More exposure needed for recovery housing
Letter to the Editor
I am writing in response to Marcus Tucker’s article from Sept. 13 entitled, “Task Force Releases Recommendations to Reduce Opiate Usage.” While I am very proud to attend a university that offers recovery housing for students overcoming addiction, I am confused to why it is not well known to many students. I understand fear for the stigma it may present to the University, however, since addiction is such a prevalent issue, the University should take pride this wonderful program.
According to Max Crowley, a prevention scientist at Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy — a program designed to assist teenagers in overcoming opiate prescription addiction — the best results for recovery is an approach that combines a recovery program that is school-based and one that was home-based. This dual approach intervention system led to a 10 percent decrease in abuse rates within the hosted population. In a university setting for students living on campus, school and living settings are combined. What this suggests to me, keeping in mind the results of Crowley’s program, is that each university that offers housing should also offer an alternative housing option for recovering addicts. Typically, a university environment is not a very conducive place for a recovering addict. Through the eyes of an addict, I can imagine there is perpetual temptation lurking in every corner of residence halls. According to the New Jersey State Epidemiological Profile for Substance Abuse from 2007, “alcohol use in college populations is normative (almost nine out of ten students drink alcohol).” In these recovery houses, there would be an absolute zero-tolerance policy for any potential addictive substances to assist in an easier, less temptation-filled recovery process.
Seeing how large the issue of addiction is among youth (and any age group for that matter), I believe a policy should be enforced stating that it is mandated for all universities to offer a recovery housing option. The enforcement of this policy will alleviate some of the social stigma associated with a university offering a recovery housing option. This will also assist in motivating young addicts to seek treatment in the faith of attending college once they have recovered.
Elana Forgash is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in biological sciences with a minor in public health.