1 Fall 2005 OUTREACH A SEASONAL P UBLICATION OF Jim Riley OUTREACH,Inc. Key JRO programs: Men s and Women s Support Groups Substance Abuse Counseling Services For Individuals and Families Collaboration With Criminal Justice System Education/Awareness Seminars for Schools and other Community Organizations Referral Network Extensive Scholarships for Counseling/Treatment Safe Living Facility/ Mentoring Collegiate Athletics Drug Abuse Education, Treatment, and Enforcement Program J i m R i l e y O u t r e a c h B o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s D i c k & D o n n a Ad a m s C u r t & S u e J o h n s t o n B e t t y Li d d e l l C h a r l i e N e w t o n La r r y Pr u i t t J i m & R o b i n R i l e y To m m y & B o b b i e R o e M o n t y W a r d Pa t & J a n W i l s e y The JRO Mission: Jim Riley Outreach, Inc (JRO) is a unique organization in the substance abuse treatment and recovery field. Our goal is our passion; to bring recovery to people for whom it might not otherwise be available. We do this with innovative and compassionate programs that combine multi-dimentional diagnosis and treatment with the tough love which is essential in treating addictions. Jim Riley Welcome This newsletter is a compendium of what has been happening in the last several months at JRO. As you will see, we continue to move forward with many exciting programs, all of which are designed to help people struggling directly or indirectly with substance abuse and other addictions. When asked recently how many people are served in a given week through JRO, our best guess was about 200. There are approximately 75 of you who volunteer on a regular basis, with more offering to help all of the time. We are so grateful for your participation in reaching out to those who are in need of help, just as someone along the way may have reached out to you. Our hope is that this little communication tool will not only update and inform you, but will also bring you encouragement and hope. Enjoy! Is it Time For a Better Choice? OUTREACH believes that any treatment program which includes Addiction Treatment Analysis should address the whole person, and uses a unique treatment model for its clinical programs. Diagnosis and treatment is done in five dimensions: Substance Related Disorders Other Mental Disorders Medical Disorders Social Support System Spiritual Health All of our programs emphasize Christian principles as an important element in recovery Call the OUTREACH Today!
2 from the MAILBOX This is what it s all about, folks! From a mother: As a parent, I want to thank you for all that you have done to help my son over the last year and for all you do for the recovery group I don t know where my son would be now if he hadn t had all of you as mentors in his recovery. Clay Crossing is a wonderful place and I thank God it was there to help my son fight his buried demons. From a woman in recovery: A card picturing a life preserver, with the printed words - Sure glad you came along when you did and then a note saying, If it weren t for God and you I would not be having this beautiful, blissful life! I m still sober and loving it! From a sister: Thank you for giving to my brother It is up to him to make the most of the new ways and opportunities. I pray that God will give him the strength moment by moment to make better choices. Thank you for giving your time and finances. From a woman in treatment: I want to make sure you know how much I appreciate the gift of life you have brought me. Being here is the best thing I have ever done for myself. God Bless You! From a man in treatment: Your financial help came at a time when I had almost given up. What you did for me I will never forget! I want to start living again. I really feel this is my last chance and I m giving it everything I ve got. May God bless you and thank you for helping save my life From a parent: Jim, I just wanted to drop you a note to say how wonderful life is for my son now. He came home Friday evening for a visit and we had a very nice time. He was calm and had a very positive attitude. He seems to have peace. I can t remember ever seeing him at peace. I actually missed him when he left and you know I love him but there were times in the past that I could not say that. There are not words to express my heartfelt feelings of everything you and God have done for him, giving him his life back. I truly believe he would not be alive today without all the generosity, love and support we have received from you, the Outreach, and everyone who have been so giving and shown so much kindness and compassion. Thank you, thank you for not only giving him a reason for living, but for me, I don t know if I could have watched my son die another day. JIM RILEY OUTREACH, INC. is a non-profit organization. There is NEVER a charge for our help. No Name Offense For many years Jim knocked people down as an original member of the Miami Dolphins No Name Defense. For almost two decades now, he and Robin and colleagues have been picking people up, one by one. Many people have been supporting this ministry financially for several years, and we are continually inviting new friends to join us. We think of all of you as members of the No Name Offense, anonymous partners in the cause of being on the offensive against substance abuse and related issues. We are also in the process of contacting foundations and corporations for support. If you have a suggestion, or would like more information, contact Joel Baker at JRO Speaking Engagements Several years ago, Jim Riley spoke to 187 groups that was in just one year. Now, Jim responds to about 40 requests annually. A sampling of recent presentations includes: Camp Cavett Kingston, Ok (critically ill youngsters, ages 10-18) Marietta and Velma-Alma Football Camp Westminster Presbyterian Church, OKC, Adult Sunday School First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Men s Retreat Cleora Methodist Church Delta Upsilon National Fraternity Meeting in Denver, CO Joel Baker was the guest preacher at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. on July 31st. His sermon included part of Jim s story. You can read the manuscript or listen to the audio on the church s website, One interesting highlight of the occasion was the attendance in worship of church member and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The person considered by many to be the most powerful woman in the world now knows about JRO!
