SOU starts student recovery program

Students in recovery from addiction can take advantage of a new program at SOU.

The Community of Recovery Program at Southern, is the only program of its kind on the west coast.

The program seeks to offer institutional support to enhance students’ overall academic and social success while in recovery, said CORPS Coordinator Taylor Burke.

CORPS will not be offering treatment to students, and those entering the program will have at least 90 days of sobriety under their belts before joining.

“These people are already successful students,” Burke said.  “They have higher GPAs, higher retention rates, and higher graduation rates than their nonparticipating peers.”

“These are the students we want to recruit.”

The program hopes to change campus culture by showing students alternatives to substance abuse and other addictions.

“We condone exploration in adulthood,” Burke said. “This is an environmental factor that puts more college students at risk.”

This cultural shift is set to take place over the next five to ten years.

The program will provide a broad range of meetings and support groups.

“We are providing an opportunity for students to exist in a cohort of support,” Burke said.

This support will allow for new friendships to grow between people with similar experiences, not only as students in recovery but also as allies to recovery.

“They just won’t be engaged in these activities in the same way,” Burke said. “We just want to create another option.”

Seven students are currently enrolled in the program, which plans to have a 15 student cap for this school year.

The program hopes to expand not only its participation, but also the opportunities and resources available to students. As the program grows, Burke hopes to develop a scholarship program, implement recovery housing, and add an additional academic component.

“We want to offer an interdisciplinary in addiction studies within five to ten years,” Burke said. “It will be really well-suited for those who want to engage in this type of work.”

“Imagine a student graduating with a degree in addiction studies and outdoor adventure leadership. It will be really interesting to see what they will do,” Burke said. “We are going to change the discussion. We are going to change the climate.”

A reception for the CORPS Program will be held this Tuesday from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Stevenson Union Arena.

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