For many students, the first time they will drink alcohol or experiment with drugs is during college. For some, the first time leads to a second and a third and a fourth, and before they realize it, they are heading down the road to substance abuse and addiction. Of course, students hear about the dangers of this path all the time, but these messages can be easy to ignore. Unless the message is coming from Elaine Williams, a comedian and motivational speaker who has recently been touring college campuses across the nation to talk about substance abuse and addiction.
“There is so much shame, darkness and isolation in being an addict,” Williams said. “Laughter is the opposite of that. It also releases endorphins. So, I don’t preach, lecture, point my finger or scare the students. I tell my story and how I overcame the abuses, but I also empathize and listen to the students. I get what they’re going through. There’s a lot of pressure to perform, be liked and feel part of a group.”
It seems that Williams’ message is getting through to those who see her presentation as well.
“Elaine was real and really funny,” said Steven, a student at Southwest Tennessee Community College. “She had our attention the whole time. I can tell she really cares about the students.”