Sunday, August 2, 2015
Second in a 3-part series of interesting workshops and speakers I attended at the national TCF conference recently in Dallas, Texas.
One of the keynote speakers (there were four of them) was Gary Mendell, the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national organization committed to protecting our children from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. He also wants to end the stigma and suffering of those affected by the disease. His son, Brian, lost his battle with addiction in 2011 and this organization is to honor his son.
Shatterproof’s quest to end addiction is guided by a group of scientific, medical, business and public policy leaders. In its first year, it was influential in the passage of legislation that significantly reduced the number of deaths related to overdose and has provided funding to expand the use of an intervention program that has proven to reduce the number of teens that will become addicted. They are working to change the lives of the hundred million Americans affected by addition.
Here are a few quotes from those who have been touched by addiction and are getting help at all ages, in all communities, and learning the most important fact of all—that they or their relatives can survive and recover from any type of addiction.
Warren Phillips: My father was an addict who died from an overdose when I was 10 years old. At 29 years old, I am an also an addict. I have 2.5 years sober and am living with a purpose to help young addicts find joy in recovery. I am not alone in my journey.
Swami Kavyo: I am an alcoholic, currently in recovery. Both sides of my family have a history of alcoholism. I started drinking in my early teens, was a daily drinker and actually overdosed once in my teens. In college I added drugs to the mix.
Makalynn Powell:I got clean at 17 years old after an extensive history with opiates, among other narcotics. I spent 10 months in a residential treatment center and have been clean ever since.
Valerie Carbone: My whole family has been hurt by addiction. We all are limping and hanging on . We families need to gather together like MADD did and make it stop. I'm so glad to have come across this movement.
Jody Cowan: My two daughters are addicts. One is now living at home, clean and on Suboxone. She's working on herself and trying to get her life up and running. I'm so proud she did it! She was addicted to Heroin and shooting up.
Shatterproof also launched a series of innovative rappelling events in 30 cities across the U.S. to reduce the stigma associated with this disease, educate the public, and advocate for change. By raising funds from these events and public donations, they hope to reduce the devastating impact of addiction on families across the U.S.
Helping to make our country Shatterproof is Gary’s mission.