Cognitive Behavioral TherapyNew Hope Recovery Center is pleased to offer a new 8 week closed group for gay and bisexual men affected by cross addictions.

For those struggling with multiple addictions, sexual compulsivity, relationships issues and/or trauma, this group will provide tools to process shame, fear and anxiety and will offer insights into the barriers that can keep someone stuck.

This confidential closed 8 week group will meet Tuesday evenings 6pm-8pm from October 25, 2016 to December 13, 2016.

Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or for more information and to register for the group.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  The New Hope with Pride Program focuses on the needs of LGBTQIA individuals.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

Seoul Korea World Conference on Social WorkNew Hope Recovery Center is proud to announce that Jeff Zacharias, our Clinical Director and President, spoke in Seoul, South Korea at the 2016 Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development.  Jeff's discussion was on “Addiction, Mental Health & Trauma in the LGBTQI Community: Providing Hope for an Under-Served Population”.




Today, July 8 Jeff is speaking in Denver at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention on“How to Erase Stigma in the LGBTQI Community “. 

NCADIn August, you can hear Jeff speak at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) also in Denver.  His talk “Chemsex in the City:  The Intersection of Drugs, Sex, Technology and HIV/AIDS”  will be presented at the conference: August 18-21, 2016.

CCSADAnd later in the year, Jeff is speaking at the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders (CCSAD) in Hyannis, MA from September 8-11, 2016.


NAADACAnd at The Association for Addiction Professionals National Conference (NAADAC) in Minneapolis, MN – October 7-11, 2016.



For more information call 888-707-4673(HOPE) or email us at

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center





WGN Radio 720

Tonight you can hear and see Jeff Zacharias, New Hope Recovery Center's President and Clinical Director, speak live on WGN Radio.
He will be speaking  with Patti Vazquez about the aftermath of Orlando and trauma, depression and anxiety in the LGBT community. Jeff will also be speaking directly to listeners who need help and will offer suggestions and resources to promote healing.
You can hear him from 11pm-12:30am Central Time TONIGHT June 13, 2016 on WGN Radio 720 AM.
It's a livestream show, so you can listen & watch.  Call or text to speak with Jeff at 312-981-7200 during the show.

Jeff Zacharias, President and Clinical Director of New Hope Recovery Center, is mentioned in Jamie Marich's new book, Trauma Made Simple.

According to Jamie: "My wish is that one day, every client with unresolved trauma can have the good fortune to work with someone like Jeff.  The reality is that so many trauma survivors in need of such a therapist with a health, optimistic attitude cannot find this connection."

Jamie discusses trauma in the LGBTQI Community: "There are several major issues connected to the LGBTQI community and trauma that we must consider, especially because the shame quotient can be so high for those presenting for services.  According to my colleague Jeff Zacharias, the owner and director of New Hope Treatment Center, an addiction treatment program that specializes in treating the LGBTQI community of Chicago, every client in their care has some sort of trauma.  This trauma can manifest in multiple layers, from dealing with homophobia, to bullying, to HIV infection and diseases, to dealing with unkindness from other gay people....However, the most intense layer of trauma that he [Jeff] tends to see with the LGBTQI population relates to dynamics surrounding family rejection and ostracism."

And Jamie discusses Jeff's advice to therapists:  "Jeff Zacharias, introduced in Chapter 5, believes we must encounter our biases about sexuality and strive to educate ourselves about experiences for which we have no personal frame of reference.  Jeff has declared, 'It's not enough to be tolerant; we have to be fully accepting of who people are if we are serious about helping them with recovery.  You've got to dig in, do your own work, examine your biases, and learn.'"

New Hope Recovery Center and Jeff Zacharias appreciate Jamie and her wonderful book, Trauma Made Simple.  You can order her book now.

For the LGBTQ community, religion can be a hot button discussion.  In our New Hope with Pride Program, clients often mention that religion is the area where homosexuality is first discussed in their lives, often in negative terms.  Some of our LGBT addiction clients have experienced trauma from their experience with religion. Many LGBT clients have learned deep shame about who they are, based on their sexuality, from their religion.  Because addiction is a disease of shame, LGBT addicts often experience a double layer of shame: shame about their addiction, and shame about their sexuality. Recovering from shame is an important part of New Hope Recovery Center’s treatment program. LGBT clients often grapple with their religious upbringing as they find their own spirituality when working a 12-step program.  The first step is often learning that spirituality and religion are not the same.

Spirituality Beyond Religion

Religion is an influence that has an effect on many of us at multiple points in our lives, so it is a disservice to not talk about it openly.  Whereas formal religion emphasizes a rigid ethical code, values system, and rituals; spirituality is believing in something greater than yourself.  Spiritual self-discovery provides us with the opportunity to discern our own purpose and meaning for our lives.  Many who have experienced trauma from religion express that they did not have the opportunity to form their own value and belief system, but instead were told what to believe based on the doctrine of their religion.  Negative messages about homosexuality are frequently expressed directly from the church and, more likely than not, by family members and peers in the religious community.  Young LGBTQ individuals internalize these negative messages.

Spirituality in recovery is an opportunity to surrender to addiction and explore what gives us a deeper sense of meaning in life.  Religion may or may not be a part of someone’s story but the impact it has, both positive and negative, can be profound.  Having a better understanding of that impact is one area we explore with our clients.

Although any LGBTQ person can be affected during their childhood by religion, we have seen that clients who were raised Catholic, Baptist or Mormon are often the most affected.  Further, clients that attended religious schools were usually surrounded by religion for the majority of their waking hours.  Childhood is a very impressionable time and hearing that non-heterosexuals are sinful, bad or even evil has a deep impact.   Many clients learned to be ashamed of their sexual orientation based on the teachings of their families’ religion. Many clients become depressed and yearn to be straight.  This yearning is called internalized homophobia: not wanting to be gay or lesbian.

My Story: 

Losing My Religion

I was raised Catholic and although I was not overtly treated negatively, I did not feel I belonged.  The covert messages I received reaffirmed this feeling of not belonging, and that who I am was wrong.  It contributed to me staying in the closet for over a decade before I decided to fully accept my sexuality.  As I accepted my sexuality more and more, I was keen on religion less and less.  My process of self-acceptance meant shedding my religion and the negative messages I internalized.

Religion has been a long-standing vehicle to promote heterosexism throughout the world.  I personally did not find it be a place where I can be myself openly.  I also was not interested in living the dual life I lived before I came out.  Therefore, to live a fully integrated life, I decided to reject my religion. In order for me to accept my sexuality fully, I took the internalized shame and guilt I had about myself and externalized it to the Catholic Church.  Doing so resulted in my rejection of the religion but it freed me from the notion that I was innately bad or disordered.

Finding My Religion

My religious journey is ongoing and I am not closed off to the idea of integrating my sexuality and religion.  Thankfully there are more and more LGBTQ-affirming churches.  There have even been strides in my own Catholic religion which is uplifting to see.  In the New Hope with Pride Program I have seen people with affirming religious upbringings and with extremely traumatic religious upbringings.  But there is always room for healing and subsequent growth.

New Hope Recovery Center is Chicago’s premier addiction rehab facility and we’re here to have the hard conversations.  Our New Hope with Pride Program caters to the unique issues LGBTQ clients face with addiction.  If you or a loved one is seeking help for alcoholism or a drug addiction, please visit our website at or call us at 888-707-4673.

To find an LGBTQ-affirming church in your area please visit

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center