Radio show helps addicts find new beginning

Published: Oct. 24, 2017 at 4:14 PM AKDT
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Every Sunday at 9 p.m., it "gets real" on the radio with a program called New Beginnings. It offers support and hope to people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

"There's over 200 meetings a week here in Anchorage," said host John Horjes. "So what we try to do every week is to send that message of hope out – that there's safe solutions and you're not alone."

The co-hosts and frequent guests have all had their personal struggles with addiction.

"I became a formidable drug dealer and street soldier, so to speak," said Donteh Devoe, a frequent guest on the program. "And that was my lifestyle. My lifestyle consisted of harming myself and others."

Devoe said his life turned around while serving a seven year, federal prison sentence.

"I laid there in that (prison) bunk and said, 'If I die today, what would be my legacy? How would people remember me? Or would they just say, 'Who's that?'' And I realized something had to change."

After undergoing drug rehab in prison, Devoe became a motivation speaker who counsels people struggling with addiction. He says the New Beginnings radio show reaches people.

"I realized that somebody out there is right on the verge of making a decision that can either cost them their life, or change their life for the better."

Local singer, Blaze Bell, says she is one of those people. Bell said she struggled with drug addition for a decade, but started listening to the radio program while driving home from singing engagements.

"I know when I was deep in addiction, I felt so alone, so powerless, so lonely," Bell said. "I felt I was the only one, so to turn on the radio and hear these stories and go, 'Oh my gosh, that was me – that's me too!' Maybe there's a chance that I could be better, that I could feel better, that someone could help me."

Rick Easley, a co-host of the program, says his addiction brought him to the brink of suicide, and he says the program's message of hope is even more important because of the opioid addiction epidemic.

"That's what we try to broadcast on our show," he said. "That there are other alternatives to drinking or drugging yourself to death, and you can really have a life back again – that you had lost so many years ago."

New Beginnings airs on KOAN 95.1 FM/1080 AM and KZND 94.7 FM.

The program is a subsidiary of Bridges2Recovery, an Alaska based non-profit.

For information, visit the organization's