Collegiate Recovery: The Texas Trip

We had a great two day tour of The Ranch at Dove Tree (RDT) and the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery (CSAR) in Lubbock, Texas. We were really excited when we were invited to attend a “celebration of recovery meeting” with over 100 people our first night there. We watched students receive chips from sponsors, parents, and friends. We got to hear a person in recovery describe her personal journey of addiction and recovery. The leaders were nice enough to give us a “desire chip”. These are given out to people who are struggling and may not have many days sober, but are willing to come forward and ask for help—in other words, have the “desire” to change. The closing ceremony was very moving: we were asked to get into a big circle, join hands, and say The Lord’s Prayer together before being dismissed.

texas tech aa chip

The CSAR is in the middle of the Texas Tech campus. It is the “granddaddy” collegiate recovery center (CRC) in the nation. In order for students to be accepted as full members of the CRC community, there is a one year sobriety requirement. Other students, with less sober time, are welcomed and included in activities and meetings, but are not allowed to participate in some of the services until this requirement is met. The town of Lubbock has grown around this campus and Texas Tech has a huge, “Texas-sized” campus with beautiful Spanish architecture. The University is known for its outstanding engineering programs and law school.

The CSAR program is unique in that every student from out of state receives a $1000.00 scholarship to attend Texas Tech and is therefore eligible for instate tuition. Part of the services in the center include help on obtaining housing in a sober dorm community, help with class selection and advice on the proper course load. Help with tutoring and peer support is also available. Students are required to attend a group recovery meeting on Thursday nights and a life skills seminar. This seminar covers such topics as mindfulness, yoga, finances, meditation, and study skills.

On day two, we toured The Ranch at Dove Tree (RDT). RDT is really a continuum of care that can start with a 30 day intensive residential program, followed by an extended 30 program with more freedom and involvement in the community, followed by up to a year in a transition home. Roughly 60% of the students from the RDT enroll in Texas Tech and the CSAR. The beauty of this collaboration is that the students feel a real sense of connection and community and there is no stigma attached at Texas Tech with being in recovery. The students participate in community service, study abroad and attend classes together. We wish there were more programs with this strong level of support and collaboration between public and private programs and services. For more on collegiate recovery on college campuses check out The Recovery Campus Magazine. Here is an article about Texas Tech.

Pictured: May and Louise with Austin Monceret, Collegiate Recovery Specialist, in front of the building.

center for the study of addiction and recovery

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