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New center hopes to offer support and accountability to students recovering from alcohol, drug addiction

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Friday, April 12, 2013

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

News Topics: mental health, student life

The University of Texas at Arlington will launch a new Center for Students in Recovery this fall to provide support, resources and a safe environment for students who are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction.

The center will operate under the UT Arlington Division of Student Affairs and be funded in part by a $100,000 grant from The University of Texas System Board of Regents. The board allocated $1 million toward the establishment of Collegiate Recovery Centers at eight of the System’s nine academic institutions last fall.

“We are pleased to be able to start a student in recovery program to meet the wellness needs of our students that present with alcohol and drug concerns,” said Frank Lamas, vice president for Student Affairs.

An estimated 10 percent of U.S. adults are in a state of recovery from drugs or alcohol, Lamas said. The center will offer recovery coaching, programming, sober social activities and mentorship for students across the campus.

“The earlier those individuals can reach that state of recovery, the more likely they are to be successful in college and life beyond,” Lamas said. 

The UT System centers will be modeled after the UT Austin Center for Students in Recovery, which was founded in 2004. Each year, the UT Austin center serves about 200 people affected by addiction. Last year, the center won the 2012 American College Health Association Best Practices in College Health Award for its efforts to help collegiate students in recovery.

“The Board of Regents has a sincere interest in ensuring the success of its students both in and out of the classroom,” said Steven Hicks, UT System Regent and a strong supporter of the initiative. “We are profoundly grateful to UT Austin and its Center for Students in Recovery for leading an effort to implement more recovery programs across all campuses. And we are incredibly proud of our students who seek support and help when they need it.”

Nationally, about 40 institutions of higher education offer some level of support earmarked for students in recovery. But only 25 campuses nationwide currently operate centers similar to the one planned for UT Arlington, said Heather Snow, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.

The location of UT Arlington’s new Center for Students in Recovery is still being finalized. Initial staffing will come from graduate assistants and staff from other offices within Student Affairs.

The division is currently seeking faculty members and University staff who are interested in shaping the direction of the center to serve as mentors and volunteers.

“We want people who understand the battles the students face in their recovery journey, whether those experiences are your own or your experience with a family member or friend,” Snow said. “Our students can benefit from your willingness to stand by their side as an ally.”

UT Arlington faculty, staff, students, and community businesses that want to partner with the Center for Students in Recovery are invited to attend a reception scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the E. H. Hereford University Center’s Palo Duro Lounge, 300 W. First St.

For more information about the UT Arlington Center for Students in Recovery, contact Heather Snow at hsnow@uta.edu or call (817) 272-2354.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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