Tech Sets Example For Addiction Recovery Program

Students in the community of past drug and alcohol addiction are preparing to better themselves and help others into recovery.

The Center for the Study of Drug and Addiction focuses on helping students who are addicted to drugs and alcohol find their way to recovery. One of the purposes of the center is to provide a collegiate recovery community for students through peer-to-peer counseling.

Students who are pursuing an education have the opportunity to continue school while in recovery. Collin Speciale, a current graduate student is a recovering from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Speciale has a bachelor’s degree in community family addictive services and is currently working on his graduate degree in community counseling.

Through his education and studies, Speciale found an internship as a peer-to-peer counselor at the Ranch at Dove Tree, a recovery facility in Lubbock.

“You have to work a certain number of hours before you can be fully licensed,” said Speciale.

Speciale said when he is at the center, unlike his internship, he is not a counselor but he still works with peers in recovery.

As part of their program, the center offers scholarships to students who have completed or are close to completing their first year of sobriety.

“Students don’t have to wait a year before they can apply,” Kristen Harper, the program coordinator, said. “We ask that all of our students hit a year of sobriety during the first semester that they are involved in the program.”

To verify a student has had at least a year or will hit a year during the first semester, students need three recommendations from either their counselors or twelve step sponsor. Once a student has been accepted, they are on the honor system whether they stay clean or not.

Harper said they can tell if a student has stayed clean based off their behavior and whether or not they are attending classes or the required seminar every week.

Some students who transferred into the program have had massive improvements when it comes to their school work.

“We see students who have 1.3 or 1.4 G.P.A.’s and graduate with an average of 3.2 and graduate students with an average of 3.8,” Harper said. The overall average retention in the program is about 86 percent, she said.

Currently, close to 25 universities around the country are adopting Texas Tech’s collegiate recovery program.

About Brendan Lauritzen


  1. alexandre laudet says:

    great program! we are currently conducting an NIH funded study surveying all the collegiate recovery programs and their students nationwide! Stay tuned for findings- starting with the program findings that I will present next month at the 4th annual collegiate recovery conference in Lubbock!!!

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