For­mer BMX pro to speak on ad­dic­tion

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - WHIG STAFF RE­PORT

ELK­TON — Tony Hoff­man, a for­mer BMX Elite Pro, will visit county mid­dle schools next week and give a pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion on opi­oid ad­dic­tion pre­ven­tion and re­cov­ery.

Hoff­man started his BMX ca­reer in high school as a top-ranked am­a­teur but by his se­nior year, he was drink­ing al­co­hol, smok­ing mar­i­juana and us­ing pre­scrip­tion painkillers and his life took a turn for the worst, ac­cord­ing to a bio on his web­site. In 2004, Hoff­man com­mit­ted a home in­va­sion armed rob­bery and was ul­ti­mately sent to prison for two years in 2007 af­ter vi­o­lat­ing his pro­ba­tion. It was while in prison that he be­gan to re­build his life and Hoff­man has been sober since May 2007.

Af­ter get­ting out of prison, Hoff­man con­tin­ued his BMX ca­reer and placed sec­ond in the 2016 World Cham­pi­onships in the Masters Pro class. He also coached women’s BMX Pro Brooke Crain at the 2016 Olympics and is the founder of The Free­wheel Project, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that men­tors thou­sands of youth through ac­tion sports.

Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tions, Hoff­man will speak about his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with opi­oid ad­dic­tion and path to re­cov­ery. Hoff­man’s pre­sen­ta­tions will help to in­crease aware­ness of the risk fac­tors for opi­oid mis­use and ad­dic­tion, and el­e­vate pro­tec­tive fac­tors for a drug-free life­style.

Hoff­man will visit all 10 county mid­dle schools on Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day. On Wed­nes­day night, the pub­lic is in­vited to hear Hoff­man speak at 6:30 p.m. at Elk­ton High School.

Hoff­man’s visit to Ce­cil County is sup­ported by funds pro­vided by the Ce­cil County Opi­oid In­for­ma­tion Team via the Mary­land Opi­oid Op- er­a­tional Com­mand Cen­ter. The project ex­pands on lo­cal ef­forts to “In­crease Youth Knowl­edge of Opi­oid Risks” and is fa­cil­i­tated in part­ner- ship with the Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools, the Ce­cil County De­part­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices and the Ce­cil County Health De­part­ment.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CCPS

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