The Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues


February Coalition Monthly Meeting @ Stepping Stones Conference Center
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Presenter: Debralee Townsend

Topic: Anger: A Natural Human Emotion


1.        Intermittent Explosive Disorder

2.        Age Appropriate Anger Management

3.       Anger Management Exercises

Speaker Bio:

From 2000 to date, Debralee Townsend is a self employed Anger Management Consultant and Presenter. Her clients include Will County Court and Probation, The Department of Children and Family Services and Community referrals  beginning at pre-school to seniors. Debralee is a 1971 Graduate-St Francis Academy Joliet Il.1974 Graduate- – Associates Degree Massey Business College-Atlanta Ga. She has numerous certifications including :Anger Management-Domestic Violence-Care-Giver and many more. From 2016 to the present she has created an App called “ZIP CODE” an initiative  for  Positive Youth Activity. From 2014 to the present she is the founder and director of  “Hygiene Bank” an initiative  to increase School Attendance and Performance. From 1992 to 2012 she was the director  of  Building Esteem Support Team affectionately embrace by the community as B.E.S.T.  Building Esteem Support Team’s mission was to position youth  to create  committees of  Positive Youth Activities. B.E.S.T. was a featured Presenter for the Department of Children and Family Services Annual Youth Summit in Springfield Illinois for many years. Debralee is the Author of “Clean Your Room”  available on Amazon and the Co Author of “101 Anger Management Exercises” and “The Best Purpose-Driven Anger Management Workbook Ever”.  From 2006- 2012  Debralee Directed  the A.T.M. Program Advocacy Tutoring Mentoring after school program funded by The Department of Children and Family Services .

A few of Debralee’s Awards and Accolades include:

2010 – “Community Service Award” – St. Mark’s Church.

2007 & 1998 – “Midwest Christian Women’s Award”

2005 – “Women of Strength Award” – Trailways, Girl Scout Council

2004 – “STARS – Helping Adopted Children Award”

2002 – “Harrah’s Casino Community Service Award”

1995 & 1996 – “Founders Day Award” – Joliet Alliance for Youth

March Coalition Monthly Meeting @ Serenity House Counseling Services, Inc.
Mar 21 @ 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.

June Coalition Monthly Meeting @ University of St. Francis
Jun 20 @ 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.