Courtney Lowery is a Henderson County community member in recovery who is often invited by Julie Huneycutt, HopeRx program director, to speak for their substance misuse awareness events. Lowery began experimenting with drugs when she was 16 and eventually lost both her parents, causing her to relapse with alcohol.
“By chance, I met Julie at a community event and we quickly recognized we had some comparable heartbreaks,” she said. “We discussed how I could be a part of the cause and overtime I became an advocate through HopeRx. Being able to share my story has really helped me in my journey and process. It’s very healing for me.”
Lowery gets to be an advocate as a speaker at local schools. She’s had the opportunity to present at all of the area high schools and several of the middle schools, sharing her own story and talking about the dangers of substance misuse and the reality that anyone can fall into the cycle. That addiction does not discriminate, but that there is hope. This engagement with younger audiences is an important and effective focus for HopeRx.
“HopeRx has the health and wellness of young people and our community at its core, so the level of return on our partnership is three times as great,” said Jimm Bunch, president/CEO for AdventHealth Hendersonville.
Lowery saw this return in her own life on Nov. 6, 2019, as she completed the New York City Marathon after reaching five years sober.
“It was such an empowering experience,” she said. “There’s no way you can accomplish something like that in the grips of addiction. And to know that I had dedicated the energy that I used to use for self-destruction for something constructive that would set a better example for my son, that was just so powerful for me.”
Lowery’s investment in herself is exactly the kind of investment that will impact her son for the better. And the many students who are inspired by her story.
“The greatest return we get on our investment is when we invest in our youth,” said Bunch. “If they catch the vision, our community has a chance to feel whole.”