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Colorado Public Radio Launches Podcast Back from Broken, Chronicling Stories of Recovery

Hosted by a journalist in recovery from drug addiction, the show launches February 21 and features deeply personal interviews with household names and everyday people

Centennial, Colo. February 21, 2020 -- Colorado Public Radio is proud to announce the launch of its podcast Back from Broken. As its tagline notes, the podcast tells "stories about the highest highs, the darkest moments and what it takes to make a comeback” through first person accounts of addiction, mental and physical health struggles, and eventual recovery. Featuring interviews with a wide variety of people from The Lumineers to WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw, the podcast is meant to serve as a beacon of hope for those suffering from an addiction or other struggle, who are in recovery, or know someone who’s struggling. The first episode of Back from Broken drops today and is available on the show's website, on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Back from Broken  is hosted by Vic Vela, a news host for CPR. A two-time regional Edward R. Murrow award-winning broadcaster, Vela has won more than a dozen other journalism awards in the Rocky Mountain region. For 15 years, he suffered from a crippling addiction to powder and crack cocaine and has been in recovery since 2015. A professional journalist for nearly 20 years, Vic started his career as a sports anchor for an NBC affiliate in Texas. He also worked for newspapers, including as an investigative crime reporter for the Albuquerque Journal. He covered government and politics in Colorado, and was a five-year member of the Colorado Capitol Press Corps. 

Comprised of 10 episodes released every other Friday, Back from Broken features a series of unvarnished, honest conversations with both famous and not-so-famous people about the struggles they’ve been through and how they’ve overcome them. Developed with input from other people in recovery, the show is meant to offer hope to those currently in recovery as well as friends and family members who’ve dealt with addiction, mental health issues, and other life-altering traumas. In Colorado in 2017, more residents died from drug overdoses than any other year in the state’s history. And while opioids garner much of the media attention, other drugs are responsible for Coloradans’ deaths. Meth overdose deaths are up five times over 2012 and  Colorado continues to be plagued by suicides, with suicide rates up 34 percent over 1999, making them among the highest in the nation. According to the CDC,  overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. In  2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, and almost 68 percent of those deaths involved a prescription or illicit opioid. On average, 130 people die every day in the US from an opioid overdose. 

"I’m alive today because I had the courage five years ago to say three big words: I need help. And when I was in early recovery, the things that really kept me going were hearing people tell their own comeback stories; people who went through the exact same hell I was going through,” explains host Vic Vela. “That kept me going on my recovery path through tough times. That experience was a big motivation behind the idea for this show: People showing others that there is a way out can provide hope for those who feel hopeless. We are all broken in some way or another. You may not know what it’s like to use drugs the way I did, but we all certainly know what it’s like to have things in our lives that cause us suffering. Maybe you struggle with depression. Maybe your partner drinks too much and you don’t know how to relate to their struggles. Maybe your best friend is having suicidal thoughts. Yes, we are all broken – but we can come back. Recovery is possible!” 

"I couldn’t be more excited about the launch of this show," explains Brad Turner, Executive Producer of the Audio Innovations Studio and Producer of Back from Broken. “There’s a whole team that worked with Vic to help it grow from a cool idea, to a pilot we assembled in our spare time, to a fully developed show that’s full of emotion and surprises. It’s an exciting part of CPR’s podcast lineup, and something that’s very different from what we’ve done in the past. And I’m thrilled that this is the first podcast to launch from our Audio Innovations Studio.”

For more information on Back from Broken, to listen to the show trailer and first episode and to subscribe to the podcast go to cpr.org/podcast/back-from-broken.

About Colorado Public Radio

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that produces and curates in-depth and meaningful news and music, establishing thoughtful connections to Colorado for listeners seeking to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations. CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.

CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.

Indie 102.3 takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.

Denverite is an online news source dedicated to Denver's curious and concerned.  

CPR's other podcasts include On Something, Since Columbine and The Taxman. For more information, visit www.cpr.org.