Friday, August 29
Friday, August 29
Posted: Feb 14, 2014
Nevada Recovery and Prevention (NRAP), a support community based at UNR, is expanding its reach to Truckee Meadows Community College with a lead TMCC professional counselor, peer support specialist and a dedicated space in the Counseling and Career Services Center.
“Addiction doesn’t discriminate,” said Derek Hughes, peer support specialist intern. “And the hardest part is not knowing about the resources available.”
Kristen DeMay, Counselor at TMCC, agrees that having a resource like NRAP will help students thrive during college.
“There is support for students in recovery, or students who choose to live a healthy and sober lifestyle,” said DeMay. “If they have a connection to another person, whether it’s another student, or a staff member, it helps them succeed; to graduate.”
NRAP at TMCC is located in the Red Mountain Building 325J, and will offer meetings and a menu of four services to start. Students may attend these sessions, or go to meetings held at UNR in the William Raggio Building Room 1001.
DeMay stresses the importance of making connections with other students choosing not to drink alcohol. “Students feel isolated,” DeMay said. “There’s a stigma. ‘What will other people think of me if I don’t drink?’ Drinking is seen as the social norm.”
Hughes agrees that students need a safe and fun place to interact; a place to meet peers and not feel alone.
“There’s an amount of fear that goes along with an addiction,” Hughes said. “You have a behavior that creates a feeling of shame, and then you fall back into the behavior because it’s a coping mechanism and is a way of comforting that shame. It’s hard to break out of the cycle. It takes strength and courage to initially come and get help.”
The purpose of collegiate recovery communities is to reduce stigma for recovering students, focus on academic success and give students the opportunity to give back to others in the community.
“Students at TMCC juggle quite a bit, so they need peer support meetings convenient to their location and time,” DeMay said.
“A lot of students here work and have families at the same time they are attending school,” Hughes said. “NRAP also helps with a seamless transition to UNR, their support system is already in place.”
The first Collegiate Recovery Community was piloted at Texas Tech 27 years ago this fall, in 1988. Since that time, colleges around the U.S. have developed programs based on this model.
Daniel Fred, graduate of Texas Tech, and project coordinator at UNR, has led the NRAP program in Northern Nevada.
Fred’s review of Texas Tech and national research cites that students in collegiate recovery communities are proven to have a higher GPA, higher retention rate and higher graduation rate than that of the general university population.
NRAP is a project of the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT), an academic program at UNR, and sponsors communities of helpful assistance for students who choose to live a sober lifestyle. NRAP is funded by the Stacie Mathewson Foundation.
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