PHILADELPHIA - Former Philadelphia Flyer Chris Therien was known for his thunderous checks and reliable defense throughout his 12-year career. A great teammate, being in the right spot to help his team win. Today, Chris is taking that same team mentality to Limitless Recovery in Fishtown.
"I am the guy that is responsible and provides thoughtfulness in the process in getting people the help that they need and that they probably require," Therien explained.
Limitless is an addiction aftercare facility and Therien is the Chief Wellness Officer.
"It is maintenance almost. You want to be able to live. You want to be able to walk out on the street. Drive your car up I-95. That is just stuff that normal people do every day. For someone that is in an addictive state that can be a big change," he said. "We want them to learn with aftercare. To live a normal life and let them know that you can have a great thing going without the use of alcohol or drugs in society or in life."
Therien’s battle with alcohol addiction inspired him to purchase part of Limitless in December.
"My issues didn’t start until I was in my 30’s. When I was done playing with the Flyers," Therien explained.
A labor lockout led to the cancellation the 2004-2005 NHL season.
"That is when the drinking got really bad. We were waiting around with too much time on my hands. I was out of my regular routine of be at the rink at 9:30 practice at 11 go eat lunch go home be a dad for the kids. I was out of that element completely. That is where it really spiraled," he said.
In June of 2006, Therien lost his sister Sarah to a sudden cardiac event.
"That was about the worst month of my life. I just wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to be with anyone. I just wanted to park in the woods and just sit there and be left alone," Therien explained.
A few weeks after her death, Therien checked into Caron, a rehab facility near Reading, with a blood alcohol level of .63%. A level so high, it had counselors scared for his life.
They told Therien, "We have been open 50 years here at Caren and there is not one single person that ever had a higher blood alcohol level and lived. If you weren’t one of the most highly train athletes in the world, he said you would be dead."
He found help and is now 10 years sober. He says Limitless is his way of saying thank you to a city that has given him so much and a way to help others through their dark time.
"I think that if you ask my kids about me, they are proud of me. I got through a real dark place and I came out the other side. I feel happy to be here," Therien explained.
Limitless will eventually move to a bigger building across the street. Therien and his partner Dominick hope to expand throughout the city.
"The first step is the hardest. It’s to say hey, I need help and when you call and tell us that, we are here waiting for you," Therien said.
For more information on Limitless Recovery, please click here.
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