By GREG WALKER
Not many students know about Kennesaw State University’s 12-step program, an outreach program helping students recover from addiction. This program helps not only students with alcohol or drug addiction, but also students with severe eating disorders, gambling
problems, and even students with body building or working out compulsions.
Guidance counselors Teresa W. Johnston and Patrick Moore are at KSU to assist students in learning how to cope through the 12-step programs that the Collegiate Recovery Community follows.
The Collegiate Recovery Community is a program similar to that of an Alcohol Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and any other program formally known as a 12-step addiction program. It began in 2008 with a $20,000 gift from William Duffey and his wife Betsy, whose own son suffered from addiction. The program has had immediate membership since inception, and currently, a total of 57 individuals are involved.
Teresa W. Johnston from Bronx, New York, is the director of the Center for Young Adult Addiction Recovery, which is in charge of the CRC program. Her scholarly background and reputation are immaculate and she has been with the program from the start.
“My biggest hope and concern is to continue growing popularity for Kennesaw’s CRC program and the 12-step program for years to come,” she said.
Quite simply, she is a firm believer in wanting on and off campus visitors to feel at home and comfortable enough to talk to other 12-step followers.
Every day, the program encourages students to get involved by reaching out via flyers, emails and even Facebook.
The students who seek the program are diverse by gender, age, and especially where they come from and what their focus is. The average age is 22. They do, however, have one common goal: to rid themselves of addiction and maintain sobriety.
“Although the 12-step program outside of Kennesaw State’s Young Adult Addiction Recovery is different than most other AA programs, the principles are the same,” said Patrick Moore who is a Georgia Licensed Associate Professional Counselor specializing in substance abuse issues. “It just takes two students to start a meeting, because two students
are considered a group. So no matter how big or small the number of students who attends the meeting, those in the meeting carry on the session as long as there are a minimum of two people,” he said.
At these sessions, Moore said, “Each [participant] has a responsibility and a mission. The CRC is also a great safe haven for them.”
It is important that each student progresses throughout each meeting so that he or she can be clear-minded and eventually excel, free of addiction. One thing is certain for the 12-step
sessions: Participants should not be judged, but instead recognized as a group willing to get clean from old obsessions.
“Sixty-one percent of the 12-step students in recovery at KSU are transfer students, said Johnston. “Ninety-one percent have attended treatment and are still working the program
The 12-step program on campus is becoming more successful and will continue to grow as long as students need help. By no means does it matter which addiction students have. As long as students seek help in the 12-step program, it will exist at KSU, fulfilling its promise to accommodate those who need and want help and to facilitate recovery one day at a time.