Men Giving Back
It’s been awhile since I posted about people in recovery “doing good,” and it’s a good time to do so since people are thinking about philanthropy at this time of year. This is a companion post to my first January post for the Brentwood House blog, about Women Giving Back.
Here are three men in recovery doing something to inspire others.
Scott Strode of Phoenix Multisport
I learned about Scott Strode when he appeared on a segment of CNN Heroes called Ex-addicts Staying Sober Through Sport. Strode was once a hard-drinking cocaine addict who had started down the wrong path early in life. After college, he realized that he could easily die if he kept it up. He started boxing to do something constructive and then added triathalons and climbing. In 2007, he started Phoenix Multisport.
Strode learned what so many in recovery learn know: To be successful, you need to drop your drug-using crowd and find a new support system. Imagine the benefit of finding a support group of people who like doing healthy activities. He provides that. Phoenix Multisport offers walks, yoga, mountain biking and ice climbing, and all are free. Strode is quick to say the group doesn’t substitute for recovery support groups, however, and many members still attend 12-step groups.
In another CNN interview, Strode discussed soliciting angel donors, to be able to expand his program nationally. He also said that he hoped to help those reading the interview and seeing the video who need treatment but hadn’t taken that first step. (He won $50,000 for being in the top 10 CNN heroes.)
In November, a Miami news station spotlighted two men in recovery from alcoholism (Ken Pommerance and Ron Tannenbaum) who started a networking website to help others in recovery and those who are still struggling. The site, which calls itself the largest Recovery Social Network, is also for family and friends of addicts. It’s called www.intherooms.com and offers “free access to Daily Mediations, Speaker Tapes, and online video AA/NA meetings.” They have 275,000 members from all over the world.
Charlie’s Son, Giving Back as a Cop
Finally, an email I got from the Partnership at Drugfree.org contained an entry from the site’s Hope Share blog, in which people in recovery, or loved ones close to them, share their stories anonymously.
In this post the father of a man in recovery wrote about how his son conquered his drug use and did something constructive in his life. He became a cop and is giving back in that way. I thought that the son, too, deserves to be recognized in his father’s post about people helping others. Here it is:
“My son, now 24, was addicted to heroin and cocaine for a couple of years. He became addicted while a sophomore at college. By the end of his junior year…grades slipped, he lost his job…totaled his car and dropped out of school. I want to say to everyone that there is HOPE, there is SUPPORT, and there can be SUCCESS. My son has been clean for over two years…He is now involved in law enforcement and hopefully provides encouragement and support to those who are addicted that he comes across at his job.”
Charlie, as posted on The Hope Share.
Check out the Brentwood House blog this month if you want to read about a few women in recovery who are giving back, too.
Photo(top, left): Scott Strode with Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy