Center fights rising student addiction


Despite Vermont’s rising drug problem, UVM has an asset available to help students combat addiction and become sober.

The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) founded in 2010 aims to provide a support system for students who are recovering from their addictions, CRC Director Amy Boyd Austin said.

The main purpose of the community is “having other college students who are in recovery to connect with,” Austin said.

According to an anonymous CRC member, the community was integral part of their success here at UVM.

“Without UVM’s CRC I would have definitely felt more closed off and isolated,” the student said. “This community has provided me with a safe space to come and connect with other students in my community.”

The CRC is funded by the Center of Health and Wellbeing and includes a small programming budget. Austin said the CRC is in the process of applying for the $10,000 Stacie Mathewson grant, which is funded by the Stacie Mathewson Foundation for young adults with addictions.

Attending college as a student in recovery is not an easy task since there are triggers all around students, especially in the residential halls, Austin said.

“There was no safe haven for students in recovery,” she said.

In order to provide a place for recovering students to escape some of the triggers of residential halls, the CRC offers optional housing for students in the program in the cottages on the Trinity campus.  This is one small component of the community where building a support system for students in recovery is the main goal, Austin said.

The CRC is centered on building community, and holds several programming events throughout the week. There are drop-in hours on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays and also a lunch on Tuesday.

In addition, members of the CRC are required to take a 1-credit class in which they explore themselves and learn from each other.

The CRC is not only beneficial to students in recovery at the University, but to the student population in general, she said.

“It shows the world that we’re trying to support an underserved population,” Austin said. “The more people know about it existing, it shifts how people view UVM.”

There are 35 collegiate recovery communities in the U.S., she said.

The CRC has invited students from the Community College of Vermont to join the program at UVM. Also, St. Michael’s College is thinking of starting a CRC of their own, Austin said.

To find out more information about or to apply to the CRC, students may visit the CRC website at