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TCNJ awarded grant to expand recovery program

TCNJ’s Collegiate Recovery Program will be expanding services for students in recovery as well as substance abuse prevention initiatives thanks to a grant of up to $989,810 from the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

“Historically, people with addictions have been stigmatized and told that they do not belong,” said Chris Freeman, supervisor of TCNJ’s Collegiate Recovery Program. “But by investing in students in recovery we show them that we value them, and perhaps more importantly, that we believe in them.”

Initiatives already in place at the college include Lion’s House, a living and learning residence for students in recovery, and RECreate Your Night, a program that outlines healthy recreation options to reduce substance abuse and provide additional support to students in recovery.  Recovery supports also include counseling and self-help programs as well as the Collegiate Recovery Community, which consists of students in recovery and allies of recovery.

The grant funding will build upon and expand these existing recovery programs and intervention strategies at TCNJ.

Capital improvements will be made to portions of the TCNJ Recreation Center to create the Recovery and Wellness Suite, a centralized campus hub for recovery and ancillary support that will include a recovery lounge, dedicated rooms for screening assessment and intervention services, and provide a multi-purpose/training space for educational programming.

“The Recovery and Wellness Suite will offer another level and location for support,” said Mark Forest, TCNJ interim assistant vice president for student affairs, health and wellness. “This physical space will offer a landing spot, and a launching pad, for all TCNJ students to focus on their health and wellness and ultimately reach their full potential.”

The grant also will allow the expansion of outreach and marketing services including a substantial increase in efforts to inform current and prospective students about the recovery supports available at TCNJ. Additionally, on campus campaigns aimed at reducing alcohol use and changing culture will reach all TCNJ students, including those in recovery, those deemed to be at high risk of developing a substance abuse problem, and the general college student population.

Luke Sacks