Campus Event to Raise Awareness about Addiction and Recovery

Monday, September 21, 2015

UNCW Crossroads is hosting an event that celebrates recovery and the power of second chances.

The inaugural Celebrate Recovery raises awareness for students who are battling addiction and gives them an opportunity to share their stories about their road to recovery. The celebration will be held Tuesday, Sept. 29. It kicks off with an open house for the UNCW Collegiate Recovery Community in the Student Recreation Center, room 104, beginning at 4 p.m. 

A panel discussion about collegiate recovery will follow at 7 p.m. in McNeill 1005. The event features students from UNCW and other UNC institutions. Tim Rabolt, who founded George Washington University’s collegiate recovery program, is the special guest panelist. He was an intern in the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy.

“Our hope is that participants will begin to collaborate as a unified state, working together in solidarity towards a common goal of helping the next student,” said Jennifer Cervi, coordinator of UNCW’s Collegiate Recovery Community. “By transcending the past, edifying their own inner spirit, students utilize their stories to erase stigma on campus and change the personal journey. No student should have to choose between recovery and an education.”

The inaugural Celebrate Recovery event will be the spotlight event for UNCW’s Recovery Month and will highlight the recovery of UNCW and other students in the UNC system as well as George Washington University. It will feature students in various forms of recovery including drugs and alcohol as well as those affected by addiction due to a relationship with a family member or significant other, Cervi said.

“The primary goal for this event is to change perception towards addiction, as well as generate awareness towards the presence of collegiate recovery communities on university campuses today,” she said. “Our hope is to alter the stigma that is attached to this disease and create a more authentic picture of the journey of a student in recovery in a collegiate recovery community.”

It will also demonstrate what is needed to provide university support to a very special group of students, she added.

“The event will help to not only transcend the media stereotypes of addicts and alcoholics but also demonstrate the power of hope.”