EP01: Overcoming a 12 Year Prison Sentence, Drug Addiction, & Near Death Overdose Experience


Peter “Chappy” Meyerhoff kicks off the podcast with three very special guests: his father Matt, mother Celeste, and stepmother Lynette.

Listen in as the Meyerhoffs reflect on the most trying chapters in their family’s lives beginning with the moments that led up to a false accusation of sexual assault thrown at a then-teenaged Peter, to the drug-fueled downward spiral and falling out with his family that immediately followed, to his finally getting arrested at the age of 18.

Peter was sentenced to jail for 12 years—an absolute shock to both him and his family who expected no more than six years after Peter took the plea bargain. They describe the horror of the moment when the judge read his sentencing and how they all coped in the days that immediately followed.

In spite of all this, the Meyerhoffs’ troubles had just begun. Peter, who was determined to garner respect among his inmates, got involved in prison politics and continued to abuse drugs while doing his time.

Even after being released from prison, Peter’s most life-changing experience was yet to come. He found comfort in drinking alcohol in this new life and, before he knew it, he woke up one morning in an ambulance and was informed that he had overdosed on drugs while intoxicated and was close to death when he was found.

As he lay on that hospital bed, the switch finally flipped. Peter recalls telling himself, over and over, that he would not let this latest chapter in his troubled life be his last. He knew that he had to make a real change.

This was the seed of an epiphany that would inspire Peter to become a role model to others. By sharing his story and the events that finally motivated him to turn his life around, Peter proves that redemption is a very real thing, and that there is life after prison.

Topics Discussed: 

  • [00:40] Peter’s upbringing, according to his parents
  • [05:12] The moment Peter started straying down the wrong path
  • [15:55] Peter’s family’s reaction to his falsely being accused of sexual assault
  • [24:50] Why Matt believed that prison was the only way to save Peter’s life
  • [29:24] How Peter and his parents felt when he was sentenced to 12 years in prison
  • [39:43] The days following the sentencing
  • [47:13] Peter’s institutionalization
  • [52:31] Peter’s involvement in prison politics
  • [58:00] Why the halfway point of Peter’s sentence was the “easiest” part
  • [1:08:24] The moment Peter was finally released from prison
  • [1:13:52] Peter’s drug overdose
  • [1:20:30] Did Peter’s parents believe he would ever achieve sobriety?
  • [1:26:39] The reaction to Peter quitting his job to pursue his purpose
  • [1:28:56] Do Peter’s parents have confidence in his new life plan?

Key Quotes:

  • There are a lot of good guys in the prison system that just made bad choices under the influence of drugs and alcohol. ~Matt
  • I just want to let the public know that this is a thing that happens to regular families. We were a regular family. We weren’t from the hood. I had no reason to go to fucking reason. I had no reason to get involved with drugs. I want to show that it happens to everybody. No matter what you fucking do to your life and how many times you ruin your life and how many times you fucked up shit—it’s never too late to change who you are as a person, and it’s never too late to become successful. ~Chappy
  • There’s a big difference between living in society and having rules and prison rules. ~Matt
  • You’re out of prison and then the real work starts happening. Prison sucks but it’s easy as fuck, especially as a tough guy like me. ~Chappy
  • There is life after prison. ~Matt