Alpha 180 at the Association of Recovery in Higher Education’s 9th Annual Collegiate Recovery Conference

July 17, 2018

Dozens of the nations’ Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) and their supporters convened in Houston, Texas for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) annual conference. The conference brings together thought-leaders in the collegiate recovery space to share and collaborate. The conference hosted many key professionals with career-long dedication to addiction and recovery advancement, including addictions researcher Dr. John Kelly of Harvard Medical School and Tom Hill, who formerly served as a Presidential Appointee as the Senior Advisor on Addiction and Recovery, among many others.

Academics, university faculty, addiction treatment professionals, and students came together for nearly four days of thought sharing with their shared goal of furthering the Collegiate Recovery movement. Noteworthy themes included research initiatives, CRPs’ best practices, and increasing inclusion for diverse populations.

Alpha 180’s Executive Director, Nico Doorn, had the privilege of co-presenting with University of Texas’ Center for Students in Recovery’s Director, Sierra Castedo. The presentation highlighted the current shortcomings in treatment center-CRP collaboration and proposed an ethical framework in which to do so. Alpha 180 is driven to bridge the gap from residential addiction treatment to entering a CRP. Today, few treatment centers are educated in the nuances of integrating a CRP into a client’s long-term continuing care plan. Nico and Sierra espouse that CRPs are best used for alumni with sustained recovery, rather than to generate referrals to treatment, which is how many for-profit centers view CRPs.

A common theme among many CRPs is the difficulty of attracting and retaining students. Despite statistics evidencing the presence of recovering students on campuses, as well as the massive number of young adults entering treatment and recovery, there are still relatively few students engaged in CRPs. Alpha 180 believes that ethical and appropriate collaboration between treatment providers and CRPs is an answer to engage more students with these amazing resources. As such, more recovering young adults will participate in a fulfilling education path and find their life’s passion. With CRPs’ 8% national average return-to-use rates, the Collegiate Recovery movement can’t afford to be overlooked.

By: Nico Doorn, Executive Director