3 Meet Larry Pruitt One of Two New Board Members The Outreach paid Larry s way to treatment at Clay Crossing, where he felt that he was the worst looking person at the facility. There were a total of 13 men present in 2001, most of them in the age range. For the first several days, Larry spent his time telling everyone that he was only going to be there for 30 days and then he was leaving. I was arrogant, saying how I wasn t like everyone else, and what an important man I was. Twenty two days into the program, Larry went to his room and fell on his knees. I realized that I was the sickest guy there. Larry Pruitt started his own oil and gas business 30 years ago at the age of 24. By the time he was 29, he had approximately 16 employees. As the years passed, he became progressively successful, so much so that he was one of the people selected as a subject for a local TV series called Life On Easy Street. The segment described how Larry was just the second resident at the exclusive Oak Tree Country Club, leaving his house every day for work by helicopter. Traveling either by helicopter or private jet, he regularly would fly to cities like Dallas, Memphis, or Houston in the morning, have a meeting, and return to his office by 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. At one point, his net worth was about $17 million. For many years, Larry did a lot of entertaining with business associates which involved only social drinking. Then, in the 80 s, cocaine became the acceptable thing to do for many of these people, especially in places Larry would frequent like Las Vegas and Hollywood. Larry could take or leave drugs like cocaine, but alcohol was another matter. In 1986, a tragic event happened in his family. Larry s step daughter, who was just 15 years old and had recently received her driver s permit, underwent heart surgery. They had known since she was a young child that some day she would need an operation on a faulty heart valve. It was not an emergency and the family did not expect there to be serious complications. They scheduled it during the summer before cheerleading camp. She died on the operating table. A former multi-millionaire, jet-setting businessman whose addiction made him penniless, now experiences every day the joy of living in recovery. According to Larry, the family had no spiritual life. Money was their god. Larry scoffed at the statistic someone told him that 90% of marriages do not last six months after the death of a child. Six months to the day, his wife filed for divorce. They found that they had no spiritual resources to lean on, and they could not lean on each other. Larry became mad at God and everyone else. He moved to Aspen, Colorado, with about a million dollars left of his fortune after the divorce and the mid-80 s oil bust. In Aspen, he just partied for ten years. Finally, the addiction took over and he lost his money, his integrity, his business partners, and his dignity. His family didn t want him. The former multimillionaire and second resident of Oak Tree was broke and homeless. It was 1996 and he moved back to Oklahoma. He had a small apartment that cost him $300 per month, which he paid for by mowing lawns. In 1999, he got a DUI in Tulsa, and then within a year, another one in Logan County. The judge gave Larry a choice, 30 days in treatment or 30 days in jail. His plea bargain went on for two years. Finally, he called Jim Riley, wanting Jim to sign a piece of paper saying that he had gone to treatment. When Jim went to Larry s apartment, he looked Larry in the eye and asked him, Do you want to stop drinking? Hell no, Larry replied. Jim looked him in the eye again. What? Larry barked. Are you tired of hurting? Jim asked. To that, Larry replied, Yes, I am and he cried for the first time in many, many years. He had shown no emotion when his step daughter died, when his wife divorced him, or when all of the other negative experiences had happened. I realized that I was the sickest guy there. He was told in treatment that it would take at least twelve months of living with humility, caring for others, etc., before his recovery would really be established. So, he lived for a year in his ratty apartment, working for the Outreach for $900 per month, and spending every single day with Jim Riley. Several times during that year, he declined offers for jobs which would have paid him an annual salary of a hundred thousand dollars or more. What happened during that year? For the first time in my life, I really felt for other people. When people hurt and cried, I hurt and cried with them. Now, with over three years of sobriety, Larry is back on his feet financially. As he puts it, I have three full-time jobs. But his life is also full of opportunities to serve others. There is hardly a day that goes by when he is not called upon to help someone in need, which he does in any way that he can something he always wants to do. In fact, his daily prayer is that he will never become so busy or successful that he is not available to the people who need him. A former multi-millionaire, jet-setting businessman whose addiction made him penniless, now experiences every day the joy of living in recovery. He gives the main credit, first and foremost, to the spiritual renewal he has experienced in his relationship with God. He is a living example of what the Outreach is trying to accomplish as it continues to reach out, with the Lord s help, to as many people as possible. We are proud to have Larry serving on the Board of Directors, and are deeply grateful for what God has done through the Outreach to reclaim a life. (Monty Ward, the other new board member, will be profiled in the next issue of the JRO Newsletter.)
