Creativity in sobriety: Man helps others in recovery

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CHICAGO — As a teen he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Now nearly a decade later, Chris Reed devotes much of his time to helping others get clean. He also came up with a creative way to serve younger members in recovery.

Reed is a founding member of New Directions Addiction and Recovery Services. He and his team work to support victims in recovery by offering treatment services, housing and even a little fun.

In his early days of recovery, friends would often come to hang out at the warehouse Reed leased for his construction business. With sometimes dozens of people showing up, Reed began to recognize the need for young people to socialize in a drug-free environment.

So he and his friends made modifications to the warehouse. By the time they were finished, it resembled a nightclub.

The city of Crystal Lake worked with Reed and his friends to rezone the property and make it safe. In 2013, the space  officially opened as a sober bar called “The Otherside.” The facility is also used for meetings and support groups.

In 2016, New Directions began a sober housing program. A third home opened this past February.

New Directions is funded by various donors and members of the community. If you would like to contribute or learn more about the organization you can visit its website at

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