Welcome to the Collegiate Recovery Community

Mission Statement

GW is proud to host a Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) to support students in recovery from substance use disorders, eating disorders, and/or other process addictions.  We support all pathways to recovery and define recovery as a lifelong commitment to pursuing optimal health and well-being. Our hope is that the CRC will provide a supportive community to help you navigate recovery, thrive in your environment, and strive to be the best versions of yourselves, while pursuing your academic, professional, and personal goals.

Vision

To create a collegiate environment where students who are in recovery from a substance use/addiction disorder, mental illness, or dual diagnosis can achieve their goals and live to their full potential.

What are the benefits of being a CRC member? 

You will: 

  • Be part of a strong, healthy, connected, and supportive peer community
  • Have 7-day/week access to the CRC Serenity Shack
  • Have the opportunity to attend member special events, outings, etc.
  • Have leadership and professional development opportunities

The CRC Serenity Shack

The CRC has designated a space on campus called the "Serenity Shack." It is a place for students to gather, relax, support each other, and study. In addition to informal uses, the CRC members use the space for organized weekly meetings and events. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education notes: "dedicated space communicates pride and belief in the value of the recovering identity. It additionally promotes taking ownership and responsibility for the space, the identity and the legacy of being in recovery in college." 

How do I become a member of the CRC?

Membership in the CRC is open to all GW students who are actively pursuing recovery. We ask that students:

  • Fill out an application
  • Participate in a recovery program of their choice
  • Sign a commitment agreement
  • Have individual check-ins with CRC staff members
  • Attend weekly CRC check-ins

Why Collegiate Recovery Programs Work

Collegiate recovery programs are not entirely new. The idea of providing specialized support for college students in recovery actually became a reality in the 1970s at Brown University. Rutger's University and Texas Tech University followed suit in the 1980s and the Augsburg University StepUp program began in the late 1990s (White & Finch, 2007).

What makes a program a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP)? These programs are more than just "dry" or "sober" communities. Colleges and universities designate first and second-year student residence halls as "alcohol-free" but unfortunately, this designation and the reality can be quite different things. A CRP is much more than simply an "alcohol-free" space. A CRP is a program which offers specialized and strategic support to help students achieve growth and success in their recovery and academic journey. At GW's Collegiate Recovery Community, we also recognize that addiction and mental health are often experienced in tandem, and our innovative program addresses both addiction recovery as well as ongoing mental health support for students to be able to have a holistic recovery support experience. 

On another level, CRPs are counter-cultures to the "party-scene" in the college environment. Research for several decades has illuminated the entrenched culture of binge drinking and drug use on college campuses (Wechsler & Weithrich, 2002). CRPs offer an alternative, safe, and supportive environment and culture for students attending college while maintaining their recovery. 

Research is bringing to light the effectiveness of CRPs for students in recovery. A strong community of recovering peers provides an important buffer to the risky environment of college drinking. This community also provides an important social network that helps to meet the belonging needs of these students (Harris, Baker, Kimball, & Shumway, 2007). The community also helps to provide multiple opportunities for sober and safe recreation to help students get the entire "college experience" but without the negatives and regrets. 

Contact Us
If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact us at [email protected].