Georgia Southern University Center for Addiction Recovery celebrates 10th anniversary
Executive Director of Center for Addiction Recovery Emily Eisenhart presented the Dot and John Mooney Board with the distinguished benefactor award. (l-r) Judge Tom Edenfield, College of Health Professions Dean Greg Evans, Joel Mooney, Emily Mooney, Carl Mooney, Rachel Mooney Spence and Dr. Al Mooney.
The Georgia Southern University Center for Addiction Recovery (CAR) recently celebrated 10 years of unparalleled success in helping students who have faced challenges to achieve and often surpass their academic goals by hosting its first Blue & White Gala Banquet: A Southern Soirée! in November. The event celebrated a decade of providing on-campus resources to students in long-term recovery with live music, dinner, speakers and a silent auction.
Located in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH), the center serves students who are in recovery from long-term substance use disorders. Many in recovery face social and educational challenges, and CAR is a bridge that helps them navigate the process. Without a program like this, many of these students would find it very difficult to complete their education, find a job and give back to society.
“College campuses are often an abstinence-hostile environment for students who have previously struggled with substance use disorders but who have made a commitment to their long-term recovery,” said Emily Eisenhart, who has served as the executive director of the program for more than eight years. “With the individual and group levels of public health relapse prevention programs and other social activities we offer, our students can find a space where not only they are able to stay sober, but where they’re able to engage in student activities and clubs, and find an academic niche and career path they never dreamed was possible.”
Currently, the center serves about 40 students on the Statesboro Campus and has plans to expand services to the Armstrong Campus. Students in the CAR program have an average GPA of 3.69 and more than a 90 percent graduation rate — one of the highest of any student group on campus. Many have joined the University Honors program, and graduates have gone on to earn doctoral degrees in pharmacy, physical therapy and psychology, among others.
A CAR student speaking at the Gala
CAR Program Coordinator Bret Frazier, center, with Gala attendees
Students can apply for admission to the program after completing at least six months of continuous recovery. Those who demonstrate a commitment to staying sober can join the program earlier than six months but are not eligible for scholarships or retreats until the six-month mark. Students are required to attend weekly relapse prevention seminars and have a wealth of services available to them including individualized academic advising, early registration and scholarships. In addition to academic services, students are actively involved in peer mentoring, service and volunteer projects, leadership and recreational therapy.
“CAR has helped me thrive at Georgia Southern by providing me with peers who push me to excel in school and be an involved member of the community,” said Carter Mixson, a senior biology major.
In addition to student success, the mission of CAR is to provide services to the local recovery population and educate students, researchers, clinicians, rural and small urban communities about the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction and the process of recovery. The Center also strives to improve knowledge and understanding of addiction recovery through research.
The Center is nonprofit and funded primarily by donations. To make a donation and support the work of the center please contact Bret Frazier at 912-478-2288, or visit jphcoph.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/addiction.
The mission of JPHCOPH is to improve health, eliminate health disparities and health inequities of rural communities and underserved populations globally through excellence in teaching, public health workforce development, research, scholarship, professional service and community engagement.
Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.