The Center for Students in Recovery Receives National Award for Groundbreaking Drug and Alcohol Recovery Initiatives

The American College Health Association recently honored the Center for Students in Recovery (CSR) with the "Best Practices in College Health" Award for 2012. CSR supports students at The University of Texas at Austin who have alcoholism and other drug addictions by offering them a pathway to recovery and academic achievement. The American College Health Association is the nation's principal advocate and leadership organization for college and university health. The award recognizes cutting-edge and exemplary health education and promotion services.

CSR, which was founded in 2004, is a safe place where students discover that even within a university setting, recovery is possible. Students receive the tools they need to strengthen their sobriety through educational presentations, recovery accountability, referrals, peer mentorship, Twelve Step meetings, service opportunities, social activities and a supportive community of sober friends.

"We have only to look to our students and their accomplishments to affirm that CSR transforms lives. One study has shown that students' grade-point averages improve significantly in direct relation to their level of participation at CSR. No such correlation was found among students who attended only Twelve Step meetings apart from CSR," said Ivana Grahovac, director of CSR.

Collegiate recovery is a young but growing movement in the United States; about 20 such programs exist. As the largest public university with a recognized recovery program for newcomers as well as "old timers," the university is a resource to which other universities turn for guidance in establishing their own programs.

"I am proud that our staff already serves in an advisory role to other universities around the country. The ultimate goal is to assist other universities in developing their own particular programs to assist their students in recovery," added Juan C. González, vice president for student affairs.

CSR is mostly funded through private donations. To accommodate its growth, CSR will move next year into a 3,000-square-foot space in Bellmont Hall at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.