Mirage Addiction Resource Panelists

What comes to mind when you hear the word Resilience? Courage, perseverance, the ability to brush anything off, to be able to move on, stand your ground: at Mirage, we believe resilience is all of this and so much more. It is the way we bounce back from hardships, how we handle tragedy, how we adapt to our environment and how we are able to create positive change no matter what circumstances we are under. In the state of West Virginia, the death toll from drug overdoses is rising, and fewer people are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel that being resilient brings about. With the help of passionate professionals and dedicated experts like Dave Lettrich, Ashley Potts and Carmen Capozzi, that light is slowly resurfacing, and hope is being built. Our selection of panelists will demonstrate the bravery and power of how being resilient can propel your life in a positive direction—and ultimately change your life—through a panel discussion about nontraditional resources for those struggling with substance abuse. Let’s meet the panelists:

Manuel “Marc” Jackson is a Peer Recovery Support Specialist and Community Engagement Specialist for the Harrison County Community Corrections Department. He is a lifelong resident of Harrison County and has been in long-term recovery since Jan 23, 2004. Jackson has worked with and held leadership positions within the Harrison County NAACP, Clarksburg Lions Club and CASA of Harrison County. He was a part of the Harrison County Drug Treatment team. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy. Jackson currently serves on the WV Workforce Youth Development Committee, the United States District Court Northern District of West Virginia Drug Court Treatment team and West Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Board of Directors where he is the chairperson of the Ethics and By-Laws committees and a member of the Public Policy Committee.

Dave Lettrich is the resource coordinator for Bridge to the Mountains. In addition to being a resource coordinator, Dave is the founder and executive director of the organization. He holds a master’s of divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, a master’s of business administration from Seton Hill University and a Bachelor of Science in business management from the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government at Saint Vincent College. Dave Lettrich sets the tone in the route to spreading awareness surrounding addiction and recovery options, as well as being a passionate leader.

Ashley Potts is a social worker for Allegheny Health Network’s Center of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorders. She has worked in the behavioral health field for ten years, holding a variety of positions from direct service worker to administrative roles. Potts holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Master’s Degree in social work from California University of Pennsylvania. Ashley is a member of the United States Attorney’s working group on addiction, intervention, treatment and recovery, a member of the regional FBI HOPE (heroin, outreach, prevention education) group, and served as a member of the Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Addiction Treatment Services. Along with this, Potts has spoken to thousands of individuals of all ages throughout Western Pennsylvania on the topic of opioid addiction. This includes several local school districts, public forums, and panel discussions. Ms. Potts has also presented at the state capital in Harrisburg, for United States Senators in Washington D.C., and was featured in a documentary produced by WQED, all focused on opioid use. Potts is a dedicated advocate for those in recovery and those actively seeking recovery. She has assisted in creating Recovery Advocacy Day in Harrisburg—which is now a statewide event—local recovery walks, and many other community integration projects to help support those in recovery, reduce stigma and bring the community together around a crisis in our society.

Lastly, Carmen Capozzi was born and raised in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania where there is currently a drug addiction epidemic. Professionally, he is a successful businessman and the owner of Capozzi Flooring LLC. On March 5, 2019, Capozzi’s son, Sage, passed away from an overdose, and in turn, he founded Sage's Army, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness, spreading compassion and taking action to address the problems related to drug addiction. In the years since the creation of Sage's Army, Carmen has led the group of dedicated volunteers through a variety of community outreach activities: organized and/or attended marches and rallies aimed at informing the community about the addiction problem, attended vigils to recognize the victims of overdoses, works actively with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and various State Representatives and Senators in raising awareness. He has even personally aided people with substance abuse disorder in need of treatment who reached out to him for help and created a phone line in which volunteers can help with those in need. Carmen speaks regularly about Sage's story at local middle and high schools and as far as WV and Ohio. He is a Certified Recovery Coach and a Certified Recovery Specialist. He is in charge of a family support group twice a month. Carmen actively works with the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission. The Governor of Pennsylvania has appointed Carmen as a member of the Pennsylvania Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and he is a member of the Pennsylvania Prevention Action Network (POPAN) and Parent Panel Advisory Council (PPAC).  He has testified at public hearings by the House of Judiciary Committee on the Commonwealths current heroin epidemic and has been an inspiration to many going through the loss of loved ones and helps them to see that there is hope.

The panel discussion will take place at the beginning of the event which begins at 6 p.m., the release party will follow.