Jonathan Scott is a professional speaker and educator working to enlighten people on the subject of substance abuse. Jonathan is a recovering drug addict. Jonathan focuses on comprehensive drug facts, the social and political environment surrounding drugs (legal and illegal), and the chemistry of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and their effects on the body.
Kelly Townsend is the director of the Miles to Go program. Kelly spent her life as the friend and relative of numerous(recovering as well as active) alcoholics and drug addicts. Kelly focuses on the emotional repercussions of addiction and its effects on family and friends. She also studies the educational process and communication (empathetic listening and productive speaking). She is especially interested in high-risk children with ADHD, dyslexia and other learning difficulties. She is currently working to complete her Ph.D in Psychology and is also working on her 3000 hour Supervised Professional Experience requirement through UCLA with "at risk" patients.
Our Mission Statement:
Miles To Go Drug Prevention Education strives to simplify a complex subject into understandable terms and make that knowledge applicable in everyday life.
Our goal is to integrate the science of drugs into biology, psychology, pop culture, life-long learning and our emotional and social lives. We want to encourage healthy and informed choices for families.
We operate from the core belief that proactive language and positive self talk have the power to change lives.
We are committed to the idea that drug education is not just about drugs, but that it’s also about communication, life skills, and relationships. We see drugs not as the problem, but as a symptom of larger problems that are not being dealt with in an effective way.
We believe we have miles to go before we are done learning how drugs can help and hurt our children, our selves, our elders and our friends. We use all media resources to examine drug addiction and substance abuse. Drug prevention is not a black and white subject – it is a gray area of constantly changing information where we learn from each other and apply that knowledge in our lives.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q- Jonathan is always asked the question: “How can you effectively teach our children about drugs when you don’t appear to be damaged?” Or “You don’t look like 25 years of drug abuse has had any outward negative effects. Why?”
A- We make sure the students know that many, if not most, of the negative consequences of drug use are invisible to the casual observer. We have no idea of the extent of hidden damage Jonathan has caused himself, or how it will manifest itself in the future (e.g. cancer, liver damage, heart damage, etc.). We also want them to appreciate the extent of the emotional damage caused by Jonathan’s drug abuse - the broken relationships, the dead friends, the friends in jail, and the monetary losses the drugs brought about - the wrecked cars, the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on the drugs themselves, etc.
Q- Won’t discussing children of alcoholics bring up a lot of potentially scary issues for our children?
A-We are not there to set fires! The subject is presented in two ways, first as a part of Kelly’s story, then in the context of “How to help a friend or family member in trouble”. There are 28 million children of alcoholics in America. We average approximately a half a dozen students per class who have family issues they’d like to discuss privately. We cannot overlook these high-risk children when it comes to this subject.
More Information for Parents:
We teach from 4 points of view: male, female, the user and the friend or family member of the user.
Yes, we are a couple. We were married May 27th, 1999. We are based in Southern California and travel in a minivan; much like our students might with their own families. We are also the proud parents of a 5th grader.
We are full time speakers and students working in the field of drugs, psychology and education. We consider ourselves to be teachers, not therapists. Jonathan is currently working on a Master’s degree in Psychology and Kelly is currently working on a Ph.D. in Psychology. She is also working on her 3000 hour Supervised Professional Experience requirement through UCLA with "at risk" patients.
We understand the California market. We primarily work in private schools in the California Association of Independent Schools. We also work in public, Catholic, Episcopalian, Independent and Charter Schools in California. In addition to schools we work with home school families.
It is our opinion that the best drug education is not about drugs but about communication. As often as possible we teach with humor, which allows the students to open up and to listen.
Our goal is to provide accessible adult role models who will answer students’ questions honestly and factually. We want them to see us a people who used these substances, who had trouble with them, but are not going to deceive them about what drugs may do to them.
We want to put drug myths to rest. There are myths from the 60’s about drugs still circulating that need to be resolved.
We’re not a just say no program. We teach from current facts, science and research, personal stories of how it affected us, alternate word usage to keep them interested (i.e. we don’t use words like peer pressure), no fear/scare tactics, no threats.
Teachers are welcome and encouraged to participate in our programs.
We are age appropriate presenters. What we discuss with 12th graders we do not discuss with 6th graders. 4th - 7th graders begin with the basics.