Recovery Hero: Darin Valdez

I am most proud of a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization I started this year called Colorado Artists in Recovery ( We host art/music/meditation workshops for people in recovery from substance abuse. It helps them discover their creative spirit and provides an alternative pathway to recovery. My low point before recovery was homelessness due to my meth addiction and I lived on the streets of Denver for over 7 years. When I decided to try recovery, I weighed 100 lbs and was missing teeth. I had also lost contact with my family due to the overwhelming shame of what I had become.

I was living in a darkness that I could not get out of. Until a kind stranger at a hospital talked me into going home to my family and they helped me find treatment at Sobriety House in Denver. I have never looked back since. I now sponsor others in recovery, and am the Executive Director and Founder of Colorado Artists in Recovery. I speak often about my journey to help others out of addiction. I also create teaching opportunities for artists and musicians in recovery to lead creative expression workshops tied to the principles of recovery. We can create a safe and healthy space for people to discover the creative spark within themselves to help with the difficult emotions that we all go through in recovery. We have created a supportive community of creative souls to walk alongside each other to sustain a new life of recovery.