CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The College of Charleston’s Collegiate Recovery Program has been awarded more money for its work to help students live soberly.
This is a first for a four-university in South Carolina under the Governor's response to the growing opioid epidemic.
The program was also the first established at a college or university in the state back in 2015.
"We have some big plans," said Wood Marchant, the director of the Collegiate Recovery Program. "It's a two year grant that we would like to see help fund academic support for our students, peer recovery support training for our students so they can get more out into the community to help others that are struggling."
The students in the program also visit middle and high schools to talk to younger students about what they wish they knew before addiction took over.
Isaac Waters is one of those students living in recovery.
"I had a really bad drug history in high school and I got kicked out of high school a week before I graduated," Waters said.
But his past isn't holding him back from getting an education or helping others with their recovery struggles.
“My biggest fear is that I couldn’t do it, that I couldn’t stay sober on a college campus,” Waters said.
The new funding will help expand programs like this one to other universities and colleges across the state.
The director hopes it will also lead to recovery housing for students on campus.
"To see the students who are getting sober over the course of the 18 to 22 years, freshman through senior year...I have respect for all of my students that get sober, but I might have a little more respect for those folks because they are getting sober while living in the dorms, while going to class, and not taking a semester off to go to rehab," Marchant said.
The grant was awarded by the SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services under Governor Henry McMaster's Opioid Emergency Response Plan.
In a press release, Marchant said this two-year grant will help the Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) further its mission to help students in recovery from substance use and and/or addictive disorders stay substance-free through peer-to-peer support, group support and through connection to the local recovering community.
The CRP provides a safe and nurturing student-focused community in which students in recovery can be empowered in furthering their academic, professional and personal potential to become healthy, responsible, productive members of society.