Actor Daniel Baldwin is taking the initiative to help addicts become sober in Austin. After a few trips to the Texas capital he realized a problem in the downtown area and he felt the need to do something about it.
Baldwin says it all started one night after a business trip as he was taking a stroll downtown. It was just another Saturday night with locals and tourists drinking and having fun but for some it was another night of battling addiction.
"We were just walking the streets going to get something to eat. We saw one guy, then another guy, then a couple. We can tell when we look at them what drug of choice it is," Baldwin says.
Baldwin, himself a recovered drug and alcohol addict, says he felt the need to take action. He chose another weekend to take a stroll and reach out working on behalf of the SOBA Recovery Center. He hopes to spread a message to addicts that they are not alone and that they can go to SOBA and take steps toward a healthy life.
SOBA is based out of Malibu, California and has centers in California, New Jersey, Arizona and Texas. Baldwin says if he can get someone to go it's great but getting the addicts to listen is the challenge.
"Sometimes you're just planting that seed," Baldwin says. "You're not going to get the shade from the tree for some time."
SOBA founder Greg Hannley says the people they help have changed over the years. "In the last eight years, it went from people who had a mixed range of problems with different drugs. Some pills, alcohol, coke a few heroin addicts to now probably 99 percent are 21 to 25-year-old heroin addicts."
Opiod abuse is a problem nationwide ad there have been several busts in Austin over the last few years.
Baldwin says, "We never know what's going to happen. We just go out there. We're a service. We serve God and we serve the SOBA Recovery Network."
Drug abuse isn't something easy for someone to let go of and Baldwin says he understands that. But he says he just wants to use his experience as a former addict to connect and try to save and nourish souls one "Hello" at a time.
"There's a message and there's hope," Baldwin says. "We give them hope."