Magazine article Addiction Professional

Triathlete Goes More Than an Extra Mile: With More Than Two Years of Sobriety, Todd Crandell Helps Individuals and Families through Racing for Recovery Initiative

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Triathlete Goes More Than an Extra Mile: With More Than Two Years of Sobriety, Todd Crandell Helps Individuals and Families through Racing for Recovery Initiative

Article excerpt

Todd Crandell launched Racing for Recovery with a modest initial goal of hosting an annual 5K run. Now the accomplished triathlete with more than two decades of sobriety is going a much longer distance to help individuals and families affected by trauma and addiction.

"Our focus is on the 'why' someone is self-destructing," the 50-year-old Crandell says in describing the Holland, Ohio, treatment and support organization. "We want to know why the traumas are there, why there is a lack of self-esteem."

Racing for Recovery, based not far from Crandell's lifetime hometown of Sylvania in northwest Ohio, has grown in the past couple of years from what started as a hub for support group meetings to a direct-services organization offering assessment, individual and family counseling, and intensive outpatient treatment. It mainly serves the Medicaid-eligible population. Pondering what he has seen built, Crandell says, "I wish this had been available when I was using. I would have eaten this stuff up."

SURVIVOR OF SUICIDE

Crandell's mother died by suicide when Crandell was three years old, and two of her siblings also were suicide victims. Substance use was prominent in the family history, and Crandell says he began drinking at 13.

"Hockey as a kid was my saving grace," he says. "It was the only thing I had confidence in." But his substance use derailed what had looked to be a promising future in the sport. Crandell was able to earn his high school diploma despite being expelled from school at one point, and he would go on to college. But he spent 13 years in active addiction to just about anything he could get his hands on, until a third drunk-driving charge at age 26 led to his decision to take a different path--notably, one he navigated without formal treatment.

The support group meetings he attended early in his recovery left him wanting something more, particularly when he observed others whose post-meeting activities consisted of scarfing down doughnuts and guzzling coffee. …

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