Our Guide To Recovery Radio

Our Guide To Recovery Radio

By Laura Vogel 09/07/11
Our shout-out to the best radio shows for addicts, online and on the dial.
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Once limited to doctor call-in shows, addiction radio is having a moment with more sober-and-proud shows popping up by the nanosecond. One of the most buzzed-about of these is Klean, a two-hour laugh-a-thon that’s broadcast every Sunday night from 8 to 10 p.m. on AM 830 KLAA in Los Angeles (a videotaped version of each show is also posted on their site). The show is currently in the process of expanding to New York City and San Diego.

Each week, hosts Andrew Spanswick and Judah Friedman bring in different guests—from comedians to therapists—to discuss addiction and treatment. Spanswick, who’s been sober for five years and owns Klean Treatment Center in West Hollywood, says, “It’s not so much about people who have just discovered that they have a problem but those who had been through recovery and have some wisdom to offer.” Friedman, a magazine writer who’s been sober for 13 years and used to work for Spanswick at anoher treatment center, adds, “It’s about what happens after rehab.” 

Other notable recovery shows include:

Loveline with Mike and Dr. Drew 

Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m. to midnight PST, 106.7 FM, KROQ, Los Angeles

The granddaddy of recovery radio isn’t entirely dedicated to addiction but is no doubt responsible for bringing recovery to the radio. Though not as sharp as it was back in the days when Adam Carolla was co-host, Loveline thrives because of longtime host Dr. Drew Pinsky, who has a knack for getting a wide range of celebrities—like Steve-O from Jackass and Julie Bowen from Modern Family—to open up about their issues. Sadly, the free podcasts now only include the first 10 minutes of each show so listeners must pay to stream or download the entire thing. 

Recovery—Coast to Coast

Daily, 10 p.m. to midnight, PST, 1590 AM, LIFE, K-Life, Seattle

This national talk show hosted by recovery expert Neil Scott focuses on best-selling authors, politicians and other newsworthy folk during the first hour while the second half features an anonymous person in recovery who shares experience, strength and hope. A recent show covered gambling addiction, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune—a documentary on the life and untimely alcohol-related death of folk singer Phil Ochs—and Eminem and his recovery.

Recovery 101

No streaming shows (podcast available on the site)

A web-based recovery radio program based loosely on the 12 steps, the format of Recovery 101 is less like a meeting and more like the coffee gossip session afterwards. A lighthearted and jokey mixture of addiction and recovery news, along with banter about relapses, meetings, sponsors, sponsees, and fellow addicts.

Recovery Radio Network

Broadcast 24-7

Describing itself as “Digital Recovery for the New Millennium,” this site offers on-demand streaming media that keeps recovering substance abusers within reach of 12-step programs 24-7. A host of speakers offers tutorials on a range of subjects (sample: “Humor in AA”) workshops, testimonies and professional advice.

Rockers in Recovery Radio

Sunday, 7 to 10 p.m. EDT

This one’s dedicated to music, news, interviews, events, and festivals taking place in the world of bands and musicians like Eric Clapton who are in—or support—recovery. Archived shows can be heard on the site 24 hours a day and also via streaming audio.

Addiction Radio Live

Monday through Friday 2 to 3 p.m. EDT and again live Monday through Friday 10 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, 1470 AM, WNN, South Florida

John Hollis understands addiction: he spent 32 years actively using and knows all too well the spiritual devastation that chemical dependence can wreak. In each show, he speaks honestly about the day-to-day work required to stay clean and interviews recovery-industry professionals. The show includes very nuts-and-bolts information about rehabs, treatment options, interventions and the role of the law in getting help for a loved one.

Steppin’ Out Radio

Available on local radio stations around the country, and on Sundays on both XM Radio Channel 124 and Sirius Stream 143 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m, EDT

This nationally syndicated radio program gives listeners a chance to hear what 12-step meetings sound like, with real recovering people sharing their stories anonymously (arecent show covered a woman discussing her gambling addiction). Host Scott Clark, the former anchor of WABC-TV and a recovering alcoholic, is warm, humorous, and well versed in the pathology of addictive behavior. 

Gratitude Radio

Broadcast 24-7

An Internet radio station designed to help those who want to stay in an “attitude of gratitude,” Gratitude plays music from all genres—from New Age to soft rock. It may be a bit treacly for some, but you have to admit that hearing John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” never makes anyone feel worse.

Laura Vogel is a Los Angeles–based writer and editor whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Real Simple, Travel+Leisure and The New York Post, among other publications and websites. She has written about the best sober apps, among other topics, for The Fix.

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