Trey Anastasio knows opioids. The Phish frontman was arrested in 2006 in New York for driving under the influence of heroin and Oxycontin. Thanks to drug court and rehab, Anastasio recovered and has been sober ever since.
Everyone's not as lucky as him. In 2020, there were more than 93,000 opioid-related deaths in the U.S.
That's why Anastasio is funding a rehab center in Ludlow, Vermont and supporting the efforts of Jenna's Promise, a facility in Johnson - also in Vermont, home of Phish - that's named for Jenna Tatro, a young woman who died from an overdose. While on tour with Phish, Anastasio sent a nearly six-minute video to be played at a fundraiser for Jenna's Promise.
Speaking quietly and emotionally, Anastasio explained how he got there and survived his ordeal:
"I was addicted to opiates. I've been sober for 14 years. It will be 15 years on January 6. I'm just one more person who is part of the Vermont and nationwide tragedy that's happening to so many other people...
"I want to say, loud and clear, when I was arrested as a full-blown Oxycontin and heroin addict on Dec. 16, 2006, I had access to help... In order to get sober, people need community help and love and heart and soul. They need help with jobs. They need a community, a center, rehab, aftercare and sober living facilities.
"When I went into rehab I was a very confused, very sick person. The nurse at the rehab the first night said to me: 'Trey, you're a sick person trying to get well, not a bad person trying to get good.'
Trey Anastasio: "When I was arrested as a full-blown Oxycontin and heroin addict on Dec. 16, 2006, I had access to help."
"In 15 years of sobriety and being very actively involved in sobriety work, I've found those words are incredibly true. Jenna was a lovely person who got caught tragically in something that was out of her control...
"With the help of a community, you start to come out of the fog and see you were genuinely a sick person trying to get well, not a bad person trying to get good. Jenna's Promise is exactly what people need.
"Hopefully, we can together as a community provide people with opportunities to climb out of this dark place."