As with many of the counties served by the Region 9 Prevention Resource Center, Reagan County is rural and sparsely populated. As of the 2010 census, the population of the county was 3,367 people. Reagan County is located between the larger cities of McCamey, Texas and San Angelo, Texas. The county seat of Reagan County is Big Lake, Texas where 2,936, or 87%, of the residents of Reagan County live. Regan County contains a large area known as the Spraberry Trend. The Spraberry Trend is a large oil field which covers portions of almost 9 counties in Region 9. The largest portion of the Trend is in Reagan County. The Spraberry Trend is thought to be one of the largest unrecoverable oil reserves with an estimated reserve of almost 10 billion barrels. With the latest oil boom occurring all over the Permian Basin, it is possible that exploration in this area may regain more traction after the last downturn.
When thinking about how to keep the youth of Region 9 health and drug free, the conversation frequently turns to the lack of activities, especially for youth. This problem is magnified in smaller counties where the closest town of over 10,000 people is an hour or more away. In the case of Reagan County, the distance from the county seat of Big Lake to the closest town with over 10,000 people is 71.7 miles. The nearest town of that size to Big Lake is San Angelo where the time to drive that 71.7 miles takes an hour and a half or more due to traffic. In areas like these, it can be hard for people to travel over an hour and a half to the larger cities to seek out recreational activities. It can also be very costly depending on gas prices. In communities like these, it is important to for members of the community to try and put on events for their youth to keep them healthy and drug free. Here at the Region 9 Prevention Resource Center, we have some ideas to help you get started planning.
Block Party – This sounds like a lot of work and a big ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. Involve members of the community in the planning to see what is important to them for the party. You can include food, games, and educational activities for a pretty minimal cost. One of the best parts of the block party is that it builds community. Research shows that communities that are connected and invested are less likely to have problems with drugs, alcohol, and violence.
Talk to your kids – We may sound like a broken record on this one, but it’s probably the most important. Research shows that kids learn the most about drugs, alcohol, sex, and a variety of other topics from their parents. If you don’t talk to them about it, someone else will. Make sure you control the message your kids get when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
Start a club – Find something you and your child are interested and reach out to other members of the community to find something they are interested in too. This is a great way to meet people with similar passions and to build passions in your child’s life. Some examples of clubs might be: chess club, book club, cooking club, or baking club. These activities can be low cost and hosted almost anywhere.
Have a game night – Invite members of your community and their kids over to play yard games,board games, card games, whatever kind of games. Events like this can be held at a home or a local community center. Many of these games can also be easily manipulated into educational activities designed to teach people (young and old) about drugs, alcohol and healthy choices. Get creative! If your community would like an alternative activity or more information about how to plan one, let us know! We are here to serve the community and promote positive change in the lives of our youth. Contact us at 432-333-4100 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Published August 8, 2018.