Oklahoma Football Star Helping Addicts

Thursday, April 9th 2009, 12:40 pm
By: News 9

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - A former OU football player is helping people kick their chemical addictions.

After a successful career at OU and five seasons with the Miami Dolphins Jim Riley's life was falling apart.

"My problems started in professional football with drugs and alcohol," Riley said.

He credits interventions and love from his family for getting his life back on track.

"At 40-years-old, I made a turn to go the other way," he said.

He started the Jim Riley Outreach to help others hoping to free themselves from chemical dependency.

Joe Pellow manages and counsels residents in one of Jim Riley Outreach's four mentoring homes.

"We don't have to worry about not having clients," Pellow said. "We have plenty of people that want our help. We've got guys who are attorney, doctors, mechanics. We run a strict program here. These guys have a curfew."

Currently, six men who successfully completed an initial recovery program elsewhere now live in the outreach home in northwest Oklahoma City.

"We want them to live in the real world, don't want to isolate them away from everything," Pellow said. "We want them to live in a neighborhood."

Jim Riley said he knows the program can help people turn their lives around.

"Once they come out of treatment, we try to show them how to do it here, how to live, how to live like a real man is supposed to live," Riley said.

The program will host a fundraiser this weekend at the Governor's Mansion. For more information on how to donate click on the Jim Riley Outreach Web site.