will be able to shine a light on any questions, including which rehabs are in-network (which can save you a lot of money).

Rehabs can answer a lot of questions, too, including whether they’ll take your insurance plan. They also work closely with insurance providers, getting more approved days for patients in need, so they can have a wealth of information.

Illinois and DuPage County have some treatment options, too, including:

  • The Department of Human Services (IDHS) offers Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for people with alcohol and other drug use disorders.
  • The DuPage County Health Department has behavioral health treatment programs, including outpatient, intensive outpatient, medication-assisted treatment, for those who qualify (typically through Medicaid/MCO).

Medicaid is a state and federal program for people who fall below a certain income level or who are disabled. Pregnant women qualify, too. Not every rehab center accepts Medicaid, however.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) lets people refine their searches for a rehab center or counseling, including ones that accept Medicaid.

Individuals with disabilities or who are 65 and older qualify for Medicare. Coverage through Medicare varies, depending on whether a person has Parts A and B (covering hospitalization and outpatient treatment) or if they have Medicare Advantage (Part C), which is Medicare-approved private insurance. Part D covers prescriptions.

Traveling to Wheaton, Illinois Rehab Centers

Most people traveling to the Chicago area (at least if they’re coming from a greater distance) will likely land at O’Hare International Airport. That’s about 30 miles northeast of Wheaton.

Wheaton, like much of the Chicago area, also has public transportation options. They include:

  • Two Metra Union Pacific West Lines, including the downtown Wheaton and the College Avenue train stations
  • PACE suburban bus service transports people to train stations and other spots

Rehabs can answer questions about transportation, and many will go so far as to pick up a patient from anywhere within a certain radius (like two hours) from the inpatient facility.

Wheaton, Illinois Addiction Treatment Resources

12 Steps

Twelve steps provide peer support for those who struggle with addiction. They tend to be more spiritually focused, but a person need not be a member of a church to attend. Since COVID-19 became a pandemic, many meetings have been moved online. It’s a good idea to check in advance to see if meetings are still held in person or if they are only via Zoom.

Non-12 Steps

Non-12 steps provide support, but they also use more secular tactics or principles of psychology. A lot of meetings are now being held online due to the pandemic; check beforehand if it’s in person or via Zoom.

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery. LifeRing members focus on their S’s: sobriety, security, and self-help.
  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). For all kinds of addictions, from alcohol to shopping. SMART employs a lot of cognitive-behavioral therapy methods to help its members.
  • Women for Sobriety. This group has its own 13-point New Life Program that encourages spiritual growth and self-empowerment.
  • Moderation Management. Members aim to practice moderation rather than abstinence.

Veterans Affairs Addiction Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone who is haunted by a traumatic event, whether they’ve experienced it or witnessed it. Veterans tend to have PTSD at higher rates than the general population, purely because of their jobs.

PTSD has been described as a hellish condition, where sufferers may:

  • Experience flashbacks
  • Avoid triggering situations
  • Feel anxious or on edge
  • Self-medicate with drugs or alcohol
  • Experience mood swings or depression

Anywhere from 11–20% of veterans who served in operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, 12% of Gulf War veterans, and as many as 30% of Vietnam veterans, may have PTSD.

Fortunately, veterans don’t have to suffer their trauma in silence. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers counseling resources for substance use and mental health disorders. There are many veterans centers and clinics in and around Chicago. DuPage County also has a Veterans Assistance Commission located right in Wheaton. It can provide emergency assistance for many things, and they also strive to provide suicide prevention education and mental health services.


  1. dupageco.org – Public Safety Announcement: DuPage Overdose Statistics 2020
  2. cdc.gov – Fentanyl
  3. chicago.suntimes.com – Marijuana use among U.S. college students hits record high during pandemic, study finds
  4. addiction.surgeongeneral.gov – Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
  5. sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Joint Commission
  6. sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – LegitScript Certified Rehabs
  7. census.gov – Wheaton city, Illinois
  8. opioidpreventionandtreatment.ucsf.edu – Cultural and Structural Competence to Improve Treatment Engagement for Substance Use Disorders
  9. samhsa.gov – Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  10. mayoclinic.org – Cognitive behavioral therapy
  11. medlineplus.gov – Alcohol withdrawal
  12. nami.org – Substance Use Disorders
  13. health.usnews.com – Why You Should Consider Holistic Addiction Treatment
  14. mentalhealth.gov – Health Insurance and Mental Health Services
  15. dupagehealth.org – Substance Use Treatment
  16. dhs.state.il.us – Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse – Overview
  17. samhsa.gov – Get Help
  18. wheaton.il.us – Transportation & Parking
  19. health.usnews.com – Statistics on PTSD in Veterans
  20. va.gov – Substance use treatment for veterans
  21. va.gov – Locations
  22. dupageco.org – Veterans Assistance

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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