BY Bryan Ramos | THE RIDER
Recovery from addiction is an uphill battle. It can be a quiet, slowly suffocating struggle that may or may not be seen by others on the outside.
September is National Recovery Month, raising awareness and understanding surrounding the fight that is recovery and addiction. The Collegiate Recovery Program at UTRGV will host free events throughout the month intended to engage the entire Rio Grande Valley community in a productive and thoughtful discussion about recovery.
The program is dedicated to helping students suffering from any type of addiction. Services offered include 12-step meetings, recovery support groups and Smart Recovery, which is based on the stages of change.
“The Collegiate Recovery Program here at UTRGV is designed to help students who are looking for recovery,” said Kristina Canfield, program coordinator. “Someone who is maybe struggling with drug addiction while they’re here on campus, we can help connect them to the right resources so they can get clean and sober, so they can continue their education and succeed here during their time at UTRGV.”
National Recovery Month kicks off with the Recovery Showcase from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Plains Capital Student Union Theater on the Edinburg campus. Two alumni will share their experiences with recovery and how the Collegiate Recovery Program at UTRGV helped them.
Popcorn & A Movie: “The Anonymous People” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in Salón Cassia on the Brownsville campus and Sept. 22 in the Plains Capital Student Union Theater on the Edinburg campus. The film is directed by Greg Williams, who is in recovery himself.
“What’s happening in our country right now is we’re realizing that we can’t change the stigma about addiction if we don’t talk about [it],” Canfield said. “This film helps spread the word because we have to talk about it to change it.”
Refreshments will be served at the events.
National Recovery Month ends with the Recovery Walk-a-thon, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 28 in Edinburg; check-in will be at the Student Union in Edinburg. The same event will take place the following day at the same time on the Brownsville campus; check-in will be on the Student Union lawn. T-shirts will be given to the first 25 participants at each campus, and water and snacks will be provided.
“Come walk in honor of those we’ve lost to addiction or to celebrate those who are in recovery,” Canfield said. “If you’re struggling yourself or maybe have a friend who’s struggling with addiction, come join us because we need to raise awareness.”
“People who are struggling with addiction are human beings first and addicts second,” Canfield said. “Everyone deserves love and passion and I really feel that’s what our program does.”
For more information about the National Recovery Month events and the Collegiate Recovery Program, visit University Center Room 102 in Edinburg or call 665-2574.