UNCC To Start Alcoholics Anonymous Program
by TONY BURBECK
August 22, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- UNCC hopes to establish an Alcoholics Anonymous program this fall for students.
The hope is it will be the start of a comprehensive effort to battle student alcoholism, called the Collegiate Recovery Program.
UNCC junior Dustin Clark made a video as a class project and put it on YouTube, showing how easy it is for underage students to get a case of beer into a dorm and drink.
"I have gotten cases of beer, put them in a backpack and walked up inside dorms multiple times,” Clark said.
College students drinking isn't anything new. Some consider it a rite of passage from high school to college.
Clark said he's had had a few beers, but some friends routinely have too much.
"I definitely know those people, I've seen them before,” he said.
So has Loren Scott-Brown. She says a close friend and classmate at UNCC majored in drinking more than academics.
"She would drink and not remember anything. It wasn't really fun to deal with that,” Scott-Brown said.
"It did affect her school work."
Students with similar stories is who UNCC is trying to help. This fall, UNCC plans to start its own Alcoholics Anonymous group then, over time, grow it to a broader Collegiate Recovery Program.
That could include providing students a safe place to meet with other students who are committed to their sobriety, 12 step meetings twice a week, relapse prevention seminars and possibly scholarships to those in the program who stay sober at least six months.
It's something Clark wants to see on campus.
"Get the understanding and knowledge that school should still come first for them,” he said.
Scott-Brown says she would have recommended that help to that friend.
"Some people get sidetracked by alcohol and they need somewhere to go,” she said. "They wouldn't think they were all alone in it."
UNCC school officials say in addition to bringing Alcoholics Anonymous to campus, they plan to survey students this fall about what would be most helpful for people in alcohol recovery.
UNCC says getting a collegiate recovery program going is not a quick process and will take time.
The school also has to find funding to pay for it.
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