The Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues


March Coalition Monthly Meeting @ Serenity House Counseling Services, Inc.
Mar 20 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Presenter: DeShanna Byrdlong

Topic: The Connection Between Alcohol, Other Drugs and HIV/STDs/Hepatitis


1. HIV/STD Risk for Women

2. HIV/STD Risk for the Aging

3. Drug Use and Viral Infection

The workshop presentation will provide an overview on the basics of HIV/AIDS/STDs/Hepatitis C and the risk associated with drugs and alcohol. An overview of the latest data and trends, populations at risk, reducing the risk of alcohol and drug use, women and drugs amd sexually transmitted disease for vulnerable populations.

Speaker Bio:

DeShanna Byrdlong presently works at Prairie State Legal Services as an Outreach Compliance Paralegal with the HIV/AIDS Project.  Her responsibilities include assisting a Project Manager and five project attorneys with various civil legal aid cases, compiling client data and completing required reports for funding entities regarding Ryan White Part A/B Grants.  She also participates in HIV/AIDS client and service provider networks in the Greater Chicago area and maintains regular contact with case managers.  DeShanna is also responsible for identifying and responding to emerging legal issues affecting persons living with HIV/AIDS through the development of innovative outreach and education programs.

May Coalition Monthly Meeting @ Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Ingalls
May 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Topic: Strength Based Assessments and Counseling

Presenter: Peter Bradley, LPC, CRADC, PCGC


1. Understand the basic principles in Strength Based assessment and treatment planning

2. Take a look at some of the philosophical foundations of Strength Based counseling

3. Consider how we communicate with clients, the questions that we can use to inspire Strength Based responses, and adopt non-judgemental approaches that can lead to higher rates of treatment efficacy

Presenter Bio:

Peter Bradley is a two-time graduate from Governors State IUniversity.  After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a double minor (Addiction Studies and Communications) he went on to obtain his Masters of Arts Degree in Community Counseling.

Peter had an extremely rewarding career with the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. At the Council, he served in the Men’s Residential Program in the capacity of a Senior Addictions Counselor and Clinical Supervisor. Peter currently works as a Corporate Services Clinician with the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, IL.

Peter is a regular lecturer at universities, hospitals, churches and other treatment centers.

Peter enjoys reading, teaching, learning, and spending time with his family, friends, and church family. Advocacy and Outreach are two areas of special interest.


June Coalition Monthly Meeting @ University of St. Francis
Jun 19 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Presenter: Larry Dunbar, MS, CAADC, CADP, MISA2

Topic: The Role of Substance Use in Media


1. Provide an awareness of substance use in media.
2. Provide examples of wide range and types of substance use.
3. Provide examples of the many messages sent by media
Speaker Bio:
Mr. Dunbar has worked in the field of substance abuse treatment, prevention and mental health for more than 20 years. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Health Service Administration, both from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois where he currently works as an Instructor and Program Coordinator of Addiction Studies. In addition, he also earned a Certificate in Addictions Counseling from Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois where he currently teaches as an adjunct instructor in their Addiction Counseling program.