Students hear powerful message about drugs

  • Mar. 16, 2011 5:00 p.m.

“I’m a recovered drug addict,” boomed former NFL football player Alvin Powell to a gymnasium full of spellbound Grade 8 and 9 students, teachers and community members at Queen Charlotte Secondary School on March 15. He said people ask why he always introduces himself this way, when he’s done so many great things in his life. And he said it’s because he still fights the demon of his addiction every morning, even though he’s been off drugs and working to help prevent drug abuse for over 10 years. Mr. Powell told the audience colourful stories of his early years in Panama and how he pulled himself out of the shocking living conditions his father provided for him throughout high school in North Carolina to go onto to a pro-athletic career – until he threw it all away on a serious drug addiction to crack-cocaine. “It’s not the aim of drugs to give you power, their sole purpose is to destroy you and kill you in the end,” he said. He also called alcohol one of the deadliest drugs of them all. “It’s killed more children than any other drug by far,” he said. Mr. Powell’s presentation ranged from hilarious to gut wrenching as he describe his years going on days-long benders where he lost all sense of time and reality (not to mention over 150 pounds of football player bulk), to selling drugs, to getting back on track, to losing everything again.Now recovered, he works as an addictions councillor in Montreal. He also runs a non-profit society called Saving Station Foundation and speaks at hundreds of high schools every year. Mr. Powell was on the islands thanks to the initiative of Erica Ryan-Gagne of Skidegate. She met him at a Young Entrepreneur’s conference in Vancouver in November 2010 and was impressed with his powerful presentation. She received support from a variety of islanders and local organizations to bring him here. Mr. Powell also spoke with students in Masset at G.M. Dawson Secondary School on March 16.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read