Canadian Hero’s Personal Stories

Talk Recovery Radio


Two amazing guests on Talk Recovery Radio this week.

Guest One: Nicholas Hennink – We Are Warriors

addiction recovery podcastNicholas Hennink (‘Henn-ink’) is an Advanced Care Paramedic and Singer/Songwriter by both passion and vocation, known for his inspirational music that gives hope to those who need it the most.
Nicholas also served as an advanced care paramedic for over a decade. His love of music began during his childhood, playing in bands and creating songs with his acoustic guitar in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was born and raised. Serving as an Advanced Care Paramedic Nicholas was diagnosed with severe PTSD, seeing things that can’t be unseen, he used alcohol as a coping mechanism and was afflicted with alcohol addiction. Stemming over 6 years of relapses, rehab three times, and watching his life collapse around him, suicide was not far off. Keeping his daughter and fiancé front and center in his mind pushed him to heal, and use his gifts to help other people that still struggle.

Nicholas’ Story

Nicholas speaks on Talk Recovery Radio about his journey being a paramedic and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, when asked how speaking about his experience effect him he mentions that it is part of the healing process of mental health, by sharing his story he knows he can help someone else. Nicholas retired as an EMS this past December as he found himself going through the same patterns in his recovery, he could go to work then relapse then go straight back to work and relapse again. Nicholas describes it as a continuous cycle that he was not really dealing with his emotions. He shares with us that his PTSD did not come from one big traumatic event, Nicholas says that it was lots of little circumstances in his job that overtime he did not deal with properly, did not talk about with others and that allowed it to get worse. Eventually he turned to drinking which did work until it did not, he says.

Nicholas was a paramedic for almost 17 years, he says the conversation around mental health for paramedics did not really exist 17 years ago, Nicholas explains it as being told that he was going to have to go through certain situations and he was going to see people not make it and see some people make it through terrible situations but the stigma around paramedics and not talking about their weaknesses at work was very prevalent.

Nicholas went to addiction treatment 3 times, when but when he went to treatment to start his recovery process he did not deal with his PTSD and only was dealing with his addiction and Nicholas says because of not dealing with the PTSD the addiction was not going to go away and it was going to keep him sick.

We Are Warriors

We are Warriors started out as Nicholas playing his guitar, writing songs, and speaking out about his problems he was struggling with to do with mental health and addiction. We are Warriors grew to the point where now it is a magazine, the “We Are Warriors Magazine” where they share stories of first responders who struggle with addiction and mental health. Also, they have a non-profit which is helping first responders get into rehab without the hurdles and the expenses. Nicholas says most people think the resources are there, but he says they are not.

To Subscribe to the magazine, you can go to any of their social media platforms below and order their free magazine.

All of Nicholas’ website/social media links

Guest Two: Jeff Vircoe, Addiction Recovery Story

addiction recovery podcast

So, I’m Jeff Vircoe. Age 61.

Born in Ottawa, raised an anglophone in Montreal, I have been out on Vancouver Island for 34 of my 60 years on the planet. I’m a father, a stepfather, a partner, a businessman, and a man in long-term recovery from substance addiction. I’m over 31 years clean today.

I have solid Newfoundland and Australian ancestry, so I’m pretty complicated. Stubborn, silly, patriotic, and non-judgmental most of the time. I can be pretty skeptical and sarcastic other times.

I am a fledgling golfer, guitarist, and bass player. I’m also a history buff, a voracious reader, and a pretty good cook. I am a political buff, love cats, omelets, and the Boston Bruins.

I am more likely to speak up than shut up. I believe in freedom of expression and the importance of telling the truth. I respect those who came before us.

With a series of serendipitous events in 2006, I morphed into an addictions support staff member and then counselor at Edgewood Treatment Centre, one of the country’s top addiction treatment facilities, for six more years.

In 2012, I survived a quadruple bypass. For the next five years, I went on at Edgewood as editor of several different Edgewood Health Network publications.  Over that period, I interviewed and wrote about staff and patients, and researched and wrote about programs and modalities from across the addictions spectrum.

I have written hundreds of heart-warming and heart-breaking stories for newspapers and magazines across the country. News stories, business profiles, travel, entertainment, sports, courts, and all points between, I have always tried to be a man of integrity, a storyteller armed with some zip and edginess. I’ve interviewed countless examples of the kinds of people who make life interesting for us all, and am richer for having met and shared them with my readers.

Jeff’s Story

Jeff Currently has 32 and a half years of recovery. He shares that he grew up with a lot of trauma in his life, and at around 17 years old Jeff’s addiction already progressed to the point where he could not see a way out. Jeff mentions that the friend group he surrounded himself with was not the right kind of people he should have been hanging out with if he wanted to stay away from addiction and trouble. When Jeff was looking for a job, he ended up joining the military because he thought that was the only place that would take him at that point in his life. Jeff shares the fact that he was asked to leave the military because of addiction issues he was struggling with.

Jeff’s chosen pathway to recovery is 12 step. Growing up in foster care Jeff grew up with a great deal of trauma, when he found recovery, he knew he was an alcoholic and accepted it. When Jeff’s addiction recovery journey started, he was told if he sat and listened to people’s stories in the 12 step support group rooms he will be helped and hear his own story of addiction.

Jeff talks about going to 12 step meetings after 32 years of recovery. Jeff says he loves attending meetings and helping others recover from addiction, having great memories staying clean, and having a good life he did not know was possible. Jeff mentions that his life in recovery from addiction is better than he ever expected, and thought was going to happen. Jeff talks about meetings he attends and the people he has met through his journey in recovery.

Journalism in Recovery

Jeff mentions being a journalist in recovery and the job he has been able to do not under the influence of drugs and alcohol and having a clear mind in recovery and how that has helped him in his recovery. Also, the connections he made in recovery has helped him with new jobs at addiction treatment centers across the country. Jeff was able to write about leaders in the recovery world and write about his passion, recovery, and addiction.


Listen and Subscribe

Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. The Last Door produces this weekly radio show discussing the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Talk Recovery is in its 7th Season, Hundreds of guests, thousands of listeners, thank you. Show ideas? Email

Powered by #NewWestRecovery

Get in touch today or call our recovery helpline

+1-855-971-0486 ( 7AM to 11PM )