In 2006, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio was arrested in Whitehall, NY, on his way up to Vermont for possession of controlled substances and subsequently spent 14 months in the Washington County Felony Drug Court program, and now the guitarist is giving back to the program, speaking to the program’s participants who are about to become graduates about his experience and why he thinks those 14 months saved his life.
As The Post Star reports, Anastasio talked for about 25 minutes, extolling in his emotional address the virtues of the drug court program, which is designed to help non-violent offenders whose crimes were motivated by addiction. “I want to come back anytime I can,” he says. “It’s an honor. It’s such a great program. Every community in America should have one.”
Anastasio also recalled the state of his life when he was charged and taken into the program. “The night I got arrested, I couldn’t go 10 minutes without taking something,” he says. “Nine years later, I don’t think about drinking or drugging anymore.”
Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan, who was an assistant DA when Anastasio was in the program, was on hand for the event and said that Anastasio’s “commitment to sobriety is impressive,” adding, “Being here today says two things — that addiction can happen to anyone, and so can recovery.”
“At the time, I thought this was the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Anastasio told the crowd and program participants, which included at least one musician and star-struck fan. “Today, it’s without a question the best thing that ever happened to me.”