The Recovery Ally training event is hosted to give Gonzaga students a better understanding of substance use disorders, recovery, recognizing and supporting those in need, how to be an ally and on-campus resources. This 90-minute training is offered once a month and gives students the ability to view recovery and addiction through a social justice lens. 

“It’s starting a conversation about what recovery is and how to support people in recovery,” said James Hiers, a case manager for the Center for Cura Personalis (CCP). 

Recovery is the process of change individuals take to improve their health and wellness and fight their substance use disorder (SUD). GU’s Collegiate Recovery Program, OUR House, provides the resources for a recovery-positive community to thrive, and a physical space where students can connect through similar experiences and a desire to stop or reduce their use of substances or harmful behaviors. 

Sydney Cheifetz, health educator from the Office of Health Promotion, is a coordinator for GU's Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP).

“The developmental stage of early adulthood puts college-aged people at a greater risk for developing a substance use disorder,” Cheifetz said. 

The Recovery Ally training aims to change that. A recovery ally is someone who strives to create recovery-positive environments and to help eliminate the injustices faced by people in or seeking recovery. 

“Being trained in recovery allyship is a powerful way to show care and respect for your peers and community,” Cheifetz said. 

The training covers listening non-judgmentally, how to use recovery-positive language, being knowledgeable about and sharing resources and other methods to support people in their recovery process. It aims to end the stigma surrounding recovery on-campus and foster an environment where students in recovery feel accepted and supported by their peers. 

“There is a stigma around recovery generally, and the ways that substance use is normalized on college campuses, and this training is a good first step to addressing that,” Hiers said. 

The training also helps those to think less about addictions such as eating disorders, video games, technology, sex and porn and co-dependency. OUR House is a space on campus for students with any kind of addiction to seek help.

Creating a recovery-ready campus is one of the long-term goals of the CRP. A recovery-ready campus is one without a stigma surrounding SUDs that does not glorify or normalize substance use, but instead offers help to those in need. 

If you are interested in attending this monthly training, the training dates and how to RSVP are advertised in Morning Mail. 

To connect with recovery support and on-campus resources, OUR House hosts weekly drop-in hours for students curious about recovery and harm reduction. Spring semester drop-in hours are Tuesdays from 11 a.m. - noon and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Weekly all-recovery meetings are spaces for students to talk about what’s going on in their lives and anything that might benefit their recovery. These meetings are hosted Mondays from 11 a.m. -noon and Fridays from 1 p.m. -2 p.m. 

These events are hosted in-person at 1211 N. Cincinnati St. or via Zoom. Email recovery@gonzaga.edu to receive the Zoom link. Face coverings and physical distancing are required while in OUR House. 

Sydney Fluker is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @sydneymfluker.

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