Overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 and affects people from all walks of life. Helping end the cycle of addiction is the motivation behind Dirt City Sanctuary. Co-founders Stacy Peck, Tyler Trowbridge and Wendy Botts share their personal accounts of how substance use disorder has impacted their lives.
Is your community or school struggling with communicating the effects and damage the opioid crisis is leaving in its wake? Do you need raw, dynamic and engaging speakers to connect with your audience to address the current opioid epidemic sweeping our nation? The Dirt City Sanctuary team is available to speak individually or as a team.
We develop and deliver thought-provoking, active and dynamic speaking engagements and keynotes on a variety of topics focusing on substance use disorder, mental health and the road to sobriety that can adjust in length or scope to fit your budget. These presentations are engaging, energetic and most importantly, real stories of overcoming substance use disorder, loss from substance use disorder and life beyond substance use disorder.
DCS has featured speakers for groups large and small on local and national stages. The team brings personal experiences alive working to create bridges to help with loved ones or individuals facing substance use disorder to find hope. DCS will work with you to tailor a message to your audience, providing new perspectives and food for thought.
Tyler Trowbridge is a symbol of inspiration and perseverance to all who meet him. Only months ago, he was a homeless heroin addict, a petty criminal, overdosing regularly and living on the streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It took reuniting with an old classmate who wouldn’t give up on Tyler to give him the strength to turn his life around. There is tremendous value in hearing from someone fresh in the recovery process. Tyler mastered the art of spanging (standing outside of businesses and asking patrons for spare change) and because he was willing to spange up to 20 hours per day and built relationships with multiple dealers, the amount of drugs he was able to consume was much higher than your average person facing substance use disorder. Helping others see that are not too far gone has given his life a new purpose. He was the guy who no one thought would make it out alive. His willingness to be open and transparent about his struggles to benefit all.
Stacy Peck witnessed her own Father’s harrowing struggle with opioid substance use disorder and along with the rest of her family, felt helpless and had no idea where to start. When someone is using illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, you have more ground to stand on when talking to them about getting clean (not that the struggle to assist is any easier), but when doctors are prescribing the drugs to your loved ones, it can be difficult to argue that there is a problem. Stacy decided to help Tyler get clean, but had no idea what a commitment it would be. As a fan of checklists, she worked with Tyler to determine all the barriers he was facing to stay clean and together, with the help of Wendy and the community, they faced each obstacle head on. She enjoys speaking about this process and what she has learned about substance use disorder since the loss of her Father in 2016 and partnering with Tyler on his journey.
Wendy Botts lost her son Jordan Blaauw at the age of 21, on April 17, 2017 to a Fentanyl overdose. Jordan’s struggle with mental health issues and substance use disorder began in 2012. In April of 2012, Jordan attempted suicide for the first time. Wendy had no idea how much her life and Jordan’s life would be altered from that day forward. Jordan would later be diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. A diagnosis that would lead to 3 more suicide attempts, multiple hospitalizations, mandated court orders for meds, several non-medicated psychotic breaks, lots of psychiatrists, med checks, being med compliant, being non-med compliant, self medicating with street drugs and 5 years later trigger Jordan to seek out street drugs to cope with the 5 year anniversary of his first suicide attempt. It was that decision that led to his death from a Fentanyl overdose.
At the age of just 15, Jordan was acutely aware of his burgeoning battle with Schizoaffective Disorder though Wendy had no idea. Jordan suffered for over a year in silence with auditory and visual hallucinations. Jordan knew he was showing symptoms of Schizophrenic behavior but hid it from us. At 15 years old, Jordan watched the future that he had dreamed of slip away when his hallucinations began. As Jordan would later share with Wendy, his first hallucinations were auditory and pleasant as he would hear music playing when there was none. His hallucinations would later grow in intensity, grower darker, more self deprecating and become all consuming when he was non-med compliant. Almost overnight, Wendy watched Jordan turn from a beautiful, blue eyed, budding young man to a tortured soul who would face bouts of substance use disorder and continuing mental health demons that he was so unfairly dealt. Wendy is passionate about educating the public about mental health and substance use disorder , as well as, her journey through grief and finding hope through DCS.
DCS will help you find the best motivational speaker or speakers for your event by providing you with all the information you need to make the right decision. We take into account your event objectives, audience dynamics and expected outcomes. We provide you with bios, video clips, topic outlines, and independent perspectives on the best keynote speaker or speakers for your event. We will ensure the speaker of your choice delivers a customized presentation that informs, inspires and educates. For more information on booking Tyler Trowbridge, Stacy Peck and Wendy Botts please email us at info@dirtcitysanctuary for more information.