(CNN) — Through sports, Scott Strode was able to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
He worked out in a boxing gym, got involved with triathlons and climbing, and made new friends who supported him through his transition.
Encouraged by his success, Strode wanted to help others deal with their own addiction. So in 2007, he started a nonprofit, Phoenix Multisport.
Phoenix Multisport has provided free athletic activities and a sober support community to more than 6,000 participants in Colorado. It offers dozens of programs every week, from casual walks and yoga to mountain biking and ice climbing.
CNN asked Strode for his thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean for Phoenix Multisport?
Scott Strode: My hope is that sharing this story on the national stage will help Phoenix Multisport reach the angel donors that we need to support our current work and help us expand nationally.
More than 23 million people over the age of 12 in the U.S. are struggling with addiction and need treatment. Of those, only about 10% get treatment.
When I got sober, I was alone and didn’t know what to do. I knew I couldn’t go back to using or I was going to die. Finding others living a sober, healthy lifestyle and finding hope and happiness in sobriety were gifts that saved my life. I knew I had to give this gift to others. There are millions out there in the dark days of their addiction, alone, trying to figure out how to stay alive.
I hope that sharing my story and the story of Phoenix Multisport does two things.
First, I want those who are addicted and those who love them to know they are not alone and that there is hope.
Continue Reading: cnn.com