RADFORD – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced Radford University will be part of a Virginia Department of Behavioral Health grant to help expand substance use recovery programs throughout the Commonwealth.
The $675,000 federally-funded State Opioid Resource grant will be administered by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), whose Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP), Rams in Recovery, will serve as a model for eight partner schools, including Radford University.
“As a University, we maintain a steadfast commitment to our students as they navigate a variety of challenges in their academic and personal journeys,” said Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “With funding from the federal government, support from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in partnership with VCU, Radford University is committed to enhancing our collaborative efforts to help students by offering a learning and living environment that is both caring and safe as they receive valuable resources.”
A CRP is an institutionally sanctioned and supported organization that provides a dedicated space and supportive environment for college students in recovery from substance use disorders. VCU’s Rams in Recovery program will provide guidance and oversight to the partner schools in developing and broadening on-campus recovery communities.
“Young people who are often living away from home for the first time can be particularly vulnerable, and college campuses can be difficult places if you’re trying to avoid drinking or using substances,” said Northam, in the press release distributed earlier this month. “Collegiate recovery programs provide critical resources to help students in recovery have a successful college experience and give them the tools they need to be healthy and thriving well beyond graduation.”
Over the next two years, each partner school will receive support in the manner of site visits, daylong retreats and monthly collaboration calls to assist in the development of programs and implementation of programming, as well as the expansion of outreach strategies and coordination of on-campus services. Staff members will be trained and connected to a national network of collegiate recovery professionals.
Radford University’s CRP will operate out of Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support Services, or SAVES Office, located in the lower level of Tyler Hall.
According to Director of Student Counseling Services Brian Lusk, students who participate in the University’s CRP will have full access to the Recovery Lounge in the SAVES Office, which opened in March 2019. Additionally, Lusk said, a portion of the grant funding will be used to hire a staff member to operate the University’s CRP.
“Radford University is committed to providing a culture of service, support and engagement to the entire campus community,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Trageser, Ed.D. “This new and valued intercollegiate partnership of exemplary higher education institutions, through the CRP initiative, will further support this mission, which is critical to the health and well-being of individual Highlanders and the Radford family.”