Despite being clean for 37 years, Marcus Meyers still identifies as a recovering addict.
“If you were an addict and you stop using, your addiction goes into remission. It does not disappear. I’m still an addict,” says Meyers. “I have been clean for a very long time, but I’m still working on my particular flavor of crazy. It’s a lifelong journey.”
Formerly a member of the board of directors for Austin Recovery, Meyers is now the CEO of his own recovery clinic, Personal Responsibility Recovery. Located in Bertram, the clinic is an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center for men.
“Our mission is to provide the emotional, physical, and spiritual connections necessary for long-term recovery,” says Meyers.
The center has 12 beds and offers a 21 or 28-day program and a 10-day program called timeout.
“The timeout program is designed for people who already have a lot of time in recovery, or who have demonstrated the capability of being in recovery, and they relapse,” says Meyers.
While other centers may have 60 or 90-day programs, Meyers chose a shorter length to cater to clients with jobs.
“People with jobs are not capable of taking off work for 60 or 90 days. You can take off two weeks, 28 days, and that's kind of like you're taking a vacation from work, a lot of companies will allow that,” said Meyers. “Many times jobs prevent people from getting into recovery. They fear losing their jobs so they don’t seek treatment, but I promise you that within a year, without treatment, you may lose that job because of addiction.”
Due to the shorter length of their program, Meyers and his team emphasize their focus on gaining and maintaining abstinence.
“Most treatment centers want to focus on the underlying issue. They want to focus on the trauma, they want to focus on the ‘cause’, I understand that, but what we want to focus on is the process of staying clean while you work on that,” he said. “Exploring trauma and the past is a tough journey. And you're gonna be on that journey for a while. And when it gets really, really tough, some people choose to relapse. They try to self-medicate as a way to show their way out of the past.
“What our center wants to do is teach you how to stay clean through that journey and provide you the tools so you don’t self-medicate or relapse,” Meyers said.
Chief Operating Officer, Kerbey Stewart, MD, also has personal experience with addiction and shares the same recovery philosophy with Meyers.
“Many people are unable to live life on life's terms because life's terms can just kick them in the teeth, and then you give up and just hide behind substances and you do it again and again,” Stewart said. “The real trauma and pain of addiction are that it isolates and the solution is to build connections. So we do a lot of relationship work. And we do a lot of work around discovering your own personal viability, coping mechanisms, and self-worth.”
Stewart described the different treatments and therapies the center offers.
“All the treatments utilize evidence-based practices. There's individual, group therapies, educational groups, and then we have a strong emphasis on 12-Step work,” Stewart says. “We're going to push that really hard because the 12-Step community provides the most secure post-treatment environment for an individual to continue to improve in their recovery.”
Contributing to the treatments are the surroundings of the clients' living quarters. The center sits on 121 acres, 30 of which are heavily wooded and include a labyrinth of trails.
“Addiction is both a result of isolation and it causes isolation. Being here at the ranch is an opportunity to overcome that. To reconnect to be connected,” Meyers says.
“The men, while they're here, are going to have every opportunity to form strong rewarding relationships,” Stewart added. “They're gonna help each other and hold each other accountable for the personal responsibility part of the recovery process. And hopefully, those relationships will become lifelong.”
Although clients will live at the center while undergoing treatment, Personal Responsibility Recovery does not offer medical detoxing. However, they refer clients to their preferred detox center Crestone Wellness, located in Taylor.
In the future, Meyers aims to extend the center.
“Our fondest hope is when we expand in a couple of years, to build a dorm over here that has another 12 beds for women. I would love to build another dorm, too, with 12 beds for women with children,” Meyers said.
Although Stewart and Meyers hold many similarities in their beliefs and goals to help others, they may never have come together without the help of Thomas Brown, company president.
“I grew up with Marc. We lived about five doors down from each other. When he got into drugs, I helped him get out of it. And now, when he mentioned that he would love to open up a place like this and help addicts, I said 'yes. I'll help with that', and that's how we got here,” said Brown.
While addiction may be a vicious cycle, so is the cycle that works to combat it. Brown, and recovered addicts like Meyers and Stewart worked together to bring Personal Responsibility Recovery to life -- a place that prides itself on its work and provides accessible and affordable care to struggling addicts.
For more information about the center go to: www.personalresponsibilityrecovery.com