SHU Collegiate Recovery Program

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BY Amanda de Lauzon

Features Editor

This week the new recovery lounge celebrated its grand opening. It welcomes any students struggling with addiction as well as those looking to give support and get involved in the recovery community.

The lounge is located in the basement level of the science center next to registrar and student accounts in the main academic building.

“All I ask is that the students of the university welcome and see someone who struggles with addiction as no different than themselves,” said James Cafran, Collegiate Recovery Program Manager.

The new lounge is open to anyone with a desire to stop using drugs and alcohol, and hopes to create a safe place for people to openly discuss addiction and maintain sobriety.

The lounge facility will offer a space where students in recovery can socialize and hold meetings. Along with this, Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous meetings will be held on campus, and a dedicated staff trained in recovering from addiction will work with students.

The new center will offer a variety of other services. This will include 12-step meetings every Monday night at 7 p.m., all-inclusive recovery meetings every Wednesday afternoon starting September 18 at 2 p.m., yoga and meditation every Thursday evening, and retreats and activities sponsored by the program.

“This center will not only give a place for students in Recovery a place to go to for help, but also fight the stigma that is attached to addiction,” said Cafran.

The mission according to the Sacred Heart website is “…to create a safe and supportive educational environment where students in recovery from substance use disorders can be the best version of themselves and live to their best academic potential. To give every student the best possible chance at achieving success though physical, mental and spiritual growth.”

The idea for the center was born in 2018 from a longtime member of Sacred Heart University’s board of trustees, Bill Mitchell, and two then-students, Tim Holt and James Cafran. They wanted to create a space where students could maintain sobriety while also working towards their college degree.

They saw how important a good support system is, living a sober and healthy lifestyle through their past road of addiction. Collegiate Recovery wanted to give students who felt like an outcast a chance to feel like they are regular college students no matter what hardships life gave them.

Students can help out and support the recovery community by attending activities and events to raise awareness and support those whose lives has been affected by addiction.

One of the events coming up for the program is the Stomp Out Stigma Recovery Walk which will take place Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Seaside Park, 1 Barnum Dyke, Bridgeport.

The event is free to anyone who wants to fight the stigma connected to addiction and to affirm that recovery is possible. Along with the one mile walk, there will be beach yoga, Tai Chi, aromatherapy, art displays food trucks and more.

“The center is not just for people who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction,” said Cafran. “It’s for anyone who supports a Recovery lifestyle.”

The center hopes to have a sober house up by fall 2020 and plans to only increase in size. The goal is to have a dedicated building on campus where students in recovery can live together in a safe space where they can accompany each other in their sobriety.

“We’ve created something that can make any person the best version of themselves as long as they are willing to do the work,” said Cafran.

For more info, you can contact James Cafran, The Program Coordinator at
cafranj@sacredheart.edu.

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