As part of a new push by non-profit Road Recovery, several artists are sharing videos of support for the organization and it’s work with at-risk youth, especially in these trying times.
Artists who participated in the campaign include Metallica’s James Hetfield, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers and Peter Frampton, among others. These short clips expound on the organization’s good works, as well as provide comfort and support to those who need to know they are not alone in their feelings.
Shares Hetfield in his video:
“When I get really emotional, that’s when I write lyrics,” Hetfield says in his video. “When I get in a really happy, good mood, that’s when I start writing riffs. That’s just what I do, and you’ll find your own thing.”
Road Recovery has been working with youths struggling with addiction and “other adversities” since 1998. According to a description on their website, the 501(c)(3) organization uses the entertainment industry as a way of “empowering at-risk youth from all backgrounds to face their struggles while teaching them comprehensive life skills.”
It continues, “Guided by music and entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar life struggles, and with support from the mental health field, Road Recovery’s action-driven programs provide mentorship, performance workshops, and “all access” opportunities for a community of motivated peers to create and produce live concert events and studio recording projects.”
The organization was recently awarded two three-year grants by the Department of Justice (DoJ) / Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), including a $1,250,000 “Category 5: Statewide and regional mentoring initiative for youth impacted by opioids and drug addiction” grant awarded to only eight organizations and a $690,553 “Opioid Affected Youth Initiative” grant awarded to 13 organizations.
These grants were used to launch a number of VirtualTrax programs around New York State. According to Blabbermouth, the programs feature customized Cisco Webex virtual webcasting suites developed specifically for it in an effort to “give their youth and young adults a voice to be heard when they find themselves stuck in isolation and cut off from their support networks.”
VirtualTrax is also supported by grassroots organizations and educational partners, including New York State’s Youth Clubhouses, Youth Voices Matter NY, and NYU Silver School of Social Work.
Said New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez about the grants,
“Congratulations to Road Recovery on being awarded two three-year federal grants from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) / Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OASAS is delighted to offer this option to our Youth Clubhouses. We look forward to your work with the NYU Silver School of Social Work, to evaluate the impact of the Trax program. We have valued our collaborative relationship in the past and look forward to working with you over the next three years.”
Jennifer I. Manuel, PhD, LMSW, associate professor and investigator with New York University Silver School of Social Work’s Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research had a similar sentiment, saying in a statement,
“Road Recovery’s VirtualTrax Program is an innovative platform designed to engage our most vulnerable youth and young adults during a time when COVID-19 has heightened the risk of substance use and social isolation. This evaluation is an important part of the OJJDP-supported program to understand the impact of delivering evidence-based strategies, including peer support, mentoring, and education, through such creative avenues to reduce the risk of substance use and other risky behaviors and to improve the social-emotional health and wellbeing of young people.”
Videos from all of the aforementioned musicians and more artists can be found below. For more information about the organization’s programs, visit the Road Recovery website.