Ron Gellis, a recovering alcoholic and psychologist, started a program that combines elements of a traditional 12-step model with CrossFit. Community, he says, is key. Andréa Maria Cecil reports.
About a year ago, Zach’s 7-year-old brother found him lying on the floor of their parents’ Washington home, passed out from a heroin overdose. Two weeks later, his sister saw him in the bathroom with a needle in his arm.
The 21-year-old, who asked that his last name be withheld, became addicted to pain killers at 16 after multiple surgeries to remove malignant tumors from his ears. For the next year, Zach took prescription pain pills. Zach referred to this time as “more of a meddling phase” of drug abuse.
“Sometime after high school was when I really transitioned (from) recreational to full-time, everyday use,” he said.
When Zach’s sister told their parents what she saw in the bathroom, the couple was quick to send their son to a Pacific Hills Treatment Center in California.
The treatment center was one that worked in partnership with Integrated Recovery—a program founded by recovering alcoholic, psychologist and CrossFit Games masters athlete Ron Gellis. Integrated Recovery combines traditional aspects of 12-step rehab with CrossFit.