4 From HERO Reprinted by permission from Christian Networks Journal to Zero and the Journey Back By Dr. Joel David Baker So what do you do when you re on top, but then you blow it? What do you do when you think you are just being normal (hey, every college kid drinks), when you are just being one of the guys, and your actions result in a near fatality? Ever hear of the 1 in 10 statistic? One out of every ten people who drink become problem drinkers. But, come on, there is no way you could possibly be among that 10%. Dusty certainly didn t think so, not until his life took a very dramatic turn. In the fall of 2004, Dusty Dvoracek was on top of the world. Playing on the University of Oklahoma defensive line for the previous three years, he was ready for a big season, All- American, a national championship, and a probable pro contract possibly worth millions of dollars. After quarterbacks, great defensive linemen are the hottest commodity and most highly paid players in the National Football League. Dusty was a co-captain of the team at a university where one previous President had quipped upon being hired, I just want to build a university that the football team can be proud of. He made excellent grades and had charisma to burn. He was just a great guy. But with the first two games of the season under his belt, he took too many belts of another kind, and a high school buddy ended up in a hospital s Intensive Care ward. A punch after hitting the bars resulted in a fractured skull, and a broken dream. Fortunately, the buddy recovered, but Dusty was about to enter his own version of Intensive Care. The news came over the phone at 10:30 p.m. a week later, on the eve of the young season s third game. Dusty was informed by head coach Bob Stoops that he was off the team. Gone. A statement released later by Coach Stoops noted that there was a pattern of behavior that led to his decision. Dusty had had a couple of other incidents with drinking and violence in the past. When dreams are shattered, when your behavior results in brokenness, what do you do? The following Monday, he apologized to all of the team s coaches and related officials, in person, accompanied with a letter regretting the stain he had placed on the OU football tradition. It was his idea. He was beginning to take responsibility for his actions. Dusty was about to enter the intensive care of a former OU All American and Miami Dolphin, Jim Riley. Jim played on the original No Name Defense, the 1972 undefeated team that won the Super Bowl. Jim understood Dusty s problem even better than Dusty did, for he himself has been in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for 20 years. It takes one to know one? Not necessarily, but it can certainly help. As one friend says, After knocking people down in his career as an NFL player, Jim has been picking people up, one by one, for two decades. Conversations and meetings took place. No promises were made, but to its credit the university agreed to pay for outpatient treatment for Dusty, three nights a week, three hours a night, for six weeks. If completed successfully, and strict rules were followed, and the medical evaluation was positive, maybe, just maybe, the situation would be reevaluated in the future. No one really knows how many medical red shirts have been granted by the NCAA for the disease of alcoholism. It has been listed in their by-laws as a possible cause for a medical waiver since It s hard to know, with confidentiality issues being what they are. Dusty Dvoracek quite possibly is the first and only such case. He completed the treatment program and other counseling, including regular meetings with Jim Riley (which still continue). Since he had only played in the first two games, and since he had done everything asked of him, the most important being total abstinence from alcohol (he is forbidden from even going into a bar), the university decided to ask for a second chance. The Big 12 Conference responded with a no to the request, ostensibly thinking they did not want to make such a seemingly precedent-setting decision. The NCAA, however, agreed to allow Dusty to be reinstated, at the discretion of his coach. After the season was over, Coach Stoops evaluated the entire situation and decided to reinstate Dusty to the team. There are five stages of alcoholism. According to Jim Riley, Dusty fits in the category of stage one. In the first stage, the person drinks very rarely but when he or she does, it is for effect. Behavior gets way out of control. Things that a person would not do normally, they do. In Dusty s case, he finds himself in places he really doesn t want to be doing things he doesn t want to do with people he doesn t want to be with, but he does it anyway. Dusty did not think he was part of the 10%. He knows now that he is. It was a hard lesson to learn but I learned it, he says. I recognize that nobody was required to do this for me. I want to show them that their trust in me is deserved. Through speaking engagements with middle and high school students, his journey back is going to include attempts to warn others, to share what he has learned, to maybe help keep some kid from losing a dream, if not a life. No, not every college student drinks, but many of the ones who do, do not drink responsibly. Deaths caused by what is termed alcohol poisoning are proliferating at an alarming rate on campuses across the country. There were 1400 alcohol related deaths of collegians nationally in 2003, and another 500,000 injuries. This is not a minor problem, and it is not going away. Someone once said about the age old question Am I my brother s keeper? the following: No, but I am my brother s brother. We live in a society that is generally willing to give people a second chance in life. Serious social issues like substance abuse only get addressed when the people of a society look around, see the wreckage being caused, and decide that instead of standing idly by, they will extend tough love helping hands to lift a sister or a brother out of a dilemma that may result in death. May Dusty s recovery continue for his whole life, and may others be inspired to begin the journey to recovery that can be theirs as well.
5 Partners in Building Healthy Young Athletes - JRO and UCO An exciting new part of the program for all student athletes at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma is the implementation of a Substance Abuse Education and Enforcement Policy designed and directed by the UCO Department of Athletics and Jim Riley Outreach, Inc. JRO has been working for many years with college athletes (particularly at the University of Oklahoma see the story about Dusty Dvoracek). UCO has a proud tradition of men and women in sports, including football, soccer, volleyball, golf, softball, wrestling, basketball, tennis, baseball, and track. The guiding philosophy of the new policy for the University Athletics Department is based on the assumption that all illegal use of alcohol and other drugs is fundamentally wrong and damages a student-athlete s health, education, and athletic performance. One objective of the new program is to educate student-athletes about the medical, psychological, social, moral, and legal consequences of the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs. Students are encouraged to maintain the integrity of the University athletic program by practicing abstinence from alcohol, other mind-altering drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, and tobacco. The program provides for continuous education, a screening program, and assessment and treatment of problems according to firm, just, and consistent standards. The Drug Prevention Education piece of the program requires medical personnel, coaches and others in direct contact with the student-athletes, as well as the students themselves, to attend informational and preventive sessions on drug abuse recognition, testing and treatment. A regular flow of printed materials acts as a reminder of the information. The program outlines specific and clear instructions for staff and athletes about drug testing procedures. It includes both an amnesty program, allowing students to self-report a violation of policy subject to defined sanctions, and tiered penalties for first, second and third positive drug tests. Oklahoma is proud of the many fine athletes involved in the UCO athletic program, and UCO is proud to be partnered with Jim Riley Outreach, Inc. in guiding these student-athletes to a healthy, drug-free future. "The professional support UCO Athletics has received from the Jim Riley Outreach program has been absolutely phenomenal. We have taken our whole athletic program to an entirely different level -- in planning, awareness, testing, team morale, team expectations, team discipline, you name it... "In my second year as Athletic Director, it was the single most successful stride we took for an overall blueprint for life in our student-athletes". Bill Farley UCO Athletic Director UCO and Jim Riley Outreach Building a successful blueprint for life - one life at a time.
6 HELP for Addictive Gamblers and Their Families Jim Riley has been asked to serve on the board of a new group whose focus is to address the issues regarding gambling in the state of Oklahoma. Dr. Michael Smith has provided the following mission statement as a means of introducing this new and much needed organization. The Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (OAPCG) is the Oklahoma advocate for programs and services to assist all problem gamblers and their families. Our mission is to: Increase the general public s awareness of problem and compulsive gambling. Enhance the availability and quality of treatment services for problem gamblers and their families through the certifying of gambling counselors in Oklahoma. Insure the quality of education and prevention programs for all citizens of Oklahoma. Dr. Michael Smith Provide support to The National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc. through the development of information and education programs that could be used on a national scale and high quality research in the field of gambling addiction and co-occurring dependencies. As an advocate for the problem gamblers, the OAPCG does not take a position for or against legalized gambling. With this the first year in business of the OAPCG we promise to build our organization on the foundation of independence, neutrality, quality service and a high level of information delivery. We will not only meet but exceed your expectations. For more information, contact Dr. Smith at Alpha Course BIG Success We are constantly striving to encourage people to grow spiritually as a major component of recovery. From January to April we offered an Alpha course to anyone who might be interested. Dr. Joel Baker taught the course, hosted at the home of Dr. Mike and Penny Glass. About 17 people started, some dropped out along the way, but for those who participated the entire time it was a very positive learning experience.?who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? What is Alpha? It is a time of fellowship over a meal, 10 presentations on basic Christian beliefs like, Who is Jesus?, Why did Jesus die?, Why and How Should I Read the Bible?, Why and How Do I Pray?, What About Other Religions?, and then a time for small group discussion on the topic of the evening. Hosted in the home of Dr, Mike & Penny Glass, several folks from two local churches provided the meals, leadership and accepting environment where no question was considered too dumb and everyone was encouraged to ask about things they may have never satisfactorily understood. The classes prompted some great discussion, with perhaps the most lively and helpful being the evening when the subject was the Holy Spirit. Should I Read the Bible? Ronson and Diana Alexander drove to Edmond every Thursday evening from their home in Norman. Ronson is a lifelong Pentecostal and Diana was raised in a Catholic home. The following is what they had to say about their experience with Alpha. Ronson: I was somewhat skeptical about Alpha, having been raised in church all of my life. Through the ten week course, I found a new enlightenment about the basic fundamentals of Christianity without being religious. How Do I Pray? What about...? Diana: Alpha was and is the most instrumental teachings on Christian principals I have ever experienced. It not only brought light to frequently asked questions, about Christ s life such as the significance of miracles and the resurrection, but it inspired me on a very personal level to seek more profoundly where I stand with my faith. Alpha is good for the believer and the non-believer and for those whose spiritual journey is not finite. Watch for upcoming news about our next Alpha course.
7 TEST the SIGNS of ALCOHOLISM OUTREACH Here are 20 questions John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore devised so people can check for themselves the signs of alcoholism: 1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking? 2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy? 3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people? 4. Is drinking affecting your reputation? 5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking? 6. Did you get into financial troubles as a result of your drinking? 7. Do you turn to lower companions in an inferior environment when drinking? 8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family s welfare? 9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking? 10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily? 11. Do you want a drink the next morning? 12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping? 13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking? 14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business? 15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles? 16. Do you drink alone? 17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking? 18. Has your doctor ever treated you for drinking? 19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence? 20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking? Is it Time For a Better Choice? SCORING If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite WARNING that you may be alcoholic. If you have answered YES to any two, the CHANCES ARE that you are an alcoholic. If you have answered YES to three or more, YOU ARE DEFINITELY AN ALCOHOLIC. OUTREACH CONTACT US: Jim Riley Robin Riley Joel Baker Joe Pellow To make a Tax-deductible donation contact: Joel Baker: 3325 French Park Dr. Suite 2 Edmond, Oklahoma New Website JRO has a new website. Check it out at (Wouldn t you know that a quick and easy domain name like JRO would already be taken?) The website provides a great way of disseminating information in this internet age. We will be adding much more information to the site in the future. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
8 Joe Pellow Proudly Announces a New Home for Our Mentoring Program JRO s efforts to help men who have completed treatment and who would like a safe environment to begin living a clean and sober life back in society has been enhanced recently. The beautiful home now houses four individuals plus the Mentoring Program Director, Joe Pellow. Firm guidelines must be followed, like curfews, daily meetings, and a zero tolerance regarding drugs and alcohol. The program offers spiritual and emotional support and guidance, and gives individuals a great opportunity to continue the recovery begun in treatment. Helping you continue to make a better choice Clay Crossing Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary Clay Crossing inpatient treatment center in Maud, OK, recently observed its fifth year of operation. Since its beginning in the year 2001, there have been 475 men who have been residents at the center, coming from almost every state in the country. The sense of community, slower pace, unique environment on 400 acres, outstanding quality and genuine individual counseling and caring by the staff, as well as the Christian based philosophy, all have made Clay Crossing a very special and effective extended care facility. Clay Crossing for WOMEN to Open in the Fall Clay Crossing for Women is located on 65 acres in Purcell, OK, and construction is in its final stages. At the time of this writing, the target date for opening is October 1st. There will be accommodations for 24 women and it will also be a 90 day program. For more information go to or call OUTREACH to Women & Couples NEW LIFE may only be 90 Days Away - Think About It! Jim & Robin Riley Nineteen years ago, a friend of Robin Riley s was feeling a need for a women s support group that had a Biblical basis. Having the same desire, Robin began the group that still continues. Earlier this year, she led a study using the material Believing God, which concentrated on helping participants understand that change is indeed possible, with God s help. This fall, the group will be working through materialentitled God Will Make a Way - What to Do When You Don t Know What to Do. Robin also counsels individually with several women. She has been able to witness, in some of these women, substantial growth and transformation over extended periods of time. This fall, Robin and Jim will team teach a class called Christian P.R.E.P. (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program). This is a 12- hour course for couples which will focus on topics such as problem solving, conflict management, and overall relational enrichment. (In addition to the above, Robin fastidiously keeps the financial records for JRO. Contact her if you ever have a question in this regard.) OUTREACH Jim Riley OUTREACH, Inc Cardinal Dr Edmond, OK 73013