Somerville: Former Drug Addict Shares Story of Recovery with Immaculata Students and Parents

Former drug addict Stephen Hill visited Immaculata High School in Somerville to share his story of recovery with students and parents. Credits: Courtesy Immaculata High School

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Stephen Hill, the founder of Speak Sobriety shared his story of drug addiction and recovery with students and parents at Immaculata High School recently.

Hill, a student athlete at his high school, was actively addicted for more than 10 years, despite multiple detox and rehab programs. His journey into drug and alcohol use began as a freshman and he consequently lost all interest in academics, sports, and his own health.

Now in his late 20s, he visits with high school audiences to share his story.

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In 2012 Stephen hit rock bottom and entered his final treatment program and stayed for a year. Family, friends, sports, health, fitness, and helping others became the top priorities in his life. After completing his first year of sobriety, he began to work at the same treatment program. Just before entering his third year of recovery, he returned to college and graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is now a student at Brooklyn Law School.

“Stephen Hill is an extraordinary young man with a powerful personal story of his battle with drug addiction.  He engaged both audiences with a sincere, clear and relevant message.  He fielded many questions to ensure that all understood the hurdles he faced to reach sobriety today," said Jean Kline, principal.

On his days off, Hill bean to address classes at high schools and middle schools.  In his talks he details his personal struggles with substance abuse, while highlighting the benefits of living a clean and sober life today. When speaking to parents, Hill uses his experiences with his own parents, as well as knowledge gained while working in the field of recovery.  He pinpoints potential threats and warning signs for parents to look out for and touches on enabling, denial, secrets, under age drinking parties, the criminal justice system, triggers, and parent support groups throughout the presentation.

 “Stephen Hill presented a very human approach, sharing his story of struggling with the disease of addiction, explaining how it directly affected not only him, but his family as well. His approach was very effective in reaching students and parents, because he was so authentic in his message,” said Jeff Martinelli, Immaculata assistant principal for Student Affairs.


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