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C.O. program ‘Living Beyond Sober’ helps youth and adults struggling with addiction

'You're not alone," Program creator Mike Newell said.

REDMOND, Ore (KTVZ) -- With Oregon ranking highly in drug and alcohol addiction, two Redmond residents decided to be a part of the solution and help those battling the addictions.

"Living Beyond Sober" is an addict recovery program designed to help struggling Central Oregon youth and adults through fitness, education and empowerment.

The creators of the program, Mike Newell and Sarah Vincent, are both recovered addicts.

Vincent says she's an ex-cocaine addict and has been clean and sober for 31 years. She has dedicated the last 28 years to counseling youth through recovery. Newell says he battled an addiction to alcohol and narcotics. Next month, he hits his two-year anniversary of being sober.

“As a recovering addict, I’ve noticed that, you know, since Covid and everything else hit, that there’s so few options for everybody in this community," Newell said. "Whether it’s at the juvenile level, adult level -- we’ve got all these people with a problem, and we’ve got nowhere to send them, nowhere to put them, and nowhere for them to get the help that they need.”

Vincent points out that a lot of recovery models are focused on looking to the past and what you’ve done wrong, as opposed to being forward-facing. That won’t be the case for them.

“It's a holistic fitness model," Vincent said. "We’re going to be focusing on part of the Beyond Sober program, different modules, we’re going to have different speakers in.

"We’re going to help people with resumes, job interviews, do mock interviews. it’s all about helping people become the best versions of themselves," Vincent said.

Newell said they chose to focus on fitness because many addicts have a lot of negative, built-up energy, and it’s a healthy way to exercise those emotions out.

The program has an event every Thursday in Redmond at CrossFit Magnify from 7-8:15 p.m.

The organizers are also partnering with others in the community to offer the program in Prineville, and another in less than a month in Bend.

Newell also offered a reminder for those struggling through addiction.

"You're not alone." he said. "I've been in that place of despair and loneliness, where you think the whole world is against you. Ultimately, that's not true."

You can reach out to the program's creators by phone at 541-316-5936 or email at sarahjoalliance@gmail.com

Article Topic Follows: Health
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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

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