Facing Addiction’s Young Leadership Program


The Young Leadership Program of Facing Addiction is comprised of students who have witnessed first-hand the suffering and sometimes fatal results of addiction and drug overdose, the number one cause of death in people under 30 years of age. These young leaders contribute time to their local communities to open up a dialogue that faces addiction head on and confronts both the lack of knowledge and the stigma of this epidemic through awareness-building programs and special fundraising events. What is uniquely effective about this program is that it is kids reaching out to kids and parents to create awareness about the dangers of addiction and accidental overdose.

Our hope is to get kids involved and educated before they are confronted with difficult choices. We are not advocating abstinence, but instead, are hoping to create awareness and offer knowledge and tools for teenagers to safely navigate their very complicated social worlds of today.

We meet approximately once a month and the meetings last approximately 1 hour. Our meetings provide a safe place for kids to gather and talk about what is going on in their social lives around drugs and alcohol. We try to bring in a young speaker at each meeting to share their personal experiences confronting the dangers of addiction and accidental overdose. The speakers are generally great role models for our kids – students from similar backgrounds who have gone down the wrong path but have worked extremely hard to get their lives back on track.

We also plan Awareness Raising/Fundraising Events. Our goal is always to have the kids be an integral part of the planning and promoting the event, and hopefully, attract their friends to also participate in the event.

Parents are more than welcome to attend meetings if their teenager is comfortable with them joining. Whether parents attend the meeting or not, we always have roles for parents to participate in behind the scenes – especially in the planning and outreach stages of our events.

We look forward to engaging your teenager in our Young Leadership Program and hope that you might also engage in any way that feels comfortable for your family.

Summer 2015

Awareness raising event launching the Young Leadership Program. Over 200 young people and parents gathered to hear Alex Newell (co-star of Glee) talk about the tragedy of Glee co-star Cory Monteith – who died of a heroin overdose. The Leadership Team spoke to teens and parents about the deadly risks of addiction and accidental overdose.

Summer 2016

A Tribute to Lost Laughs, starring SNL’s Darrell Hammond. An evening of awareness and entertainment in Sag Harbor, NY. Young people marketed, promoted, and sold over 300 tickets to the event. The young leadership team sold sponsorships, developed PR strategies, and were interviewed for an article published in an on-line publication. Furthermore, the team spoke on stage about the deadly risks of mixing prescription pills and other substances.

The Historic Sag Theater Matt Butler performing ‘Just One’ Former SNL star Darrell Hammond

Summer 2017 

Summer 2018

SMASH the Stigma – An evening of Ping-Pong competition while also engaging in addiction awareness. Young speakers will share their experience around addiction and there will be an opportunity for Q and A as well as discussion with these Young Leadership advocates. There will be a social and competitive Ping-Pong component to the evening.