Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sober Bar Opens in Chicago Area

The idea here is that a recovering addict wanted to open a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks in order for people in recovery to have a public place to hang out that isn't a club house, movie theatre, or bowling alley. If you are intoxicated, you aren't allowed in. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Alcohol-free bar to open in Chicago's suburbs [LINK]

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/14/2576861/alcohol-free-bar-to-open-in-chicagos.html#storylink=cpy
 — When a new suburban Chicago bar opens later this month, it'll be without one key element: alcohol.
The so-called sober bar, The Other Side, is being billed as a booze-free place that's welcoming to those recovering from addiction. Proceeds will go toward funding drug education and treatment initiatives, according to the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald ( http://bit.ly/Zuyqak).
Chris Reed, 22, a former addict and president of the nonprofit group running the bar, said that the suburbs can be a lonely place when you're recovering from addiction.
"You can only go to the movie theater and bowling alley so many times," said Reed, head of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services. "We're still young, and we want to hang out. You can't hang out with 40 people at your house."
Reed said he's visited a similar bar in Los Angeles, but the one in suburban Chicago is believed to be among the first in the Midwest. The bar is set to open its doors April 27 in Crystal Lake.
Reed, who has been clean for three years after a heroin addiction, said the idea for the bar came last summer after the funeral of a 21-year-old friend who died of a heroin overdose. Reed said a bunch of friends started meeting up while they were going through recovery and the number of those joining them grew.
Work on the establishment, a converted warehouse loft, has drawn a lot of volunteers, at times so many that it's been difficult to find tasks for everyone, Reed said. On a recent day, 30 recovering addicts from an Elgin rehab center arrived to clean the place.
Pictures of those who have died of drug overdoses will hang on the bar's wall as a way to help keep board members and patrons focused on their mission.
The bar, open Thursdays through Sundays, will be a space to play pool, video games and host live music. Those entering must be at least 18 years old and sober.
"There's a lot of work that goes into staying sober," said Steve Staley of Lake in the Hills, a New Directions board member who also had a drug addiction. "There's a whole recovery community out there who wants and needs a place like this."
Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com

New ‘Sober Bar’ Aims To Provide A Safe Space For People Recovering From Substance Abuse [LINK]

22-year-old Chris Reed of Algonquin wants to give young former addicts a place to indulge in some R&R — recovery and recreation, that is. The former heroin addict and president of the recovery nonprofit New Directions Addiction Recovery Services has — with the help of some fellow recovery patients — led the charge in creating “One Direction,” a completely volunteer-funded “sober bar” set to open in Crystal Lake, Illinois at the end of the month.
Although alcohol and substance abuse are often stratified in everyday conversation, they are rooted in similar dependencies and have a fair amount of interplay. Substance abusers are much more likely to have an alcohol dependency than vice versa, and young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the highest risk of having co-occurring alcohol and substance abuse problems. That’s why One Direction aims to be a space in which young Americans recovering from a drug habit can take a breather — without the temptation of booze and its potential to cause a relapse. “If you’re choosing a sober lifestyle, this will be a healthy atmosphere. It’s an important place for people in recovery,” Reed told the Daily Herald. “We’re still young, and we want to hang out. You can’t hang out with 40 people at your house.”
The whole effort is not-for-profit, intertwined with other recovery groups, and will hopefully become an additional therapeutic resource for recovering addicts:
The Other Side is not a business — everyone involved is keeping a day job, and it’s only open four nights a week, Thursdays through Sundays. Any money raised will fund drug education and treatment initiatives by their nonprofit and others, including Wake the Nation, a Facebook-based drug awareness group led by New Directions board member Cassandra Wingert, 23, of Western Springs. [...]
Falling somewhere between “nightclub” and “rec center,” The Other Side is opening in the warehouse loft space behind Reed’s construction company on Berkshire Drive. It has room for people to relax on couches, watch TV, play pool or video games, listen to live bands, or dance along with a disc jockey. There will be security, and people will be carded at the door to make sure they’re at least 18 years old — and sober. [...]
The Other Side’s creators hope their bar will help people in various stages of recovery by providing them a place to go, and a place to be with others who understand the struggle of addiction.
The space also features photographs of late addicts who succumbed to their struggles with drugs — a solemn reminder of what can happen without a robust support system for Americans who are trying to get clean. Social exclusion, loneliness, and isolation are all significant risk factors for both mental illness and substance abuse, making group-based recovery efforts particularly important. What makes efforts such as One Direction promising is that they close the gap between the social and therapeutic spheres of recovery, giving former addicts a place to be with both non-addict and addict friends.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/14/2576861/alcohol-free-bar-to-open-in-chicagos.html#storylink=cpy


Anonymous said...

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