Every night at 10 pm, a couple of radio stations in America’s Midwest—dubbed collectively The Summit FM—take a detour from their usual blend of rock, indie and folk to dish about drugs. But not in the rock ‘n roll way you might be imagining. Rock and Recovery is a nightly show (seven nights a week, 10 pm-1 am EST, broadcast through WAPS 91.3FM Akron/Canton, and WKTL 90.7FM Youngstown/Warren and western Pennsylvania). It’s also an online radio station and a free smart phone app, doling out all things recovery-oriented all the time (for real all the time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
The nightly show and the online station showcase recovery-friendly songs (described by the Rock and Recovery team as “uplifting but not preachy” and “reflective but not spiritual”) in addition to testimonials/advice from professionals working with addicts, modern intervention strategies and personal stories from listeners revealing why their “recovery rocks.” Aren’t up late enough for the full radio show? At any given moment through the 24/7 online play, there are segments called “The Rock and Recovery Minutes,” which are excerpts from the show’s long-form interviews with addiction specialists, health care providers, and veterans, artists and musicians in recovery.
Media Without Triggers
What Rock and Recovery provides is something other media outlets often lack: a safe space for the ears of individuals trying to stay sober. Seriously, nowadays it’s difficult to turn on the TV or leave your house without seeing (or hearing) a booze ad. Regardless of how stable someone might be in their sobriety (one day at a time, of course), those images and messages can sometimes be a bit rattling (they can also occasionally seem like they’re screaming, “Drink me now!”)
Rock and Recovery Creative Director Garrett Hart describes the vision for the community as “radio free of triggers.” He says, “You can listen and you won’t hear references to getting high or stoned.” Hart isn’t exaggerating—none of the songs played have any references to drinking and drugging. So, as you can imagine, Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” definitely doesn’t make the play list cut. Considering that 90 percent of songs seem to reference substance usage, this is pretty remarkable. This radio is, in fact, quite the opposite: recovery-friendly sound bytes are subliminally delivered between songs. Rock and Recovery calls them “information capsules” and they’re a combination of personal stories, anecdotes and sober-driven positive affirmations. It’s kind of awesome actually, especially when you’re used to hearing commercials constantly telling you to drink beer on a beach. Playing between Paul Simon, The Beatles, Dave Matthews Band and Three Doors Down, you’ll hear nuggets like “Just for today, show that you are willing to be helped” and “It’s your road and it’s yours alone. Others can walk it with you but no one can walk it for you.”
Some of the information capsules are people in recovery stating their name and saying small tidbits of what they do to stay sober every day—something as simple as, “This is Diane in Youngstown and something I do for my recovery each day is reminding myself to breathe in and out.” Ah yes, breathing! Good reminder and solid advice delivery.
Hope and Healing
Tommy Bruno, Executive Director at The Summit and part of the brains behind R+R, summarizes the purpose of Rock and Recovery like this: “If you are someone, know someone, or love someone who is working through an addiction, trauma, or mental health disruption, Rock and Recovery supports and mobilizes an additional source of hope and healing.” Bruno maintains that recovery is a full-time job, which is the reason for the whole 24 hour a day, 365 days a year thing. You might be asking yourself, with no Bud Light commercials, whose dime is funding all of this? Rock and Recovery is non-profit generously held afloat by the cold hard cash of pro-recovery individuals as well as some philanthropic and corporate entities. So, save your money, Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
Either ironically or coincidentally or intentionally, the office for Rock and Recovery is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, which is famous in recovery circles for being the location of the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 1935. This otherwise relatively quiet all American city is kind of like Mecca for people who’ve found sobriety and recovery through 12-step meetings.
How Can I Get This in My Ears Right Now?!
Hey, no worries enthusiasts, they’ve got an app! Listen to full interviews and a constant stream of non-boozy tunes. You can also listen live through their website. Trust us, sound bytes from men and women staying clean is way better than your average Pandora commercial. Uplifting radio with constant support for people in active recovery: it’s the Rock and Recovery trigger-free guarantee.
Want to learn more about Rock and Recovery? Reach Rock and Recovery by phone at (330) 761-3099 or by email at [email protected]. Support Rock and Recovery with a monetary donation here. Find Rock and Recovery on Facebook and Twitter
Photo courtesy of Rock and Recovery; used with permission.
Sponsored DISCLAIMER: This is a paid advertisement for California Behavioral Health, LLC, a CA licensed substance abuse treatment provider and not a service provided by The Fix. Calls to this number are answered by CBH, free and without obligation to the consumer. No one who answers the call receives a fee based upon the consumer’s choice to enter treatment. For additional info on other treatment providers and options visit www.samhsa.gov.