Cortney Lovell, who is an outspoken advocate for addiction recovery supports and a person in long-term recovery herself, visited CMS on January 9 to speak with our 8th grade Health students about addiction. Along with discussing the science behind substance dependency, she shared with them her personal story of addiction, the hope of recovery, and ways to get help. Lovell, who struggled with self-image and other issues growing up, at age 15 turned to substance use that progressed into opioid addiction and eventually jail; “A very common progression,” she told the students. At nineteen years old she had hit rock bottom, became sober and began her journey to wellness. Today, Lovell is the co-founder of Our Wellness Collective and the author of Recovery: A Coaching Workbook. She serves on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee for Women’s Services and on the Board of Directors for Families Together in NYS. She has also been a spokesperson for the NYS Governor’s Combat Heroin Campaign, Youth.gov, and the Center for Disease Control. Her presentation at CMS was made possible through the support of the Chatham Education Foundation and Columbia County Pathways to Recovery.