Plymouth Man in Recovery Uses Nature to Help Others Battle Addiction
Research shows that being outside in nature refreshes and soothes the inner-self. For those in recovery, like Richie Newbert from Plymouth, restoring wellness gets a big boost when paired with the sounds, scents and pleasures of nature.
For years, Newbert attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, mostly for the social aspect. More recently, he found a need to check out other non-traditional methods to recovery.
"Simply put, I do a nature walk that connects me to the energy of life," he said. "When I bond with the natural elements around me, it restores me with peace and tranquility. It puts me at ease and has a calming effect."
Newbert has not had a drink or a drug since December 26, 2010, and the only high he needs now is a deep inhale of fresh air and the sun shining on his face.
He has gone on to create Richie's Road to Recovery, and he shares his journey on his website, Facebook group and in his YouTube series. His videos also air on Bourne Public Access television.
"I just returned from a successful resource fair held at the Wareham Police Department that was staffed by a number of local community groups, and was fairly well-attended by people interested in acquiring information about all the area support groups and organizations," he said. "It was gratifying to have several visitors express an interest in joining the nature walks."
Newbert holds his walks at Lyman Reserve in Wareham, surrounded by the beauty of nature. What can this alternative ground plan to recovery provide that other more traditional programs can't minister?
"I respect the theory that if a program works for you, then it works. Period," Newbert said. "I became a personal trainer and wellness coach with certification in mindfulness meditation, because I don't believe in one-way recovery only."
With that in mind, he has plans to expand his Richie's Road to Recovery program.
"Soon, I hope to be adding yoga and tai chi, and in the near future, I'll be expanding to offer my services to a probation diversion program, health centers and police stations," he said.
People who comment on social media say Richie's Road to Recovery should continue the good work, posting that he's caring, listens without judgement and is someone with the experience of dealing personally with addiction in a positive way.
As for his offbeat approach to recovery, he just knows that it works.
"It's hard to describe the connection that nature gives me, because you can't measure nature's greatness!" he said.