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CONFERENCE ADDRESSES YOUTH ADDICTON

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Organization Reached out to Monteith Days Before Relapse

SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 13, 2013 – As the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) wrapped up the final session of its national conference on Saturday afternoon, news would soon reach the world of the passing of the star that they had reached out to just months before.

Just days before Cory Monteith checked himself into rehab in late March, the Association of Recovery Schools had contacted him requesting him to be their keynote speaker ending their conference on Saturday, July 13th.  “We were aware of some of his recent interviews that he had given about overcoming past drug addiction and reached out to his agent in hopes that he would champion our cause,” said Doug Vogel, Director of Development and Communications for the conference.

The Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) is the only organization in the country that advocates for the promotion, strengthening, and expansion of secondary and post-secondary programs designed for students and families committed to achieving success in both education and recovery.  This three day conference was attended by over three hundred addiction treatment professionals, students, parents, policy makers, and representatives from recovery high schools.  Special guests included TV reality show interventionist Ken Seeley, A&E’s Intervention; Congresswoman Mary Bono, Bob Forrest and Sherry Gaba of Celebrity Rehab/Sober House.

As a friend and supporter of Event Chair, Stacie Mathewson, whose son lost his battle to addiction on February 15, 2013, Bob Forrest closed out the conference as the keynote speaker addressing the growing national epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse among youth today and the need to tackle it as a global community.

“It is a tragedy that so many parents such as myself are losing their sons and daughters to drugs when there is something we can do to prevent this,” said Stacie Mathewson.  “About 90% of high school students have been exposed to drugs at their school and more than half know where they can go to get high on their campuses,” added Mathewson.

The Stacie Mathewson Foundation, who sponsored and produced the conference, is committed to fighting drug and alcohol addiction among youth along with the stigma associated with addiction.  Currently providing over half a million dollars in funding to collegiate and high school recovery programs along with a national survey and research study of youth recovery efforts, The Stacie Mathewson Foundation creates and brings together innovative and sustainable  scholastic recovery communities.

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Among many highlights of the conference were a human chain ceremony at the beach in memory of all lost to addiction and a Youth and Student Leadership track that helped address the growing epidemic among their peers.  This track provided leadership training to participants and facilitated youth perspectives of addiction today to be shared along with their personal experiences at the closing session of the conference.

While we continue to mourn the loss of celebrities and loved ones to drugs and alcohol as a society, organizations such as ARS and The Stacie Mathewson Foundation will keep discussions on youth addiction alive in our country and seek to provide safe, drug free academic environments for youth in recovery.

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