District Casts a Spotlight on the Dangers of Addiction
Students and families throughout the Levittown Public Schools had the unique opportunity to hear from nationally recognized recovery coach and addiction counselor Cortney Lovell on Dec. 12 with her program, "Progression of a Substance Abuse Disorder." The special visit was part of the district's comprehensive health and wellness curriculum.
Sharing her own personal story of addiction and her climb to wellness, Lovell visited seventh-graders at Jonas E. Salk and Wisdom Lane middle school, as well as students at both Division Avenue and MacArthur high schools. She also spoke to members throughout the community during an evening presentation of the program at the Levittown Memorial Education Center.
While describing her personal journey as an outgoing and athletic teenager, Lovell explained that she silently struggled with self-image and other issues growing up. She hid her emotional pain behind a smile for years as it progressed to heroin addiction and eventually incarceration. At just 19 years old, she began her journey to wellness and discovered her purpose along the way.
"Maybe we'll make some bad choices and maybe some bad things will happen to us but as long as there is breath in your lungs, there is hope for something much more beautiful yet to come," said Lovell.
In addition, she shared important statistics about substance abuse and spoke about the stereotypes that society has of those suffering from drug addiction. She also described how quickly addiction can process and shared her first experience with withdrawal.
"The Levittown Public Schools has always made alcohol and substance abuse prevention a priority in our program planning," said Dr. Donald Sturz, director of pupil services. "Addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone. Cortney illustrated this fact poignantly through the telling of her own story of how she progressed through addiction. The feedback from everyone who had the good fortune to experience the presentation has been overwhelmingly positive."