Universities across the country have recently discovered the value of collegiate recovery communities.
Building on this national trend, NRAP, a project of the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT), is designed to provide an environment of nurturing support and peer connections for students recovering from substance and behavioral addictions and students choosing a substance-free lifestyle.
The college experience is full of transitions and opportunities. This transition can be particularly overwhelming for a student choosing to live a sober life within a peer culture often viewed as substance-friendly. Nevada’s Recovery and Prevention Program utilizes existing resources to enhance opportunities for students recovering from substance and behavioral addictions to remain connected to their peers while meeting their desired goal of healthy living. Through these efforts, NRAP hopes to influence expectations, encourage recovery, and inspire changes in university students’ drinking behaviors.
With start up funding from the Stacie Mathewson Foundation, NRAP augments other efforts by CASAT to educate and enhance the behavioral healthcare workforce while decreasing stigma about addiction and its impact on the individual, their family and friends, and the community.
Since its beginning in 2011, NRAP has grown from a few students meeting up to run impromptu 12 step meetings on the lawn of the university to a program with 2 locations (UNR and TMCC) and now possesses a large student base. Our parent program CASAT- Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT site) has played a crucial role in founding our program and continues to provide a substantial amount of support to the continuation and growth of all three program locations as well as opens doors to academic opportunities for the students at UNR.
NRAP provides an array of student facilitated support and recovery oriented meetings. Having the students lead these groups creates an environment where peer connections can happen and where bonding through shared experiences takes place. Student run groups are an important part of the program not only because it provides the peer to peer connections that are necessary for prolonged recovery but also, because it makes the meetings more accessible to the students in between their classes. Meeting times are set via the students’ schedules in order to best accommodate their busy academic obligations.
Each program location has a group of student workers who help to keep the lounges open and available for students during normal business hours throughout the academic semesters and at limited times through the summer and winter breaks. The program coordinator and director are both located at the University of Nevada, Reno’s main campus and are both very involved in the programs at both locations.