Collegiate Recovery Community to launch SMART Recovery this week

This week, Student Wellness will be launching a new program called SMART Recovery to help Iowa State students that may be struggling with addiction.

Kylee Haueter

Iowa State’s Student Wellness will be launching a new program this week to help students who struggle with addiction.

Last spring, Student Wellness launched Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) to support students in their recovery or those seeking recovery from substance abuse, gambling, gaming or other issues.

When CRC first started, it was a smaller student program with more limited programs and opportunities. The organization that first started was called Rootless, which stands for “Recovery on Our Time, Learning Every Student’s Story.”

According to the Student Wellness website, Rootless was a “peer-led organization for students seeking recovery from addiction, in recovery from addiction, allies of the recovery community or students who have a connection to recovery in their lives (e.g. loved one, friend, etc.).”

Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery will be an addition to the CRC that launches this week. This program is a support group for students on the path to recovery.

SMART Recovery is a nationwide program with different options for local meetings, depending on your location.

At Iowa State, meetings will be held on a weekly basis and run by trained facilitators and peer leaders.

Brian Vanderheyden, director of Student Wellness, said that unlike groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery is not a 12-step program and will be aimed towards students.

“SMART Recovery is open to anybody, but we’re going to be implementing it specifically for students at Iowa State,” he said.

He also said the peer groups will reach a broader spectrum of students struggling with addiction.

“It’s open to students across [the board], whether it’s substance abuse or any kind of other addiction they might be going through, and whether they’re in recovery or seeking recovery,” Vanderheyden said. “It’s an inclusive support group…wherever anyone is at, this group is appropriate for them.”

Vanderheyden also explained the focus of the group and the process students will take.

“The group really focuses on being able to process things with peers as well as learning skills and things to help them with their recovery,” Vanderheyden said. “To my knowledge, this is the first kind of peer support group that Iowa State has ever had for recovery, so it’s really exciting to have this for students.”

The other new program being implemented is Recovery Wellness Coaching. Coaching includes one-on-one conversations with a CRC coordinator and allows for students to have strength-based discussions about goals and strategies.

“Students take a holistic wellness survey prior to getting started, then they find areas that they want to focus on for their overall well-being,” Vanderheyden said. “Then, they work with that person to get connected to resources, to create some goals for themselves and basically work on ways that they can improve their wellbeing as well as some strategies for their own recovery and academic goals.”

If a student participates in a CRC program, their information is protected and confidential. SMART Recovery meetings will be virtual, and students can not get access to the link unless they are registered and sign the confidentiality and privacy forms.

Students wanting to get involved can email [email protected] to get started. The first SMART Recovery meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday night virtually.