In addressing a problem with those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions, Chairman of the board for the Straight Line Foundation and co-founder of REACH Recovery Simon Cross says his organizations are looking to have more events that can help make more resources available to those who need it.
One such event is this week when REACH Recovery has its “Recovery in the Park” from 7-11 p.m. Friday at Sherwood Park.
The event will consist of volleyball and other sporting competitions as the organization looks to get a group of people in drug and alcohol recovery together for a “Sober Party” to raise awareness for those dealing with addiction and overdose problems.
“Myself, I am an addict and alcoholic in recovery,” Cross said. “I have over three years clean and sober. When I first got sober, Odessa and all of West Texas was the recovery community. It was older people and younger people didn’t really fit in so when I first got sober, we started going to the treatment centers. We started doing some fun stuff outside of recovery. We do a lot of skydiving. We do a lot of sporting tournaments, go-karts, just anything to get these younger people involved and help them to stay sober.”
During COVID, that became a struggle as most events were canceled.
“Recently, when COVID hit, a lot of people weren’t able to make the recovery events and weren’t able to stay involved like it was,” Cross said. “We had some friends start to overdose and die and a lot of people going back to jail and prison.”
That’s what helped lead to the creation of REACH.
“Myself and another guy in recovery, decided to start REACH,” Cross said. “What it is, we’re trying to start a huge network of people in recovery, not only in West Texas but we have people involved all around the country where we’re trying to put on events and start doing some outreach where like this Friday, we’ll have a big BBQ and a volleyball tournament and all kinds of sporting events.”
The Straight Line Foundation was started last July while REACH got started this past March.
“We’ve been doing little things here and there,” Cross said.
Cross says the organization is encouraging people that are still in their addiction and wanting help to show up.
“We want to start doing these events regularly on different sides of town and different cities in West Texas like Midland and Andrews,” Cross said. “The purpose behind it, when I was in my addiction, for the last five years, I didn’t know what the resources were for people who were addicted to drugs and alcohol but didn’t know of the resources where I could go get help. I didn’t know there are outpatient programs or any of that. The basis behind most of this is to get the word out to people who want to stop living that way and that there are resources available and help get them connected to the people who can help them out.”
Currently, Cross says there are six actual members that are actively working in REACH but that they have about 40 or 50 people involved.
“We just want the community to get involved, whether it’s kind donations or resources,” Cross said. “With the rate of addiction in this area getting out of control, it’s going to take this community to pull together and try to take some steps to make a positive difference to get this under control.”