Speakers Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell visited our class to show us how beneficial a collegiate recovery community is for students in college. Institutionalizing a recovery program, whether it is by creating recovery housing, a walk-in center, or club organization throughout all college campuses, is Ashford’s and Hatzell’s end game and goal.

According to Ashford, there are 170 collegiate recovery programs open or in the process of opening nationwide. Providing a welcoming and healthy community for students in recovery to turn to is the first step in helping them balance and manage their recovery and academic studies.

“I was able to identity as a person in recovery at Penn State,” said Hatzell, a person in long-term recovery.

By joining his collegiate recovery center, Hatzell embraced his identity as a student in recovery, and no longer felt the peer pressures of partying and tailgating with drugs and alcohol at school functions.

Ashford, who is also in recovery, said that the stigma of addiction at the University of Pennsylvania is huge. He could easily walk around campus, enter an academic building, and find a bar inside