River Huston lectures from own experiences about drugs and alcohol at annual event

River Huston lectures from own experiences about drugs and alcohol.

“You always have a choice to make your life better. You can always change your life,” said Huston.

Inspire | Sex educator, college speaker, award-winning poet, journalist, performer and activist River Huston presented about drugs and alcohol at the Surviving the Weekend seminar Sept 13. Huston discussed her personal experiences with abuse and addiction and how she persevered through them.

September 13, Seton Hill University (SHU) held its annual Drug and Alcohol presentation. Speaker River Huston edu- cated by entertaining the large crowd of students assembled in Cecililan Hall.

A recovered alcoholic, Huston gave a powerful anecdote of how her young adulthood was forever altered by the pres- ence and ignorance about drugs and alcohol. Her lecture be- gan with a jovial attitude that never entirely faded as she told her story.

At the fragile age of 14, Huston was brutally drugged, beat- en and raped, an event that lead to years of abusing alcohol in a desperate escape from the emotional pain she had been put in.

Despite such traumatic events, Huston went to college after she quit drinking and graduated. Her story, though sad, was one of inspiration. Not only has she battled and won against alcoholism, but also a rare bone marrow disease and HIV.

Not only was Huston inspiring, but she also remained light- hearted throughout the lecture. She related to the students by stating that she wasn’t going to tell them how to live their lives and that if they wanted to drink, it was ultimately up to them and no one else could make that decision.

“What you do with your life isn’t my business,” Huston stated. But she did make it clear to all who were present just how dangerous it can be to be ignorant of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“It was different to hear that someone wasn’t for alcohol and drugs, but wasn’t against it (either),” said Nikki Simpson, education major and freshman.

Huston made it clear that everyone was in charge of their own decisions, whether that concerned the usage of alcohol or not.

“Sometimes it was hard to relate because I’ve never gone out drinking, but I still felt a connection because she was so open and human about all of her experiences,” said freshman biology major, Rachel Robison.

“Her story made it real- we experienced all her troubles and it helped us to see the dangers of drugs and alcohol,” not- ed Molly Zindash, a freshman majoring in graphic design.

Much of Huston’s life story served as a reminder to stu- dents how dangerous underage drinking can be, especially to students as young as freshmen.

“I found the part of the presentation where she talked about her rape the most powerful because we got a look into the harsh reality of what drinking can cause to happen,” said Robison.

“You always have a choice to make your life better. You can always change your life,” said Huston.

“It was beneficial because it was a chance for students to see that humans aren’t indestructible and terrible things can happen when you don’t think clearly. It was also a chance for them to see that you can rise up after terrible things and move on in life,” said Robison.

In her final words of her lecture, Huston said: “We live in a world where we’re looking for people’s faults…When they crash, they become entertainment. It’s a sad, sad way to live. But the happy ending of my life is that when I’m not joyful, I can address it. If you’re having a hard time with anything, drugs and alcohol won’t solve it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.