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Warriors persevere: WSU creates space to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use

Photo via Detroit Free Press/Ryan Garza

Students at Wayne State University (WSU) are called warriors because they persevere. But right now, approximately 1,000 Warriors are being challenged by substance use disorder. To help ensure students continue on their path toward success, WSU is lining up sober supports.

In partnership with the Jamie Daniels Foundation, the university is working toward implementation of a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) that will foster an inclusive community promoting abstinence from drugs and alcohol — where students can talk openly, learn from each other’s experiences, and enjoy sober activities. 

Wayne State’s vision will be fulfilled thanks to nearly $50,000 in grant support from the Jamie Daniels Foundation. The WSU CRP will be in a stand-alone office at the Campus Health Center, and funding will be used to hire a part-time CRP coordinator and peer educator, enable drug and alcohol free events, develop educational materials, and more.

According to Dr. Jeffery Kuentzel, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Wayne State University who will oversee the CRP, “We aim to provide a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use and addiction.”

The degree of peer involvement is expected to drive CRP success, so WSU will emphasize student volunteer participation. Kuentzel further explained the CRP will recruit students to lead support groups, conduct outreach particularly to reach underrepresented and historically marginalized groups, and present on campus about substance use disorder.

Since Wayne State’s student population varies from non-traditional and commuter students, to first-generation college students, as well as those attending school while working, a student needs assessment will inform the first year of recovery programming at the CRP.

In developing the CRP, the Wayne State planning team will harness knowledge and expertise from fellow collegiate recovery program partners at schools and universities across the state of Michigan.

Wayne State University joins a partnership of nine colleges and universities offering collegiate recovery programming, all of which are proudly supported with grant funding by the Jamie Daniels Foundation.


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