Program for recovering addicts expands to meet diverse community needs

In 2017, there was a 50 percent increase in attendance for weekly Students for Recovery 12-step open meetings, according to Angie Bryan, the GFR Recovery Program Manager.

In response, GFR ​announced three new support groups for students and community members recovering from addiction. The new S.M.A.R.T. Recovery meeting and Graduate/Non-Traditional Student 12-step meeting diversify the organization’s approach, allowing for students with different paths and a more cognitive method of addressing addiction.

GFR also began hosting an Alanon meeting for family members and loved ones affected by people with substance use disorders, who are either working or not working toward recovery.

Bryan founded GFR in the fall of 2012 after working in the UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program as a marriage and family therapist.

After researching other campus-based collegiate recovery programs, Bryan found a similar program at Texas Tech University, which provided grants through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for replication programs on other campuses.

“I’ve been in long-term recovery for 13 years so this is something that I was really interested in,” Bryan said. “So [SAMHSA] paid for me to go out there and see their program and see how we might start it here.”

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