According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, “the current level of binge drinking by U.S. college students is a serious problem” (Wechsler, et al. 2001). These findings would suggest that the environment of most university campuses in the United States is not conducive to, or supportive of, recovery from addictive disorders. The main recovery issue facing a collegiate recovering population is lack of peer support. Adolescents and young adults seeking a college education must attempt to navigate this environment on their own, often without the support of even a small group of their peers. It is difficult for students in recovery to find and develop a substance free social network. Additionally, they must combat the stigma associated with addiction/recovery if they choose to self-disclose.
Additionally, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has recently released research supporting long-term interventions for individuals struggling with chemical addiction. This research correlates the length of time spent in treatment and continuing care services with outcomes in recovery. The longer an individual is participating in formal treatment and continuing care programs designed to support recovery, the more positive the outcome. The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery provides a place that allows recovering students to extend their participation in a continuing care program, without having to postpone or eliminate the possibility of achieving their educational goals. Recovering students at the Center are enrolled in recovery programming on an average of one to five years. According to research, this should greatly improve their chances at achieving quality, long-term sobriety.
The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery at Texas Tech University has worked diligently to design a Collegiate Recovery Community that provides a nurturing, affirming environment in which individuals recovering from addictive disorders can find peer support while attaining a college education. This Community is founded upon values that enable students to develop behaviors and skills necessary to flourish in recovery. These values include:
- Clean, Sober and Healthy-students involved in the CRC attend Twelve Step meetings regularly, are encouraged to utilize sponsorship within their twelve step fellowship and receive education in self-care that enhances all aspects of mind, body and spiritual health.
- Connected in Community-opportunities are provided for members of the CRC to fellowship with one another and to be of service to others at the campus and local levels.
- Commitment to Academics-CRC members have the unique advantage of individualized academic advising.
- Civility in Relationships-students in our Community are committed to principles such as integrity, respect, responsibility and gratitude that foster personal and professional relationships.
Through this holistic approach to continuing care for recovering students, the Collegiate Recovery Community is able to address the problems and issues associated with the transitions from high school to college and from active addiction into recovery.
The pairing of education and recovery builds esteem in the students involved with the Collegiate Recovery Community. Their accomplishments translate into reduced problems for society, increased earning potential, heightened community involvement, and broader commitment to service. Many recovering students choose to share their personal histories with their peers, their educators, and their community in an effort to show that addiction is a treatable disease, not a moral weakness.
Collegiate Recovery Community Seminar
Seminar in Addiction/Recovery is offered as an academic class and is designed to foster relationships among members of the Collegiate Recovery Community and to provide an arena in which members can receive feedback and guidance from peers on life issues.
All members of the Collegiate Recovery Community are required to register for this one-hour seminar class. The class is facilitated by members of the Applied Professional Sciences faculty who are associated with the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery. Students meet weekly for one hour to explore the behaviors and skills needed to successfully achieve quality, long-term recovery from physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual perspectives. Additionally, this class focuses on specific relapse prevention strategies for the collegiate population.
Twelve-Step Meetings and Other Support
The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery believes in the effectiveness and importance of The Twelve Steps in treating addiction and enhancing the lives of recovering persons.
Currently, there are Twelve-step meetings Monday through Friday on the Texas Tech Campus. Texas Tech University has demonstrated support of these meetings by providing a facility to the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery for the sole purpose of housing meetings. This meeting space is called the Serenity Center and houses all of the on-campus meetings. Twelve-step groups currently meeting at Tech are: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), Families Anonymous, and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). As well as these groups, the Center hosts a weekly All Recovery Discussion Meeting. In addition to meetings, the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery contracts with professionals in the community to meet the other needs of our students.
Recovery from addiction involves a peer support process. The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery is utilizing that same peer support process to assure the academic success of our students.
The Center has developed a peer tutorial program that uses the strengths of some students to benefit the growth of others. By encouraging our students to help each other academically, the Center has boosted the G.P.A. of many students. Our average G.P.A. usually ranges from 3.4 to 3.6. The Center also has a study hall available for students to use that provides them with a quiet, structured environment to do homework. It is our goal to assist recovering students in any and every way possible. The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery believes that academic success is a highly important part of building the self-esteem of our students and in helping them to become productive, resilient participants in society.
Association of Students About Service (ASAS)
The Collegiate Recovery Community is committed to the value and importance of community service. Following the guidelines of the Twelve-Step philosophy, the CRC believes that service is crucial to maintaining long-term, quality sobriety.
Recovering students at Texas Tech University have formed the Association of Students About Service (ASAS), a registered on-campus student organization that is committed to serving the local community. Each semester, ASAS members select a service project within the Lubbock community. Past service projects include: Habitat for Humanity, food drives for the Lubbock Food Bank, clothing drives for Inside Out (a local faith-based substance abuse program that works specifically with the homeless population), and cleaning and repair of local half-way houses and Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouses. Individual members of the Collegiate Recovery Community are also involved in taking Alcoholic Anonymous meetings to the Lubbock County Jail and area wide prisons.
Scholarship Program for Recovering Students
Currently, the Center is able to provide financial assistance to all participants in the Collegiate Recovery Community. Scholarship awards are made only in the fall semester and in order to qualify for this assistance, a student must strive to fulfill our commitments to the values of Clean, sober and healthy; Connected in community; Commitment to academics; and Civility in relationships. In addition the following guidelines for scholarship apply:
- Minimum one year of complete abstinence from alcohol, drugs and/or all process addictions.
- One year out of a therapeutic living environment.
- Must enroll for, and complete, at least 12 hours credit as an undergraduate and 9 hours credit as a graduate student with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better.
- Scholarships range from $500.00 to $5,000.00 per semester, excluding summer semesters. The amount of scholarship money received by a student will depend on their commitment to our values, leadership within the Community, and G.P.A.
The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery is located at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The Center operates under the College of Human Sciences and is affiliated with the Department of Applied Professional Sciences. Our building is situated between the College of Human Sciences and the Child Development Center on 15th and Akron.
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Eating Disorder Program
The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery is committed to providing support and services to individuals in recovery form eating disorders. It is estimated that one in four female college students suffers from an eating disorder. The Center has included recovery support for this population in the Collegiate Recovery Community.
Currently, the CRC has developed a specific track which can address recovery from eating disorders as a student’s primary recovery issue or as a co-occurring disorder alongside alcoholism/drug addiction.
The Collegiate Recovery Community uses a Twelve-Step philosophy to guide eating disorder recovery. One section of the Seminar in Addiction/Recovery class is dedicated to dealing specifically with eating disorder recovery. Additionally, scholarships are available for participants in the Collegiate Recovery Community who are in recovery from an eating disorder.
The eating disorder specific track has been available at the Center for Addiction and Recovery through the Collegiate Recovery Community for the past three years. The cohort of individuals participating in this program has grown steadily since its implementation. Many participants now have multiple years of recovery from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.