Empowering students through recovery

Austin Farber

University Health Services is hosting Empowering Students in Recovery, a program targeted at students suffering from addiction support and assistance. 

The group will meet every Thursday to offer a judgment free discussion zone where students can comfortably share their experiences.

“Our main goal is to provide a place where you feel safe and can make connections with other students,” University Health Services counselor Maureen Keating said. “Seeing another student on campus from the group can help a struggling student get through the day.”

While the program has been around for a couple of years, it began to take off last semester. Any student dealing with recovery from substance abuse, or any other addiction is welcome to join the support group.

“I believe there are a significant number of students on campus that are in recovery from substances, mental health or are exploring sober lifestyles,” Keating said. “We need to reach those students and invite them to be part of a supportive and life changing group.”

According to a drugwatch.com article, more college students are abusing substances than ever before. This creates a bigger demand of students in need of counseling.


“At first, people may be timid to join a support group for addiction and recovery,” Alexandrea Garrett, president of Empowering Students in Recovery, said. “Often, people are ashamed of their troubles. But once they find out that they’re not alone, that there are people on our campus that are suffering through similar battles, I believe that they will feel less hesitant about coming.”

Garrett believes that the most necessary part to recovery is first admitting to yourself that you are an addict. It’s vital that people be true to themselves, facing their addiction with a willingness to seek out help.

Both Keating and Garrett believe the program has been a success for several students as they continue to return week in and week out. Every Thursday, a core group of between five and eight student meet to offer each other support as they battle addiction.

“I do think that more people would come if they knew about it,” Garrett said. “The more people coming to the group would offer many new perspectives on addiction and recovery which is extremely beneficial since every individual is unique and may require different forms of support.”

Teaming up with other students in recovery can benefit everyone.

“Speaking to others can help you look at things from a new perspective, especially if they are experiencing or have experienced similar situations to what you’re going through,” Garrett said. “I am not saying that it will be easy. In fact, it will be very difficult. But the truth is, you can recover from addiction. Coming to our support group will be very evident of that.”

“No one is alone, no matter how unique their situation is,” an anonymous student involved in the program said. “There is always someone who cares.”

Empowering Students in Recovery meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the DeWeese Health Center, Lower Level, Conference Room A, on the Kent Campus.

If you’re suffering from addiction, make a choice to benefit yourself by seeking help from the professionals from the University Health Services.