Panthers for Recovery

Collegiate Recovery A Focus at Pitt

Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRP’s) have become increasingly prominent across college campuses in the United States over the past ten years. They serve as a way for students recovering from substance abuse to come together and find the resources that they need to achieve their personal and academic goals. According to new Pitt CRP Coordinator Jenny Huff, the Collegiate Recovery Program “initiates connections with students to show that they aren’t alone, and that there is somebody in their corner to help them maneuver and navigate these really big challenges.”
 
A University of Pittsburgh alum and Licensed Social Worker, Huff joined the Student Health Service in October. With this new role, she acts as the designated staff member to take off the CRP here at Pitt. Studies show that Collegiate Recovery Programs have been highly successful, with student participants having an average relapse rate of only 8%, as well as higher GPAs and retention rates than their peers at a given university. Although the CRP is relatively new to Pitt, Jenny has big goals for the program moving forward.
 
In addition to connecting students to available treatment centers, Jenny would like to make the Collegiate Recovery Program more visible at Pitt while maintaining it as a safe and anonymous space for students to seek support. She noted, “it’s important to break the stigma and show students that recovery doesn’t have to be something that you hide or feel ashamed of.” Furthermore, finding a designated gathering space for CRP students to meet weekly will provide them with a comfortable environment to share their experiences and offer each other encouragement. The CRP aims to create a recovery plan for participants to be accountable to themselves and to others, and be checked in on once or twice a semester to ensure that they are reaching their goals.
 
Jenny believes that it is important to offer students in recovery additional events and activities so that they can have fun in college without using substances. She would like to collaborate with other schools in the area to help students meet new people and expand their support networks. The CRP is holding a Cookies & Cocoa – Stress Relief Event open to all students on December 5 from noon to 4 p.m. in the WPU Ballroom. This is an opportunity to pursue positive stress management activities, like chilling out with therapy dogs and warming up with cocoa and Insomnia Cookies!
 
If you are interested in learning more about the Collegiate Recovery Program and their upcoming events, please email shscrp@pitt.edu or see the Panthers for Recovery Web page.
 
By: Olivia Newport