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Students at Olivet University live intentionally with proper support


Young people struggling with substance use disorder are having to make a difficult decision; continue their education or leave school to get help. Students attending Olivet University will no longer have to choose between their education or well-being, thanks to recovery assistance now available within the school environment.

The university is seeking to create a comprehensive collegiate recovery program (CRP) because now more than ever, young people are increasingly suffering from substance use disorder.  In fact, one in seven young adults aged 18 to 25 meet the criteria for substance use disorder, according to a 2018 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That means at Olivet University, at any given time there could potentially be three students in a classroom of 25 struggling with substance use disorder.

Since substance use disorder often develops and takes hold during adolescence– a time when young people are in college or living away from the safety net provided by home and family, CRP programs are growing as a way to provide youth with treatment services on campus. And for students at Olivet University, located in Mid-Michigan where the closest therapist requires a 30-minute drive, the reluctance to seek treatment is even greater than it is for a student attending a school in a more populated area.

In response to this growing need, Olivet University is creating a CRP to broaden the spectrum of support available to students with the help of $30,000 in grant funding from the Jamie Daniels Foundation, in partnership with The Children’s Foundation.

The funding will provide Olivet University students with unlimited substance use disorder counseling – an increase from just six sessions for students.  The grant award will also be used to offer high-need students enhanced academic and career support, sobriety-focused educational programming, and sober social events in a comprehensive center. 

“Olivet University’s CRP will offer services and support needed to mentor and counsel students working through the recovery or minimization processes,” explained Robin Chadderdon, director of Counseling, Health and Wellness at Olivet University. “By making available counseling and addressing stigma, shame and exclusion, all of which are essential to recovery success, the CRP will lead to improved outcomes on all levels for students.”

Success will be measured by the number of students in the collegiate recovery program who remain sober, minimize usage, and achieve their academic goals while moving forward with the life they envision. 

“Our (project) goal is to ensure that students can have successful sobriety, graduate with success, and experience improved health related outcomes.”


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