Rethinking Addiction Recovery With Fitness

Rethinking Addiction Recovery With Fitness

– [Trainer] Welcome to the Phoenix Boston! (applause) – [Scott] I think about how
many people are in this building today, and I think of how
many people need this building and the only way we’re gonna get to them is if everybody who’s
here goes out and shares that recovery is possible. The Phoenix is a free
sober active community and we use the
transformative power of sport to help people heal from addiction. Addiction in our country
is at a pandemic phase. We started in 2006, we
always knew we wanted to be a national non profit, so
we started working with Stand Together to be able to
meet the demand, nationally. But I never imagined we’d have
the impact that we do today and it’s grown even to a partnership with the Boston Red Sox. I got sober here, within a
half a mile of Fenway Park, so to bring Phoenix to Boston
is a pretty proud moment. For the first time, I
really think we can change the way the nation thinks about addiction. (subtle piano music) – [Robin] Awesome, good morning everyone! – [Scott] Good morning Robin! – [Robin] Super excited
to have this opportunity to work out in Fenway and celebrate our partnership with the Sox. – [Scott] To be here
doing a workout at Fenway, it’s just powerful because
this city, I think, really needs that beacon
of hope around addiction and Phoenix can be that. (cheering) I think in my early recovery,
I was in the boxing gym and I was racing triathlon
and racing mountain bikes, and what I started to
realize is it was the people I was sharing that stuff
with that was the real magic in my recovery and that’s
really where the idea of Phoenix was born from. You don’t have to be 48
hours clean and sober to be part of it. People come in for the workout,
but they end up staying for the new community that they’ve built. (light clapping) The way that we’re approaching
addiction nationally, we just have the wrong mental model. We’re doing acute care treatment
that keeps people sober for 30 days, but has really poor outcomes once they leave treatment. Our last survey showed that
86 percent of the people that come to Phoenix had
three months of staying sober. That outperforms a lot
of treatment centers. We had this new, innovative
way that was working better, but we couldn’t get the
word out to have it reach the people it needed to. And then we met Stand Together. Stand Together is a
philanthropic community that helps nonprofit
leaders take their work to a whole new level. They helped us with our
business management philosophy, they were helping us
establish a clear vision so we could drive the
organization forward. We talked about Phoenix is gonna grow and be all across the
country and we’re gonna help thousands of people. And they said, “Why not
hundreds of thousands of people? Or even millions?” Because of the Stand Together community, we got partnered with the Red Sox. – [Troup] We’ve never seen
a program like the Phoenix in my 20 years here. You know, for us, this
is really the first time we’ve ever done a sort of
sponsorship or partnership deal with a nonprofit. It’s just impressive
what they do everyday. They’re using the ball park for something we don’t normally use it for. So it’s pretty neat. – [Scott] Today, we’re at
Fenway Park doing a workout with a bunch of Phoenix
people and first responders. – [Robin] Three, two, one. – [Scott] This is a
chance for them to realize like that person they
helped out of their overdose actually found sobriety and
now has this rich, full life because of them. – Phoenix! – [Scott] The partnership with
the Red Sox has been great. Now we get to get the
word out to the whole Red Sox nation. When we come together
and work on this issue, there’s the possibility
of a real solution. Recovery is possible and
because of this partnership, we get to amplify that message. – [Announcer] It is now time
for our ceremonial first pitch. Please welcome the founder
and executive director of Phoenix, Scott Strode. (applause) – [Scott] Like many of you in here, there was a day that I put
down a drink and a drug for the last time. I didn’t think that I’d
be able to accomplish all the things I did, until
people believed in me. And now I get to share
that belief with new folks coming in, so it’s going to
take all of us to do this, but I have no doubt we can. Thank you. (applause) Because of the Stand Together community and local Boston donors,
we now have this beautiful 12 thousand square foot building. We’ve gone from three
states and seven communities to over 23 states and 48 communities with Phoenix programs. And we’re just getting started. Right now, there’s somebody using, thinking that there’s no hope and that’s not true at all. We just have to scoop them up with love and get them to a Phoenix event and help them believe
that recovery is possible. And knowing that we can do that is what keeps driving me. (cheering) Fighting stigma means
to create a space where you’re not ashamed of who you are. Imagine if, as a society,
we could give that to each other. We don’t have to be defined
by just the chapters of our life and our addiction. And maybe for the first time in our life, actually be who we’re meant to be. – [Narrator] In our series
Catalysts, we’re profiling inspiring social entrepreneurs who are developing bold solutions
to our biggest problems. Subscribe to Freethink now and be the first to see new episodes.


  1. This is the overt focus on sobriety (over than the reason for self harm) that led me relapses over and over.
    if it works for them great but recovery is diferent for everyone.
    relapsing is part of recovery and Id be ashamed walking into such a large group of "successful" recoverees after a relapse.

  2. The Damage done – Remix : Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young
    I've seen the drug war and the damage done
    On our young daughters and poor sons
    It seems Emancipation not for all
    not all , The damage done

    I saw them no-knocking on a cellar door
    SWAT locked and loaded ready for war
    Killing our children is now a daily chore ,
    Please no more , The Damage done

    This drug war really been a hell for all
    Brought in OxyContin and that Fentynal
    The working class has had a great big fall , for all
    the damage done

    And those in chronic pain will get no help
    For them the pain meds stay up on the shelf
    This war on drugs for some a holocaust
    A Nation that's lost the final cost

    That drugs are bad for you is probably true
    Without them they'll use another ruse to come for you
    We all suffer for the privileged few
    Ooh , ooh . Ooh !

    I sing this story because I loved this man
    I know that some of you wont understand
    That People of color have a right to live and prosper too
    In this land
    I've seen the drug war and the damage done , a little part of it in everyone
    And every injustice is like a setting sun
    Nihilist Young

  3. I had a very good half essay post that went missing by accident . To summarize: That without those so called substances of abuse there would not be a modern world as we know it . What if Steve Jobs never had his drug enhanced dreams ?

  4. Don't get me wrong , I go to the gym every day , maybe it's the only way to fight back . But I am a senior in chronic pain from pancreatitis . And since this War In Drugs ideology is what's keeping me from getting adequate pain relief ( and if you multiply this by 320 Million ) this and everyone collaborating with this should rightfully go to hell .

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