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VOL. 127 | NO. 254 | Monday, December 31, 2012

Jeremy Park

Overcoming Addictions

By Jeremy Park

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Last week we highlighted Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Follow-up (JIFF), which is working with youth from in and around the juvenile justice system to equip them with the skills and support necessary to break the destructive cycle of criminal behavior. Drawing from another side of crime prevention, related to helping adolescents and adults fight drug and alcohol addiction, this week let us explore Memphis Recovery Centers.

Memphis Recovery Centers (MRC) is a licensed, accredited, nonprofit organization that has been treating those with drug and alcohol addictions in the Mid-South for over 40 years. Their primary goal is to help individuals and their families to begin a lifelong process of recovery. MRC has three residential programs, one serving adult men and women, and two programs for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The community-referred Youth Program relies on United Way funding and a substantial federal block grant, which sadly is about to be pulled due to the latest economic cuts. Referrals come from pastors, teachers, parents and others in our community. Their program is unique in that they are one of only a few in the state to offer residential treatment for adolescents. MRC is also only one of four in the state to receive this federal funding.

When talking about keys to making our city a safer and better place to live, work, and raise a family, fighting drug and alcohol addiction lies at the root of many issues. It also plays a part in the creative brain trust and production of our city. Growing up, my father shared many sad stories of top executives who lost their jobs and families, as a result of their addictions. Bottom line: battling drug and alcohol addiction deserves our attention and has far reaching affects personally and professionally for the health of our community.

Addiction treatment addresses many community issues such as crime, unemployment, healthcare and even the homeless population. According to the Community Alliance for the Homeless, there are approximately 1,800 homeless individuals on the streets of Memphis in one given day. Many of these individuals are struggling with addiction and mental disorders. MRC recently expanded its mission to include treating individuals with co-occurring disorders. This means they have a mental disorder in addition to their addiction such as depression, bi-polar disorder, or other diagnosis.

MRC has many opportunities for the community to become engaged. They have a number of fun, public events where they need volunteers and help on various steering committees, like with their MRC Silent Auction, typically held each April. They also need volunteers for their annual 5K Recovery Run, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

I encourage you to visit their website, www.memphisrecovery.com, or Facebook page. Contact Judy Goldberg at jgoldberg@memphisrecovery.com to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can help make a difference.

Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).

PROPERTY SALES 61 262 16,169
MORTGAGES 28 132 10,054
BUILDING PERMITS 88 424 38,360
BANKRUPTCIES 36 92 7,564