Many students have a difficult time adjusting to college life. Complete self-reliance is a trial for students away from home for the first time, and the stress of school is a lot to deal with. For recovering addicts, this is made even more difficult by the struggle to stay clean. But with the founding of the new student group Students for Recovery, there is a new resource and support group for students recovering from substance abuse. For this group to be successful, students need to recognize the difficulties that recovering addicts face on campus and promote an atmosphere of understanding and support.

Students for Recovery was created by Ivana Grahovac, a School of Social Work graduate student. Grahovac, who dealt with a five-year addiction to heroin, hopes to create a support network for peers combating addiction. She found that the social opportunities presented to her in a college setting often centered on the consumption of alcohol, which makes for dangerous territory for recovering addicts. Grahovac is working with the School of Social Work and University Health Service officials to create a fun and healthy support system for student addicts.

One of the main goals of Students for Recovery is to combat the stigma often associated with addiction. People recovering from addictions are often portrayed as having dysfunctional lives. And the prevalence of alcohol and college parties can present a difficult choice for recovering addicts — enter a dangerous environment or face ostracism. Providing recovering addicts with an environment that’s safe and fun could greatly assist them in managing their addictions while still enjoying college life.

And while a support system of students who have experienced many of the same struggles will prove helpful, Students for Recovery needs the support of other students, too, if it is to be successful. Students need to be aware of the problems that the stereotypical college party poses for recovering addicts and be understanding of those who need to avoid addictive substances. They should also participate in Students for Recovery, because recovering addicts shouldn’t feel segregated from the campus community.

The University, to its credit, has already done its part to get behind Students for Recovery. The School of Social work and University Health Services have committed themselves to assisting in creating a healthy environment for students with addictions — as they should have. It’s the University’s responsibility to promote a message of acceptance, and it’s good that the University has recognized this. The University already provides resources like counseling services, but this new group extends the network of support.

Substance abuse can be a debilitating and painful issue. But Students For Recovery will help students looking to move beyond these hardships and enjoy college life. This effort should be one that other students and the University can get behind.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.