According to data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 14% of US students meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder. For Virginia Tech that means more than 4,000 students struggle to use alcohol or other drugs safely and may need recovery.
One of our students says:
“I was able to raise my in-major GPA from a 2.22 to a 3.06 in two semesters, and I credit all of it to my sobriety and those who are part of it. I’m currently a year and a half sober and am living a life where I am free from the bondage of drugs and alcohol and able to genuinely enjoy life. I’m able to do basic things like go to class, study, finish, and hand in tests. Above all else, I’m able to be useful to other people — friends, family, and newcomers to sobriety — which is a place I never thought I’d be.
For those who believe they may have a problem with drinking or drugs, the Recovery Community is a place students can find like-minded people who would be happy to help them find a new way of life that is rewarding and worthwhile."
There are many ways to support the work of the Virginia Tech Recovery Community, in the past financial support has offered student scholarships and have funded our annual graduation ceremony for our students in recovery. We are looking for support for the following activities:
Endowing a staff member to work full time with students will ensure that there is continuous support for students, access to programming, recovery support meetings and recovery coaching. Endowed staffing provides security for the Virginia Tech Recovery Community and will expand what they are able to achieve. Currently we are operating with a part time, short term grant funded member of staff.
The free hot coffee recovery bike project is an initiative to create new ways to discuss recovery on and off campus with a bicycle enabled coffee stand sponsored by Hokie Wellness. It has already attracted a lot of attention and is working towards the goal of reducing stigma around discussing substance use disorder on campus.
Read more about it here: Pour-over coffee on wheels has unique message
Your support can help us to continue the conversation that everyone needs to have but no one wants to have. The only way to reduce stigma is to help folks know they are not alone.
We need to start the conversation that everyone needs to have but no one wants to have. The only way to reduce stigma is to help folks know they are not alone.
Photo Credit: Ray Meese
Recovery houses are safe, healthy, family-like substance-free living environments that support individuals in recovery from addiction. While recovery residences vary widely in structure, all are centered on peer support and a connection to services that promote long-term recovery. Recovery housing benefits individuals in recovery by reinforcing a substance-free lifestyle and providing direct connections to other peers in recovery, mutual support groups and recovery support services.
Housing is a foundational aspect of many people’s recovery. It provides stability, community and accountability. There is currently only one recover house in Blacksburg for men, and no housing for women or families. We are working on supporting recovery housing in our community and exploring the possibility of a recovery living learning community for students at Virginia Tech. If you want to support this work you can donate.
You can donate to help us to raise funds for recovery housing or a recovery living learning community on campus for students.
Having a permanent space for our students provides security, belonging, safety and community. Called “The Roost” by our students its part study space, part lounge area, part café and has multiplied our membership almost overnight. Now based at Payne Residence Hall your support can ensure that we have a permanent base on campus.
Students in recovery often find themselves in difficult financial circumstances; in addition the part time jobs that support many students, such as working in bars or restaurants might not be appropriate for some of our students in recovery. You can support a student’s education and/or living expenses through funding a scholarship.
If you live and work locally at Virginia Tech, don’t forget to think about what part time work might be appropriate to offer to a student wishing to make ends meet.