ECU group offers path for students to recover from drug abuse

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The East Carolina University Collegiate Recovery Community is a state-funded program that started a year ago to help students recover from drug abuse.

Young adults are more likely to abuse drugs than any other age group, and CRC program coordinator Jarmichael Harris said he is hoping the organization can make a difference.

“Everyone’s being affected by this,” said Harris.

Thousands die from drug overdoses each year, and Harris said drug abuse is on the rise.

“Depending on the stats that you might find, it’s anywhere from 200 percent on the rise to 400 percent on the rise,” Harris said.

The Collegiate Recovery Program has programs, informational sessions and even allies who want to get involved.

However, Harris said those who need it most may be unwilling to reach out.

“It really seems as though the students who may be in recovery for whatever reason they are kind of in hiding,” Harris said.

ECU’s CRC has about 20 members. Of those, 10 are allies and only half are recovering from some sort of addiction.

Alcohol and drug counselor Hillary Liles said the negative stigma surrounding addiction doesn’t encourage people to reach out for help.

“Seeking help takes a big kind of step of bravery, and sometimes that’s hard for people to do on their own,” said Liles.

That’s why CRC attempts to create avenues that could help reverse the negative stereotypes.

“The support of the Collegiate Recovery Community is really what we’re looking for to be able to draw people in, and kind of normalize ‘I’m in recovery; I’m on a college campus, and that’s OK,’” Liles said.

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