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Recovering addict opens outpatient treatment center

It was 2006, and drugs and alcohol ruled Clark Converse’s world.

Down to eating out of trash bins, Converse, 36, asked God for deliverance.

“While I was in treatment, I prayed that I find love again and to one day open my own treatment center to help other addicts like me,” he said.

Two years ago, the love prayer was answered when Converse married his high school sweetheart, Mamie.

This past Friday, the rest of his prayer came to be when he opened A Bridge to Recovery, an outpatient treatment center in Southaven.

“I couldn’t manage my own life three years ago, and now look at God,” Converse said at the ribbon-cutting of the center at 8829 Centre St.

Surrounded by family and business partners, Scott and Kostas Gilbert, Converse beamed as he talked about the center.

A Bridge to Recovery will specialize in outpatient treatment for adults struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, trauma and other mental health issues.

It will also offer intervention and group and individual counseling. The center also offers a unique referral program, where patients are referred to other treatment centers if A Bridge to Recovery does not or cannot meet their need.

Patients can pay for treatment through their private insurance or out-of-pocket. But if patients can’t pay, they will not be turned away, Converse said.

” I want to be the guy in DeSoto County and Shelby County for those who have lost hope,” he said. “My goal is not to make money, but to help.”

This will be the second A Bridge to Recovery center in Mississippi. The Gilberts opened the first center in Ridgeland, outside Jackson, in 2007.

Kostas Gilbert and Clark Converse are childhood friends who grew up in Jackson.

The old friends reconnected after Converse, sober and working for a treatment center in Memphis, shared his dream of opening his own center one day.

“We were getting a lot of people from DeSoto County at our center, so we knew there was a need for this center in this area,” said Scott Gilbert, who also battled drugs and alcoholism.

Located in a business office suite off State Line Road, A Bridge to Recovery in Southaven will begin taking patients April 6.

Converse, who will serve as the director of business development, is in the process of hiring the clinical staff and office manager.

“My faith makes me a good dad and a good businessman,” said Clark Converse, surrounded by his wife and their four children. “All of this is God-orchestrated, and I am blessed.”

source: http://www.commercialappeal.com

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