Art of Aging: One man beats addiction to help others

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Art of Aging: One man beats addiction to help others. Tamala Edwards reports on Action News at 12 p.m. on January 18, 2018 (WPVI)

Opioid addiction has become a crisis of epidemic proportion. In Thursday's Art of Aging, we meet a man who beat his addiction and is now working to help others.

Sixty-four-year-old Gary Hendler is a radio host and board member of the Pennsylvania Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

He has been Clean and sober for more than 35 years.

On his weekly radio show on WWDB-AM, he's committed to helping others battle their addictions.

"I take recovery very, very seriously, and so I try to give back as much as I can because I feel so much has been given to me," Hendler said.

Hendler's callers and guests know the human cost of drug abuse.

His network includes restaurateur Tony Luke who lost his son to a heroin overdose and launched a social media campaign called #BrownAndWhite aimed at heightening awareness and creating a conversation between survivors and the public.

Luke said, "Gary is an example of, 'you can make it.' He was there, he was in it, and he pulled himself out and he was successful and he's still doing it."

Hendler adds, "My program of recovery is very simple. I don't use. It's non-negotiable. And I just try to do the best I can each day."

And every week, he uses his Clean and Sober Radio Show to connect with addicts and their families.

Hendler and his guests don't pretend to have all the answers, but they do have one thing working for them. "It's the hope, the anticipation, that I am helping people, which I think I am, which is really cool," he said.

Join Action News on Tuesday night at 7:30 for a closer look at addiction, The Opioid Crisis: On The Home Front, Presented by Recovery Centers of America.

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