A new addiction recovery center on campus held its grand opening on Thursday as part of Baylor’s continued efforts to expand services for students.
The Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center (BARC), located in the East Village Residential Community, provides support services for students who are in the initial stages of identifying an addiction as well as reintegration support for students already in recovery.
Addiction disorder prevention, education and outreach coordinator Chris Gibson said college is the hardest place for those struggling with addiction to stay sober.
“What was lacking at Baylor was a place where people who are facing addiction and coming into recovery can be safe,” said Gibson. “The BARC was created to bring awareness to the fact that there are students who are recovering on campus. For those who feel like it’s not safe to seek help, we want to be a recovery-friendly campus.”
The BARC staff connects students to counseling, spiritual life and the academic success center based on an assessment of the student’s needs. The BARC also offers weekly meetings, recovery seminars and mindfulness yoga.
Davis said the biggest reason students drop out of college is due to drugs, alcohol and related addictions.
“We’re helping with retention from the perspective of caring about the whole person. We’re a Christian university and we want that to be across the board. We pay attention not just to people’s minds and bodies but their souls,” said Gibson.
Senior recovery program coordinator Lilly Ettinger thought no one would show up when she organized a recovery meeting at Baylor in Spring 2015. Within two years the program has grown from a single meeting to a $2.5 million on-campus recovery center.
“I put out a flyer and thought there would be nobody. By the fall, there was enough for two groups,” said Ettinger. “Baylor students are not alone.”
The BARC welcomes all students to stop in whether they face addiction or simply need a quiet place to study. Therapy dogs will be at the BARC from 3-5 p.m on Sept. 11 and from 6:30-8:30 p.m on Sept. 18 to help students reduce stress.
“It’s ok to seek help and it’s ok to be struggling with the things you are. There are resources that can bring you to a place of freedom. We’re here to provide whatever you need in order to be your healthiest self,” said Gibson.
More information and a calendar of events at the BARC can be found at http://www.baylor.edu/wellness/index.php?id=935260.