Building a community of support for students in recovery

College can be stressful. For students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, the stresses of college life can be even greater. A new student-led initiative, the William & Mary Collegiate Recovery Program, seeks to offer a safe space and a community of support for students in recovery — while also reducing the stigma of addiction on campus.

A growing trend on college campuses, collegiate recovery groups are one tool universities are using to address substance abuse and support students’ emotional growth. Although the idea of a campus-based recovery group at W&M has long been discussed, it finally came to fruition this year when Alex Hilert, a doctoral student in clinical mental health & addictions counseling at the W&M School of Education, stepped up to lead the program.

“In general, college is not very friendly to people pursuing a sober lifestyle,” said Hilert. “We’re hoping to create a community that will be a support system and offer alternative ways for students to make connections.

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