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Ep. 78 – Vinny Bocassi – Sports Scholarships to Junkie to Helping Many Recover from Addiction

Podcast Episodes

Tom and Ben talk with Vinny Bocassi about how addiction affected his past and brought him to where he is today. Vinny had a great family growing up, but once he started partying in high school, he just couldn’t stop. He even found identity through drugs and partying. 

It actually took overdosing three times and being found by his parents and seeing how much they were affected to create a catalyst for change. Finally, seeing how hurt his parents were Vinny went to treatment. This was five years ago and it was his first and last treatment. Now Vinny helps others find sobriety. Today, Vinny shares his story, and how he was able to move past addiction and find identity in recovery.

Show Notes:

  • [03:00] Vinny was relatively young when he started with alcohol and weed. Unfortunately, once he started it was hard to stop.
  • [04:11] His reputation from partying made him finally feel like he fit in at school. By the next year, he got into harder drugs. 
  • [05:04] He played sports in school and when he got injured, he tried opiates which became a huge problem.
  • [08:29] It’s the way our bodies respond to alcohol and drugs that makes us addicts.
  • [11:50] Getting numb and being cool took over for Vinny. 
  • [16:10] After college, Vinny started working for Verizon. Even though, he barely made it through college and lost several scholarships, it took almost dying three times before he realized that enough was enough.
  • [18:44] Vinny’s parents dropped in for a surprise visit and discovered that he had overdosed, and they barely found him in time to save his life. 
  • [19:33] Seeing how hurt his parents were he decided to go into treatment. 
  • [22:28] He is now closer to his parents than ever. He was also his brother’s best man. 
  • [24:49] Vinny now works at Chapel Hill Detox in South Florida.
  • [25:30] When talking to parents of people going into treatment, Vinny shares his story and gets really vulnerable.
  • [31:54] Going to a treatment center further away from home is the best. People need to be in treatment for at least 30 days. 
  • [34:18] Vinny shares the life young people can have ahead of them when they get sober. Showing people what sobriety is about, can help them see how great it is. 
  • [37:05] Recovery stereotypes need to be broken. Vinny does his best to explain the fun that can be had in sobriety. He even goes to music festivals. You are also more free to travel without the drugs. People getting high can miss out on experiences. 
  • [39:58] Vinny loves active stuff like American Ninja Warrior courses and working out. 
  • [46:14] Vinny just bought a house. He plays music and is becoming an addiction counselor. He wants to become a CAC and run music groups. 

Links and Resources: