The Edmond Sun


May 23, 2009

Healing, recovery a community effort

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part five of a five-part series on the consequences of addiction and substance abuse. Today’s story offers information about solutions to the problems, treatment options and hope for individuals and their families.

As reported in Friday’s Edmond Sun, Jim Riley faced a life-changing moment of decision in 1985.

His wife Robin had arranged for an intervention. It was held in their home, and when Jim awoke, he found family members, his former high school football coach and others in his living room.

His coach told him why they were there — because of his addiction-related behavior — and the family’s fears that he could die. They anxiously awaited Jim’s answer to the question: Would you be willing to check into a treatment program?

Jim’s answer was, “Yes,” and that decision helped turn his life around.

The ex-University of Oklahoma and NFL football player said the support he received from his family was monumental, but his true salvation came from a different source — God.

“He was the key to my recovery,” said Riley, who along with Robin is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond. “If you don’t put God at the head of the class, it ain’t gonna work.”

A little more faith

Others agree that faith — and the faith community — need to play a bigger role in winning the war on drugs.

Among them are state Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, and Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa.

Murphey said the government spends millions of dollars on education, treatment and incarceration, but unless the individuals involved find faith and change their lives, the problem only will continue to grow.

“Substance abuse is an obvious by-product of the breakdown in the values of society,” Murphey said. “As traditional family structures continue to break down, those who are tempted to become involved in substance abuse simply do not have a strong support network to prevent their involvement in substance abuse.”

Text Only