In this month’s Youth column, we introduce Road Recovery, a NYC-based nonprofit organization that truly rocks! Founded in 1998, Road Recovery helps youth at-risk and/or recovering from addiction and other mental health issues through an engagement-based, peer-driven approach that bridges the influence and expertise of both the medical and music industry communities.

To date, Road Recovery has touched the lives of more than 50,000 14-26 year olds. The staff is comprised of entertainment industry professionals dedicated to mentoring and training, while fostering an environment that provides a peer- support network to engage and encourage young people to explore their creativity through performance workshops, live-concert outreach events and music recording projects. The nonprofit harnesses the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources. Past musicians and entertainment figures such as Eric Clapton, Slash, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Denis Leary, Simon Kirke, James Hetfield (Metallica), Macklemore, Peter Frampton and Tony Bennett have served as mentors, role models and band mates.

Most recently, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor of Duran Duran collaborated with Road Recovery youth to produce, mix, and record an original dance-rock song, “No Rewind,” which is now available on all major digital music services, including CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. All proceeds from sales and streams of the song go to support Road Recovery’s programs. The collaboration has been featured in Rolling Stone and Parade Magazine.

“Road Recovery offers a safe, drug and alcohol-free place for young people to learn and work, and with professional guidance, introduces them to all aspects of the music business – from songwriting and performance, to the delivery of their music to fans, either live or via recordings,” said John Taylor. “‘No Rewind’ itself says a lot about Road Recovery’s work and philosophy. Lyrically and thematically, it’s an expression of the real concerns of sober kids.”

In between Duran Duran’s New York City-area stops on the band’s recent tour, John Taylor and Roger Taylor took time out to work with youth from Road Recovery’s RecoveryTrax program, meeting backstage and rolling up their sleeves at Threshold Recording Studios NYC, home to the charity’s youth programs. Over a nine month period, Road Recovery’s youth exchanged demo recordings and sonic ideas with John and Roger. The result, “No Rewind,” is an original, energetic, dance-rock tinged song that was produced, mixed, and arranged by the band members, along with Duran Duran producer/engineer Joshua Blair.

“The power of “we” is what it’s all about,” said Bowen. “From our home base in the state of New York, Road Recovery brings together creative people from the entertainment industry, like John Taylor and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran, who have faced their personal adversities head-on and come to terms with who they are with the untamed energy of young people who have walked similar roads. We all come together gaining strength and solutions from each other and, in the process, create the most amazing experiences, art, friendships and lives for ourselves and each other.”

“We reached out to our friends in the music industry and sought input from mental health professionals to construct a program model in the heart of New York City so that young people recovering from alcohol and/or drug misuse could pursue something they loved,” said Bookbinder. Igniting and nurturing passion in New York’s young people with something as powerful as music, combined with peer support and building life skills, increases their chances of success against the profound challenges of mental health and substance use disorders. John Taylor and Roger Taylor represent a level of compassion and generosity that not only profoundly affected those who worked on “No Rewind,” but also all those who will draw inspiration from the song’s message.”

In April of this year, Road Recovery was honored by the National Council for Behavioral Health with the President’s Award for Innovative Advocacy. You can learn more about Road Recovery and its programs at their website. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.