Lauryn Wicks and Keegan Wicks

PRESENTATION TITLE: Addiction and Recovery—A First-hand, Family Perspective: Regaining Wellness in an Ill-equipped Community Environment


Lauryn comes to the recovery advocacy movement from an extensive professional background in health and managed care focused on national product and program start-up and large-scale healthcare reform transformational initiatives. She is the mother of three adult children; the youngest of whom is a person in long-term recovery. Her passion to contribute in meaningful ways to drive systemic change in the realm of mental health and substance use began with the intersect of addiction to her own family. Nationally, Lauryn serves on Faces and Voices of Recovery Public Policy Committee as well as the Addiction Policy Forum’s Families Committee. At the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids she is a devoted partner, having served on its Parent Advisory Board and as a founding member of its national CRAFT|ACT|MI-based parent coach program – trained by the clinical research leadership at the Center for Motivation and Change. Lauryn also served on the ADDICTIONary Project, a collaborative effort led by Facing Addiction in partnership with the Recovery Research Institute aimed to develop a universal and centralized solution of non-stigmatic, best use language of substance use disorders. In Pennsylvania, Lauryn is a 2010 appointed member and Chair of the Parent Panel Advisory Council, a forum operating under the Commonwealth’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs established by House Resolution 585, enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2006. She is a contributing member of the Coalition for the CommonHealth Family and Consumer Task Force, a stakeholder forum convened in 2018 to put forth recommendations for improvement to Pennsylvania’s mental health and substance use public health systems. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Pennsylvania’s statewide recovery organization, PRO-A.

Since 2013 Keegan has actively worked in the recovery field through roles in advocacy, counseling, and management. A person in long-term recovery since December 2009, Keegan has first-hand experience living and maintaining an active, healthy, substance-free lifestyle. Keegan’s personal commitment to helping show others a path to a brighter future began with his own program of recovery, embraced by a highly supportive family system, several years before his professional involvement in the field. Through his career he has served in a wide variety of programs and activities on local, state and national levels. Highlights include active leadership and contribution on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office/Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Workforce Development Steering Committee, and the Recovery and Resiliency Steering Committee led by the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance and the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association. He has also been trained in Community Reinforcement and Family Training by the clinical research leadership at the Center for Motivation and Change. Keegan has been privileged to serve as a speaker at several Pennsylvania universities and on local special interest panels, including forums for faith-based leaders, public school district parent education, and an audience Q/A response to a showing of the critically acclaimed documentary film, The Anonymous People. He was featured as a spokesperson in a Pennsylvania National Guard documentary on addiction and recovery; a guest at a U.S. Senate roundtable discussion on heroin and opioids in Washington, D.C. alongside the former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and recently an honoree, along with his mother, Lauryn at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ annual NYC Gala during an interview of them both, conducted by Elizabeth Vargas. He has advocated on behalf of recovery to policymakers at the state level as well as at the federal level on Capitol Hill. In 2017, Keegan was credentialed as a Pennsylvania Certified Recovery Specialist. Keegan currently serves as Care Manager supporting the Pennsylvania Dauphin County PaCMAT Program with The RASE Project, an Accredited Recovery Community Organization operating out of Pennsylvania and Florida.