060715 Johns Creek: Jeff and Jeanne Schultz with their son Josh on the porch of the family home on Sunday, June 7, 2015, in Johns Creek. Four years ago Josh Schultz, on the verge of graduating from the University of Georgia, entered a treatment program for an addiction to opiates. His struggles in recovery, which included multiple relapses and thoughts he might not survive, were painful for all involved. But through it all, the concept of addiction as a family disease became clear and Jeff and Jeanne Schultz started working thier own recovery program parallel to Josh’s. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com

A look back at Jeff Schultz' 'most important' story: His son's addiction, recovery

For the AJC's popular sports columnist Jeff Schultz, saving his son from addiction meant letting him go.

In June 2015, Schultz opened up about his son's journey in a candid and widely read installment of the award-winning "Personal Journeys" series. "Lost and Found," Schultz's first-person piece, was read or shared on social media thousands and thousands of times, garnering equally candid reaction from its audience.

"This is a beautifully written story with amazing photos," one reader wrote.

"Lost and Found" was recently named a finalist for the Atlanta Press Club's 2015 Awards of Excellence. You can read it in full here.

Reflecting on his own personal journey, Schultz wrote last year, "The most important story I’ve ever written wasn’t about a college football game. It isn’t about an athlete, a team, a trade, an injury, an ownership, a stadium issue, an Olympics or the NCAA. The most important story I’ve ever written was about addiction and recovery."

He continued, "Why are we telling this story? Because Josh and I believe if we can help just one addict, one parent or anybody who has been touched by addiction and mental illness, it will be worth it."

Click here to read Schultz's "Lost and Found."

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