TCU Recovery Support Group to expand program with Patterson’s gift

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    After football head coach Gary Patterson and his wife's $100,000 pledge to the TCU Recovery Support Group, the new program hopes to expand and reach even more students who have substance abuse problems. 

    The TCU Recovery Support Group is intended to help students who are in any stage of the recovery process from alcohol, drugs and other substances, Rachel Leshner, program specialist in the Alcohol and Drug Education Center, said.

    “We’re just here to help because we realize that even if one student is struggling, it affects the entire community,” she said.

    The group was started by the Alcohol and Drug Education Center in late August as a more on-campus approach to tracking students’ recovery processes, she said. In the past, the center would usually direct students seeking help to outside resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

    Leshner said it is fairly new idea for college campuses to start a group that provides such support on campus. In addition to being more involved in the progress of students’ recovery, the program also provides participants with peer support.

    “The peer support in the process is so important, and for students to be able to find other students that are struggling with similar issues, we thought it would be a way to connect students together,” she said.

    The program works on the basis of prevention, intervention and recovery, Leshner said. That includes helping the full spectrum of students, from those who are questioning whether they have a problem, to those who have already gone through a rehabilitation program.

    Leshner said the group was funded by the Alcohol and Drug Education Center and outside community agencies, including University Christian Church, which hosts the group’s meeting every Tuesday night.

    In the four years she has worked at the center, there had never been a donation as big as the Patterson family’s gift, Leshner said.

    She said the center does not yet have specific plans on how the funds will be used, but that the donation has opened up the possibility of expanding the program and making it available to even more people.