Serenity House's Recovery Coach Spearheads Louie's Law to Fight Drug Addiction in Schools
Serenity House Counseling - Recovery Community Organization (RCO) has been providing support and resources to individuals and families affected by drug addiction for many years. One of their valuable employees is Felicia Miceli, a recovery coach who has been with the organization since January 2022. Felicia is a mother who lost her son, Louie, to a drug overdose in 2012. Since then, she has dedicated her life to raising awareness about substance abuse and helping families affected by addiction.
Aligned with Serenity House Counseling Services' commitment to empowering healthy decision-making during adolescence, Felicia Miceli's advocacy for better drug education in Illinois schools resulted in Louie's Law (SB 2223). This crucial piece of legislation aims to create comprehensive, reality-based, safety-focused, and evidence-based guidelines for public schools and communities that span the prevention continuum, reduce substance use risk factors, and promote protective factors. Louie's Law involve would involve parents, caregivers, teachers, healthcare providers, and community members, representing diverse demographic groups, to help provide the youth with the necessary tools to understand and prevent drug addiction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois experienced more than 4,000 overdose deaths between January 2021 and January 2022. Additionally, 15% of teens have tried an illicit drug at least once, and nearly 60% of youth use drugs every month (excluding caffeine), according to the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Despite the alarming statistics surrounding drug addiction in Illinois, schools in the state currently do not have guidelines or recommended curricula regarding substance education and prevention. Louie's Law aims to address these figures and safeguard the younger generations from substance abuse.
Serenity House's Recovery Coach Program faced several challenges before Felicia began her mission with the LTM Foundation to educate young people on substance use and prevention. Due to the stigma surrounding addiction, many schools and individuals were hesitant to discuss the topic, with some believing that their school community was exempt from it. Serenity House RCO program realizes it is essential to talk about addiction and provide support to those affected. They are working hard to provide drug education programs to schools, and Louie's Law will help expand these guidelines statewide.
Serenity House is proud to support Felicia as she collaborates with CLB Strategies, Inc., SAFE Illinois, and the Illinois Harm Reduction & Recovery Coalition. Louie's Law (SB 2223) has unanimously passed through the Committee and will now go to the Senate floor. This legislation is an important step in the right direction in the fight against drug addiction in Illinois. It is a vital tool that will help equip the younger generation with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their health and safety, and better expand Serenity House youth educational programs.
Serenity House organization appreciates all the hard work Felicia has dedicated to Louie's Law (SB 2223) and increasing the Serenity House education program. It is an initiative born out of the tragic loss of a mother's son, and it aims to prevent other families from experiencing the same tragedy. By providing comprehensive and evidence-based drug education, Serenity House believes that the partnership between their programs and Louie's Law will help protect the younger generation from the devastating consequences of drug addiction.
For more information on Louie's Law, visit www.illinoisharmreduction.org/louieslaw
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