BEAR Inc. is a local recovery center that helps recovering addicts improve all aspects of their lives, even those not directly related to drugs or alcohol. Founder Ronnie Robinson said 12-step programs often refer to these as “outside issues” and gave an example of a horse thief that has been 16 years sober.
“Well, he might be sober, but he’s still a horse thief,” Robinson said. “So I wrote a four-step program for my own benefit about 13 years ago that helps people identify their own negative characteristics and outlines how to change their negative characteristics into positive ones.”
Bear, Inc. currently has 11 men living at the facility and they also host meetings twice a week. The meetings are coed and Robinson is looking to double those meetings in the near future.
“This program allows a person to take their deepest darkest secret and deal with it in an educational manner that doesn’t open any wounds so they can rid themselves of it. It’s something that I’m proud of. It’s something I’m committed to, and it’s something I hope the community will stand behind,” Robinson said.
Robinson also wants to educate the public at large about the
dangers of methamphetamine.
“There’s a real epidemic of it around here,” Robinson said. He believes this was caused in part when the laws were changed and methamphetamine possession was changed from a felony to a misdemeanor.
“That just flooded the market and now the price has bottomed out and it’s available to anybody, including our kids. They don’t know the dangers. They think, ‘oh, it’s just a misdemeanor, it can’t be that bad,’ and it’s ruining their lives. It’s ruining a lot of lives,” Robinson said.
“What I want to do is begin a coordinated community response team with an emphasis on methamphetamine,” Robinson said. He would like to bring together a team with law enforcement, mental health professionals and recovering addicts to put their combined knowledge into educating the community. He would like for the group to hold seminars at local schools, businesses and other locations in the area.
“Then we can educate everyone from the young people using, to the parents who might not know anything about it, to the employers about how to look for the early signs of methamphetamine use,” Robinson said. “This is a problem that impacts all Oklahoma families.”
For anyone who doesn’t believe methamphetamine use affects them, he challenges them to leave their lawn mower outside and see how long it lasts before it gets stolen.
“People will steal from each other, their families, and everyone else to support this habit,” Robinson said.