Southeastern University launches state’s first collegiate addiction recovery program

Updated: Sep. 17, 2019 at 9:47 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAMMOND, La. (WAFB) - Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) is offering a new support system for students recovering from an addiction this semester.

“Lion Up Recovery" is the state’s first Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP), designed to help students maintain their recovery and refocus on academics. The support system is not designed to accompany, not replace, professional or medical treatment.

“You can’t reach your full potential when you’re in active addiction,” interim recovery coordinator Madison Evans said. “You’re not focused on your goals. Your goal is often about fulfilling your addiction.”

Students who voluntarily enter the program will be required to attend seminars on recovery and attend support meetings. Southeastern has also converted a commons area into a recovery center that will host meetings so students can meet with peers who are also in recovery.

“We’re meeting these students where they’re at and we’re trying to figure out, like, ‘Hey, you deserve this,’" Southeastern graduate Madison Nyquist said. “It makes you want to stay sober because, if you have a future to look forward to, you’re not going to be tempted."

“It’s when you feel helpless and lonely - that’s when people usually relapse,” she continued.

Nyquist overdosed twice in school before she sought treatment. She earned a business degree from SLU while she was in recovery, and pushed professors and administrators to adopt a full-scale CRP for other students struggling with addiction.

She now works as a recovery specialist at St. Christopher’s in Baton Rouge and Canyon Crossing Recovery.

Roughly 40 percent of college dropouts attribute their academic failings to mental health or addiction problems, Nyquist says.

“When you think about those numbers, that’s 40 percent of Me’s," she said. “When it came to juggling, I eventually dropped all the balls and I just picked up the addiction and ran with it.”

Southeastern’s program is open to students dealing with all kinds of addictions, including drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, and eating disorders.

Other universities, including LSU, have expressed interest in adopting similar treatment programs.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.