The 12 Steps of a 5K

In 2011, David Rosenberg, now 36 years old, was struggling. He was sick, losing his hair, stuttering, and eating out of control. At 5’11” he checked into Memphis Recovery Centers (MRC) weighing over 250 pounds. MRC provides outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults.

“I was emotionally destroyed,” said Rosenberg.

However, his substance abuse began decades before as a sophomore in high school. Speed and pain pills were his preference. As the years of substance abuse added up, Rosenberg found it difficult to live.

“Before recovery, my intent was to feed my addiction and attempt to be subtle about it,” he said. “My selfishness and constant neediness worsened over time, and eventually it was impossible to pretend that I was okay.”

As Rosenberg’s condition progressed, he began heavier drug use and other self-destructive behavior.

“I began cutting myself, purging after eating, and sleeping compulsively,” he said.

At the height of his addiction, Rosenberg decided to try MRC. During this time, he began their 12-Step program and healthier habits.

“While in treatment, I was introduced to the MRC 5K. I was inspired to run it once I was healthy enough to do so,” he said. “I also received a lot of encouragement and training from friends.”

Rosenberg began to take advantage of the MRC offerings and his day-to-day schedule transformed. He began training for a 5K, praying, eating a healthy diet, and enrolling as a student at the University of Memphis.

Cayla Coleman, manager of Marketing at MRC, says that residential and outpatient treatment services for MRC include music and art therapy, individual and family therapy, family education and aftercare, and in-house school for youth. Most of the programs are covered by insurance, but MRC also has a sliding scale payment method for services.

As with any addiction, the toll of bad habits can impact family and friends.

“My family was initially skeptical of my recovery process, as they should have been. But, they have been a huge source of encouragement in every way,” said Rosenberg. “So many people have had my back along the way, and my relationships in the recovery community have been amazing.”

MRC, or any rehabilitation center, is never a one-and-done solution to an addiction; instead it’s a progress.

“If I’ve learned anything from my experience, I have learned that addiction does not go away,” said Rosenberg. “The symptoms of my addiction are not so difficult to dealt with today, but they’re still there.”

While the remnants of his addiction are still present, the success of the 12-Step program is valid.

Coleman says MRC alumni have nearly double the success rate of the national average following addiction treatment. MRC treats a total of 300 adolescents and adult patients a year.

Over the past four years, Rosenberg’s life has changed, yet it is still a work in progress. He now weighs 180 pounds and maintains a healthy lifestyle.

As advice to individuals seeking treatment, Rosenberg says to consider 12-Step recovery and never give up.

MEMPHIS RECOVERY CENTERS (MRC) provides help for adolescents and adults dealing with substance abuse problems and co-occurring mental health issues. If you are struggling with substance abuse, or if you would like help for someone who is, please call (901) 272-7751.

By Erica Freeman

Photo by Sarah McAlexander

1 Comment on The 12 Steps of a 5K

  1. Christy Murphy // January 9, 2016 at 5:33 PM // Reply

    My daughter has gone through this program and I can’t say enough good things about it! It has saved her life. I am a HUGE supporter of MRC. Love MRC 🙂


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