As a former Firefighter / Paramedic with a large urban department, Eric has many years of work and lived experience concerning the effects of trauma, PTSD, and substance use. He began his mental health and substance use training in Peer Support and has assisted military veterans, first responders, and the general population in living with and overcoming difficulties. Eric is now a Certified Addiction Technician and a Certified Anger Management Specialist. He works with a private counseling group as a Case Manager of clients with 4 or more DUI’s, as well as facilitating multiple substance use and mental health groups.
Music has always been a part of Eric’s life. He began playing the trumpet at age 7 and started playing the guitar at 15. Playing music has helped him through personal mental health and substance use difficulties. As a result, he fully understands the positive impact that playing music can have for those in distress and while in substance use treatment centers. As a means of passing this gift on to others, Eric is currently developing a free community music program in Summit County.
Reducing the stigma surrounding substance use and mental health is also extremely important to Eric. Stigma impacts every aspect of treatment and recovery. He does not use words like “addict”, “alcoholic”, or any other dehumanizing, stereotyping term that portrays people battling substance use as weak or less than. Substance abuse and mental illness can affect anyone, and many of the strongest people he knows are those who continue to fight these challenges every day. Eric truly believes in KK Fearless and its mission, and is honored to be a part of helping the organization achieve its goals.