Podcasts can be a great way to hear stories of those struggling with the same issues as you. You can discover new information in the news in relation to the topic as well as hear personal stories that you can relate to. A pair of friends created the podcast Dopey informs listeners about the true natures of addiction with some light-hearted moments in between.
One part of recovery from addiction is slowly rewiring the reward circuitry of the brain. Laughing can help produce endorphins and make you feel good without feeling the need to turn to drugs. Bringing laughter into your recovery will show you all about not stressing about the small stuff and to make light of things. Laughter can also be stronger when shared with a group of friends and family. That was the mission of podcasters Chris and Dave in speaking freely about their own struggles with addiction but adding some humor to it to help make the recovery of others easier.
Two recovering heroin addicts, Chris and Dave, met at a drug rehab center in Connecticut in 2011. Dave at the time was less than six months into sobriety working at a Jewish deli in Manhattan. Chris managed a sober living facility and was getting an undergraduate degree in psychology. Four years later after they both came up with the idea of the podcast in 2011, they both had more stable sobriety and met in Manhattan to tape stories of their drug-fueled stories. It started out with a small following to guests joining them to tell their own stories.
There have been musicians like House of Pain and Three Dog Night, comedians like Artie Lange and Modi, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and even the touring manager of The Rolling Stones. These sober guests proved to be an inspiration to listeners struggling with addiction as well as guests who spoke out their journey out of the horrors of addiction.
Unfortunately, after four years of sobriety, Chris passed away from a fentanyl overdose when Dopey was on its 143rd episode. In the months before his death, Chris was prescribed painkillers after injuring himself while on vacation with his girlfriend. Painkillers led to him abusing heroin and other drugs. After losing his friend and co-host, Dave could have shut down the show forever. Instead, Dave decided to be absorbed in his work and has not missed an episode so far. He even had Chris’ friends and sponsor guest star on an episode the night of Chris’ wake. This led to the tone of the show being less comedically fueled and more on the vulnerabilities of addiction and recovery.
After more people found out about Chris’ death, podcasts downloads doubled. Popularity soared more when the podcast was featured on an episode of another podcast This American Life. Dopey even has its own community that has members all around the world. Dave knew how important it was to keep the show going to avoid letting his fans down. Dave says unless the show feels boring or people stop listening, the show is not going anywhere.
During the early years of Dopey, Dave originally asked Jamie Lee Curtis to be on the show and she declined. She did not like the idea of a podcast that blended comedy with addiction. Dave let her know that she could be as serious as she wanted which changed her mind. She became the first Dopey guest to cry on the show. Curtis, who dealt with opioid addiction for ten years, spoke on the show about how anyone can develop an addiction no matter how much money you make or your job. That addiction will try to kill you if you do not get help.
David Sheff was another guest who wrote the memoir “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction” which was adapted into a movie last year. Sheff spoke about how he believed more solutions can come for addiction treatment if more people talking about it. Sheff also said he loved Dopey because these conversations are able to come alive and can engage listeners through these stories. Dr. Drew Pinsky has become a regular guest on Dopey and is a fan of the way the podcast addresses addiction. That in 12 step meetings, people in recovery tend to make light of their own struggles as well as being honest.
Last month had the first-ever DopeyCon which was a live storytelling event being sponsored by the rehab where he met Chris. Fans from all over the world traveled to this event and met other members of the Dopey community. Dave’s wishes for Dopey is to show that being in recovery can be fun and to educate others on the dangers of addiction as well as the safety of recovery. Dave has no plans to replace his best friend with another co-host and still continues to host the podcast on his own. Chris and Dave made something of themselves and used their stories of addiction to inspire others to break the stigma of addiction. By listening to more podcasts that speak of the perils and hope in recovery, you will feel brave enough to tell your own story.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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