UNO’s recovery community seeks to help

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PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH
PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH

By Joe Willard
Contributor

University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Recovery Community is moving into a new space at the beginning of next semester.

The Recovery Community is new to UNO. The organization officially started last year. The mission of the recovery committee is to “create a safe space for individuals in recovery from addiction.” That safe space is in University Village – Building 6, apt. 613.

The organization had an open house recently with the intended purposes of raising awareness for the facility and to welcome people.

A UNO student said this gave everyone an opportunity to check out what’s going on with the Recovery Community, the student also said the organization is a community of sober people who support each other. It also allows students to have a safe and quiet place to study.

Mark Frillman, licensed alcohol drug counselor at UNO, set out to help students in recovery by helping them find a study spot to call their own. To Frillman, who started the community, that was just the beginning.

“The goal is to create a sustain-able, living, learning community on campus for those in recovery,” Frillman said.

Some of his inspirations on cam-pus for this idea are the Goodrich Scholarship and the Thompson Learning Community.

“[Students] room together, learn together, take classes together, and they support each other in their academic pursuits and successes,” Frillman said.

Frillman hopes Mavricovery and the Recovery Community will be able to mimic that.

Another place Frillman drew inspiration from was Texas Tech. Texas Tech has a collegiate recovery program that has been successfully duplicated across the country. According to the Fall 2015 issue of Recovery Campus, there are 162 colleges and universities across the country with a recovery community; 14 more campuses are working on starting one.

Some people may not think a recovery community on campus is important. The statistics say something different. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), from 2009-2013 there were about 114,000 individuals who abused or were dependent on Alcohol. There were also approximately 32,000 people who were abusing or depended on illicit drugs.

Using formulas provided by Dr. Kitty Harris from Texas Tech, Frillman estimates that UNO currently has 900 students who meet the criteria for substance dependency.

The open house had about 20 people in attendance. The visitors were a mix of faculty, staff, and students, a student said.

To become a member of Mavricovery you must have at least 3 months of sobriety. For more information contact Mark Frillman by calling 402-812-5684 or emailing mfrillman@unomaha.edu.

The Recovery Community is open to the public Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of its associated student organization, Mavricovery, will potentially have 24-hour access to the new space.

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