National Addiction Recovery Month has arrived, and Mississippi State University has multiple options for students to begin the recovery process or become involved with the recovery community.
The Collegiate Recovery Community is an organization on MSU's campus specializing in helping combat addiction and bringing awareness to the addiction recovery process.
Riley Fitzpatrick, a senior communication major from Lexington, Kentucky, described the importance of having an organization like the CRC on campus because it provides a sober community for college students.
"I joined the CRC around three years ago. I actually came down and visited with the CRC staff before I had even started school here. It is just a really great community that is tight-knit. Being on a college campus as an alcoholic or addict, you feel like nobody else is going through what you are going through until you go to the CRC and see everybody is the same. It is honestly like a family, and I have been able to meet a lot of really good friends through it. It has been really good for me," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick outlined the lack of exclusivity in the CRC and explained any addiction is welcome in weekly meetings.
Blake Schneider, a coordinator of CRC and faculty adviser for Recovery Ally Dawgs, explained how the CRC provides guidance for those in recovery and how the community setting encourages individuals to overcome their addictions.
"The CRC is a support program for students who are in recovery from alcohol, drugs or process addictions. And so, we have eight to 10 meetings a week on campus where students can come together, build a community, build recovery capital and learn how to stay sober on a college campus," Schneider said.
According to Schneider, the community's agenda includes hosting weekly food events and providing sober tailgates during home football games.
Schneider explained the easy CRC application process for individuals looking to recover and said a scholarship opportunity is available for members with six months of sobriety.
"We have an application process where students who are struggling can just walk in today, and we can begin their recovery journey here," Schneider said.
The advisor highlighted the importance of spreading awareness about CRC across campus.
"We have different advertising to help spread awareness. If they have seen our stuff and they have been thinking about getting involved, this would be their sign to get involved and that no student who is struggling with addiction has to be alone," Schneider said.
Schneider extended beyond the CRC and described the purpose of the new Recovery Ally Dawgs organization. RAD, an extension of the CRC, allows students who are not in recovery to spread awareness of addiction and recovery to help transform MSU into a recovery-friendly setting.
The emergence of RAD symbolizes a further inclusive recovery community since it allows allies to support CRC members and their journeys.
Maggie Shepherd, a senior majoring in microbiology, is the president of RAD. The president highlighted how the new RAD organization works to build a bridge between the public and the CRC to form a support base for those in recovery.
"We want to raise awareness on addiction and recovery on campus to make Mississippi State healthier in that aspect," Shepherd said.
The RAD is currently trying to table on the Drill Field, and they also use social media and their website to advertise their organization.
The sole purpose of RAD's mission is for students to support other students, according to Shepard.
"I think if you are a student of Mississippi State, then you have had times where you have struggled or felt alone or felt you could not identify with people. So I feel like RAD is just another opportunity for you to support other students and have a community," Shepherd said.
For more information about Recovery Ally Dawgs and Collegiate Recovery Community, visit their website.