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Texas Tech Helps Students Recovering From Addiction

Going to college should be happy time for every freshman, but for one recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, it can be a nightmare. “My junior year in high school, my sponsor said, ‘Hey, you ought to check out this program at Texas Tech,” said Aaron Weir, who is now a junior at the school. “After doing some extensive research, I knew that was where I was supposed to be. It was where I needed to be.” Texas Tech’s Center of Study for Addiction and Recovery opened 25 years ago and continues to help students navigate the murky waters of campus life. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, most people who drink heavily are between the ages of 20 and 22. Drug and alcohol abuse are blamed for contributing significantly to the 20 percent dropout rate of college freshman. “The best way to say it is we want to provide programs that will literally change the direction of kids’ lives,” said Kitty Harris, the director of Tech’s center. “We give them a community, a place to hang out that gives them a sense of support in an environment that is not particularly friendly for kids in recovery.” Weir is thankful to his Christian faith and his family for helping keep him clean and sober. The center requires each member to be sober and have good grades in all of their classes. Students have to attend three meetings each week, a monthly lunch, and a “celebration” meeting. “They do wild and crazy stuff like college kids do,” Harris said, “but they just do it sober. We want to give them as normal a college experience as possible without chemicals.” Weir does not believe he could be successful in his continued recovery without the Center. “The center is behind me 150 percent. The support I get is unreal. They want the best for you.”

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