A music therapy program that first began in California has reached Tennessee as a way to help people overcome addiction.
Rock to Recovery started in California in 2012 by former Korn guitarist Wes Geer. He has since grown the program to about 400 sessions every month across California. For the first time recently, the program expanded to two other treatment centers outside of the state in Nashville.
Geer has gone through recovery himself and understands not only the struggles of treatment, but the power of music.
"I went to a rehab center and we were doing yoga and painting but we didn't have music. I had my guitar with me and everyone was so raw and emotional and I saw how much it really moved and transformed people," Geer told NewsChannel 5. "Music helps remind the opioid addict that there is a joy and happiness and natural high deep inside them without drugs."
He said that music therapy not only helps someone emotionally but even physically as an example from one patient.
"I literally watched him transform from angry, sad and depressed but by the end of the session, he said he didn't feel dope sick anymore. He's happy, smiling and jumping around so it not only transformed him emotionally but physically as well," he added.
He has partnered with Foundations Recovery Network and Buffalo Valley, Inc. in Nashville. On Wednesday, he showcased how the program would work with the help of local musician Phil Bogard.
Volunteers participated to fill different roles of a band from keys and percussion, to lyricists. They write a song that surrounds a topic about what they are going through.
The song slowly built up with the help of the crowd.
In about 30 minutes, they came up with a chorus ready to record and the band name "Radical Mess."
Dian Buckley-Westinghouse was on the keys and described the experience as a great way to connect.
"Even if you're not a musician, when you connect not only with the story but you put music to it and moving to it and your body and voice, miracles happen," she said.
The program has already began at Buffalo Valley, Inc. Leaders said it was met with support and excitement.