Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

SMART Recovery offers addiction support to local gay men
by Jake Wittich
2019-05-07

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicagoan Anthony Radulovich had already decided he was abstaining from crystal meth, but he wasn't sure that he'd be able to follow through with the commitment if someone put the substance in front of him.

He had tried various addiction recovery support groups, but struggled to find one that worked for him. But that changed in 2016, when Radulovich found a weekly SMART ( Self-Management and Recovery Training ) Recovery group for gay men at the Center on Halsted.

"I don't know that I'd be this far along in my recovery without the group," Radulovich said. "Being able to discuss my recovery with other people, who had different sorts of substances they were abstaining from, was helpful. Learning what other people did to abstain made a big difference."

Radulovich liked SMART because the program has a science-based approach to the recovery process. While 12-step based recovery programs often involve surrendering to a higher power, SMART has no religious slant and instead uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods.

SMART encourages setting individualized goals to treat various types of addictions, ranging from substance abuse to gambling. Meetings open with member introductions before giving each attendee a chance to discuss their recovery. Cross-talk is encouraged so participants can comment and share ideas. For the rest of the meeting, the facilitator will either lead discussion or go over one of SMART's worksheets or tools.

"The cross-talk is important to me because it allows people to lend ideas to one another, as opposed to other support groups where each person gives a sort of monologue with questions reserved for after the fact," Radulovich said.

After about a year of attending the group, Radulovich took SMART's training to become a group facilitator, he said. He now alternates leading the meeting with two other volunteers, including Doug Schacke.

Schacke started attending the meeting in July 2016 and became a facilitator about five months later, he said.

"I had two pretty successful careers, but my alcoholism had taken over so much of my life that before I went to detox, I hadn't been working for a year," Schacke said. "Through getting sober and becoming a facilitator, I realized I was bored with my career anyway, and I had to do something meaningful that I enjoyed in order to recover."

Shacke is now enrolled in Loyola University Chicago's social work program to receive his second master's degree. He interns at an addiction treatment center and plans to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor.

"SMART Recovery gave me the chance to experiment in this field as a professional, but also gave me the sobriety I needed to be a functioning person in the world," he said.

Of the nearly two dozen SMART meetings across Chicago, Radulovich and Schacke's is the only one specifically for gay men.

Radulovich said having a group that's exclusively for gay men creates a space where people can discuss experiences they might not feel comfortable sharing around straight people.

"For many people, their addiction is somehow linked to being gay," Radulovich said. "They may reluctant to open up or go into as much detail in a large group that's more diverse, as opposed to a group of other gay men who are more empathetic to those feelings."

For Schacke, having an addiction recovery group that's only for gay men helps address the prevalence of substance abuse within the gay community.

According to a 2012 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, reliable information on the LGBTQ population is not available to determine prevalence rates of substance abuse by LGBTQ people. However, studies suggest LGBTQ people are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than the general population.

"If you're in either a coed environment or an environment with straight people, it can be harder talk about the intersection of substance use, addiction and sexuality," Shacke said. "This meeting in particular is a safe space for gay men to talk about those intersections."

The gay men's SMART Recovery meeting is held every Monday at 7 p.m. at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Room 205. People can join the group by simply showing up, Radulovich said.

To learn more about SMART Recovery or search for other meetings in the Chicago area, visit https://www.smartrecovery.org/.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report can be viewed at store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma12-4104.pdf .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lurie Children's, DCFS identifying LGBTQ youths in foster-care system 2019-05-22 - Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago ( Lurie Children's ) and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ( ...


Gay News

Five reasons the Gilead deal is a steaming pile of Truvada 2019-05-22 - Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical that makes Truvada, the only FDA-approved drug for PrEP, is having a great week in the public relations department. ...


Gay News

Female CEOs say abortion is a right in full-page open letter in New York Times 2019-05-21 - NEW YORK — In a new full-page open letter running in today's edition of The New York Times, the CEOs and co-founders of ...


Gay News

Legislation to ensure restroom access passes Illinois House 2019-05-21 - Legislation to modernize Illinois law to ensure single-occupancy restroom facilities are designated as gender neutral passed the Illinois House of Representatives Tuesday, said ...


Gay News

Mujeres, Esperanza announce new health center in Brighton Park 2019-05-19 - Mujeres Latinas en AcciÃ"n ( Mujeres ), in partnership with Esperanza Health Centers ( Esperanza ), has now opened a new health center ...


Gay News

Youth group hosts gender-expansive services symposium 2019-05-17 - Illinois Collaboration on Youth ( ICOY ) held a day-long gender expansive services symposium May 13 at the Chicago Teachers Union. The day ...


Gay News

Richards takes over as Northalsted Executive Director 2019-05-16 - Kevin Richards, who came on board as executive director of the Northalsted Business Alliance on April 1, has been meeting with Halsted Street ...


Gay News

IDOC trans healthcare court case continues 2019-05-14 - Litigation continues in a federal lawsuit filed by five transgender Illinois prisoners who say that their healthcare is inadequate with Illinois Department of ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood' youth-led initiative to hold day-long conference May 18 2019-05-14 - CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood of Illinois' ( PPIL ) youth-led initiative My Body. My Story. is hosting the Generation Empowered conference for young ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Twin sons' dilemma, Center Global, risky Buttigieg comment 2019-05-14 - The Hill reported that the State Department continued an ongoing fight to require one of a gay couple's twin sons to undergo a ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.