Shannon Hays told our class that her family is living proof that you don’t have to be a statistic.

When she visited our class on Thursday, she spoke about her family’s struggles with addiction and how they overcame those struggles, together. She said she was born into addiction, as her family has a long history of substance use and mental illness. However, her and her siblings were able to break the family chain. After spending a short amount of time incarcerated, she realized the extent of her addiction and sought out help. Now, she considers herself a person in long-term recovery and works at Family Service Association of Bucks County.

The fact that she and all of her siblings are now in recovery is truly inspiring. On a personal level, it was a relief to hear Shannon’s story and know that you or your family member doesn’t have to succumb to addiction and stigma and the chain can be broken.