There are heartbreaking moments that can impact the choices we make going forward. After Earl Moore’s father left the family when he was 12 years old, he developed an addiction that would last 15 years. It was not until Earl Moore discovered the art of crafting instruments that he finally recovered.

How Earl Moore’s Addiction Started

When Earl Moore went to college at the University of Kentucky, he was still in pain from his dad’s absence. He discovered that opioids had the power to take his pain away after receiving painkillers for multiple ingrown toenail surgeries. His friend told him that the pills would be good at helping him study. Moore ended up with more than 400 pain pills in his medicine cabinet.

Even though those pills built up his self-esteem socially, Moore says he was always slumped over and drooling. Moore hit rock bottom when he would steal his grandmother’s cancer pain medication and use his brother’s ATM card to pay bills. He also attempted suicide twice and was beaten up when he spent nine months in jail. Moore went through five treatment centers but always ended up relapsing.

How Instrument Crafting Saved Moore’s Life

While in recovery in 2012, Moore heard of a master luthier — an expert stringed-instrument maker — coming to his hometown. After seeing the luthier, Doug Naselroad, play in a band, Moore asked if he could work in his studio and be taught how to make guitars. After hearing Moore’s desperate pleas, Naselroad agreed to take him on. 

How Moore Found Peace in Addiction Recovery

Moore would be in Naselroad’s shop every day learning how to craft guitars from Appalachian native hardwoods. What started out as a one-year apprenticeship turned into a six-year journey. Naselroad taught him that the wood people would throw away had a beauty in the rough grain that he could use. This allowed Moore to see the beauty in himself in dark places. His confidence grew as he built a new skill. Since he began, Moore has made over 70 instruments; many were sold, while he kept others. Moore earned a Master’s degree in network security administration and now works as a director of information technology. He is still sober. Moore’s success inspired the creation of the non-profit “Culture of Recovery” arts program. By channeling your recovery into a hobby, you can give yourself hope for a happier life.


What started out as a tough recovery for Earl Moore turned into a story of hope as he dabbled in instrument making. This opportunity to craft instruments allowed him to work on something outside of himself. You have the same moment to receive a second chance at life. Just like Doug Naselroad did not give up on Moore, we will not give up on you. We are aware the road to recovery can be a tough one. At Alta Loma’s transformative treatment center, you can learn all about taking up healthy hobbies. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized treatment for your substance abuse needs, such as residency up to 24 months, individualized therapy, recreational therapeutic activities, 12-Step programs, and more. We understand the struggle of maintaining sobriety and are here to help. For more information, please give us a call today at (866) 457-3843.