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Utah Addiction Recovery Programs Receive State Grant | News, Sports, Jobs

James Roh, Daily Herald file photo

Jeanice Zeeman, right, applauds Blu Robinson, Jared Sears and Heath Thurston, from left, during an Addict II Athlete training run in Provo Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Participants in Addict II Athlete, a program within of the Utah County Drug Treatment Program, exercise regularly to promote their recovery.

In 2017, LT Weaver’s son had an accident that left him clinging to life. The situation was so upsetting that Weaver began drinking alcohol to cope.

“He was seriously injured and the doctors kept telling us to pull the plug,” Weaver said. “I decided to use that as an excuse to get drunk to death.”

Weaver’s son survived the accident with a few complications, but Weaver was already heading down a dangerous path to addiction, so he went to the hospital for help.

“That, plus the accident, was a change of perspective in life,” he said. “We sold our house, downsized, got out of debt and I decided to focus on the last half of my life to do something good.”

Weaver, a photographer and videographer, decided to open Recovering Addict, an Ogden-based company aimed at helping people stay sober from both alcohol and drugs through treatment and exercise. He said during the pandemic he decided to go live seven days a week. The response exploded from around the world, he said.

“Exercise is a huge benefit to everyone so we decided to partner with Iron House Gym on 14 and the Wall and five days a week we spend an hour exercising followed by a program relapse prevention,” Weaver said. “Once a month, we organize activities ranging from painting and climbing to hiking and laser tag. It’s about having sober fun, learning new hobbies, and enjoying healthy rewards.

Weaver’s nonprofit is one of seven across the state to have received a total of $4 million in grants through the Health, Exercise and Fitness Recovery Program. substance addiction. The HEAR program is the first of its kind in the state, said Shanel Long, substance abuse treatment administrator with the Utah Department of Social Services.

“Although grants have been awarded in the past to support recovery from substance use disorders, this opportunity is unique in focusing specifically on physical health and wellness with treatment,” Long said. “We selected organizations currently offering or hoping to include physical wellness services that could quickly hire and recruit recovering individuals.”

This is exactly what Weaver’s organization is for.

“The grant money will help more than I can even imagine,” he said. “I wanted to offer instant support and this will help meet the needs of those who need assistance immediately.”

The organizations competed for grants through a procurement process, said Brook Dorff, public information officer for the Utah Department of Social Services. A total of $1 million per year over four years will be distributed from the state’s general fund combined with the Federal Block Grant for the Administration of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. Dorff added that incorporating exercise into treatment plans has been extensively researched and shown to be effective in keeping addicts in recovery longer.

Other organizations receiving grants include:

  • Addict II Athlete, a statewide in-person and virtual support group as well as personal training.
  • Fit to Recover in Utah, Salt Lake and Summit Counties, a physical gym offering classes in fitness, nutrition, education, community meal prepping and creative arts.
  • Papilion House, a Utah and Salt Lake county organization helping incarcerated people reintegrate into the community and providing free local gym memberships, meal planning, nutrition, and medical management.
  • School of Addiction Recovery, or SOAR, in Ogden and Weber County. SOAR focuses on youth and teens aged 10-18 and runs group classes, an open gym, drug addiction prevention and recovery, and fitness activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing and weightlifting.
  • Warrior Strength in Utah, Weber, Summit and Salt Lake counties. The organization focuses on the community aspect of recovery from substance use disorders through online courses. Once a week, a family-focused fitness class incorporates the member’s family and friends, other allies, and additional social supports.
  • Flourish Adventures in Salt Lake County, a paid internship program teaching professional baking to those recovering from substance use disorders with a history of incarceration. Participants receive health and wellness coaching, stress management techniques, meal preparation, and holistic health interventions.


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