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.

April Coalition Monthly Meeting @ Stepping Stones Conference Center
Apr 17 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Topic: Intervention

Presenter: Phil Scherer, CADC-CS, PCGC, CIP


  1. Participants will learn the evolution of the use of Intervention.
  2. Participants will be introduced to distinctive styles of Intervention and setting appropriate goals for families.
  3. Participants will be introduced to the use of Intervention with Chemical addictions, Behavioral addictions and Mental Health issues

Presenter Bio:

Phil Scherer, Certified Intervention Specialist and Consultant, Intervention Resources, Peoria, IL.

Phil Scherer is the sole owner of Intervention Resources based in Peoria Illinois.

Phil is a trained interventionist and is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP). He was originally trained in the Johnson Model of intervention in 1996. He has since been trained in the ARISE Model as well as the Systemic Family Systems Model of intervention. He developed the Family Meeting Approach to Intervention along with his former colleague Randee McGraw in 2008.

He is currently serving on the Board of the Association of Intervention Specialists and is the past President of the International Interventionists Credentialing board. He has trained nationally and internationally, training others to intervene on those who suffer from addictive Board. He is a trainer in The Family Meeting Approach to intervention. Training others to intervene on families suffering from the effects of addictive disorders and other problematic behaviors. He has been involved in statewide initiatives in Illinois in training of other professionals in the identification and treatment of people with compulsive gambling problems.

Phil began working in the addiction treatment field in 1990. He is currently certified through several State and National Credentialing bodies in the intervention and treatment of people suffering from addictive disorders. Phil is also a certified Clinical supervisor.

Phil has worked in all areas of treatment since entering the field. He worked at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery in Peoria Illinois for 25 years rising to the position of Administrative Director. He left the Illinois Institute in 2015 to become the Chief Clinical Officer at New Directions For Women, a treatment center catering to women, pregnant women and women with children, in Costa Mesa California and held that position until retiring in January 2018.

Mr. Scherer’s credentials may be verified at, and

HERO HELPS – Join Us at the Summit! @ Edwards Hospital Athletic & Event Center
May 11 @ 7:30 am – 12:30 pm

Summit on the Opioid Epidemic in Illinois: Bringing it all together

This year’s event will bring together all of the efforts made towards reducing opioid use and overdose in Will County and across the State of Illinois. Keynote speaker Laura Porter from ACE Interface will address the effects of childhood trauma and substance use and Dr. Maria Bruni from DASA and Dr. Nirav Shah from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health will discuss the efforts of the state in opioid abuse.

This is a FREE event, open to the public, pre-registration is not required.

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.