Former Teen Addict is One of the Faces of National Recovery Month (September)

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With September celebrated as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, this year's focus is on "Real People, Real Recovery." Mikael Luman is a young man whose real life story of addiction, recovery and redemption is one that exemplifies this theme.

With September celebrated as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, this year's focus is on "Real People, Real Recovery." Mikael Luman is a young man whose real life story of addiction, recovery and redemption is one that exemplifies this theme.

For Mikael Luman, it seemed he had it all; supportive family, good friends, an exciting future as a track star and professional athlete. But when an immobilizing knee injury derailed his athletic dreams, a cycle of drugs, crime, and depression nearly destroyed his life.
"I lost everything. And yet even at my lowest, I knew I was destined for more and I was living a personal hell for a reason," says Luman.

Now in demand as a speaker at high schools and for athletic groups, Luman recently published his first book, "800 Meters: A Journey of Addiction, Recovery and Redemption". '800 Meters' tells of Luman's own harrowing journey into a life of self-destruction, crime, drugs, and his battle to overcome the odds. The memoir offers a rare and candid glimpse at how a teenage boy navigates the devastating blows that life deals him and how his choices steer his life in a downward direction he could never have imagined. Luman, who describes his family as loving and supportive, recounts how he became entangled in a world of easy drugs and alcohol and how they eventually eclipsed his love of sports, school, and even life.

"One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is assuming that drug addiction can't happen to their child," Luman says. "But I'm living proof that even the most accomplished teen with a supportive family can fall victim to addiction."

Luman hopes that '800 Meters' will show young people that their choices today can affect their lives forever and that there is a better way. He also hopes that it will provide some insight for parents who think, like Luman's parents did, that it won't happen to their child.

"This book inspired me, as an adult, to question my old assumptions about why and how people become addicted to drugs," says reader Kym Croft Miller.

For Mikael, writing his memoir, '800 Meters', is only part of a robust life focused on recovery. Luman founded a non-profit organization, "A Generation Free", to promote a life skills curriculum for grades K-12. "A Generation Free" focuses on helping youth cope with life changing events, disappointment and failure, and the necessity for preventative education, goal setting and character development. Luman is working with teachers, coaches, and professionals to develop a curriculum that could be implemented in school classrooms for students as young as middle school.

"So few young people have the skills necessary to handle life's daily bumps causing many to turn to drugs or even crime," says Mikael. "I want them to know they have a choice and that they can choose a better path."

About Mikael:
Mikael Luman has been in recovery for more than eight years. He speaks at high schools, middle schools and colleges and works as a Lifechoice coach with youths and their families. Mikael resides in Beaverton, Oregon, with his wife Amanda and daughter Mikaila and is currently training for the Ironman competition in Hawaii. For more information on Mikael and '800 Meters', please visit http://www.800meters.com.

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Susan Burnash
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