Collegiate recovery is an emerging field.

Collegiate recovery is an emerging field. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Collegiate recovery is an emerging field that is growing rapidly as more and more universities recognize the need to offer recovery services. The UT System established the UTSA Center for Collegiate Recovery after seeing the need for recovery services for all of their academic institutions.
The center was established in 2013 with funding from the UT System as well as a grant from the Stacie Mathewson Foundation, which focuses on youth recovery specifically targeting primary school, secondary school and college environments. The center’s purpose is to provide recovery services to students on campus by creating a safe, supportive community that allows them to connect with other students in recovery, while being academically successful.
Assistant Director of the UTSA Center for Collegiate Recovery Kristen McElroy discusses why it is important for a college campus to offer recovery services.
“Some people start drinking alcohol or using other substances during their college years. There are many factors that play into this including less supervision from parents, a desire to fit in with peers, stress and anxiety from being in a new environment and a perception that college is a place where many people are drinking and substance use is a norm,” McElroy said.
McElroy continued, “Statistics show that about 25 percent of college students report their alcohol use has negatively affected their academic performance [Wechsler et al., 2002].” Additionally, each year, about 1,825 college students between 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries [Hingson et al., 2009]. These numbers show the need for recovery services on campus. The UTSA Center for Collegiate Recovery provides a place for students to be connected on campus in constructive and positive ways without peer pressure about drinking or using drugs.”
The center provides a number of services, such as recovery meetings, that are held on the Main Campus and Downtown Campus, recovery support services, individual support services, assessments, educational workshops and an early recovery program. The center also has drop-in hours for students who would like to use the space to study, relax or socialize. Drop-in hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Recreation Wellness Center (RWC 1.808).
Brianne Hernandez, a senior digital communications major, shared her thoughts on the center. “I think it’s awesome that UTSA offers a recovery center for students trying to get their lives on track. Just goes to show UTSA really cares about the wellbeing of their students.”
Additionally, the center offers a registered student organization called Students for Recovery. Students for Recovery hosts sober events and activities on and off campus. The organization is open for students in or seeking recovery, students who have been affected by substance use, students who are allies of students in (or seeking) recovery and students who are seeking a sober lifestyle.
“We are fortunate at UTSA to have supportive administration that values these services and recognizes the importance of providing recovery resources on campus,” McElroy said.
If you or a friend is in recovery, in need of recovery or wants more information about the services offered by the UTSA Center for Collegiate Recovery, contact them at recovery@utsa.edu or call them at (210) 458-8317.

The UTSA Center for Collegiate Recovery’s meetings schedule is as follows: Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m., Downtown Open Recovery, Frio St. Building, (FS 1.512); Wednesdays at 6 p.m., Main Campus Open Recovery, Recreation Wellness Center (RWC 1.808); Thursdays at 2 p.m., Main Campus SMART Recovery, Recreation Wellness Center (RWC 1.810); Thursday at 4 p.m., Faculty and Staff Open Recovery, Recreation Wellness Center (RWC 1.808) and Fridays at 7 p.m., Stopped In Time AA, Recreation Wellness Center (RWC 1.808). 

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