BARC provides safe haven for students post spring break

Honolulu, HI, Freshman Shantel Lagard, Lilly Ettinger, Assistant Director of Wellness, Recovery, and New Braunfels, TX, Senior, Morgan Pettis talk about their life at the BARC. Branson Hardcastle | Multimedia Journalist Photo credit: Branson Hardcastle

By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer

While classes were out for spring break, the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center continued with their regular programs offering students the support needed to deal with addiction.

A fairly new addition to campus, the BARC opened in fall 2017 and is located on the ground floor of Teal Residential College. The BARC is a part of Baylor’s Department of Wellness and is designed to support students dealing with and recovering from all forms of addiction. The center has an open-door policy Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provides students with an array of recurring programs and meetings.

Except for university holidays, the BARC stays open year-round, and many of its programs carry on even when classes are out of session. Keeping these regular programs running during breaks can be crucial to ensuring their success, according to Lilly Ettinger, the assistant director of wellness and recovery services at Baylor.

“We know that a lot of our students tend to stay for spring break. Routine is really important for people in recovery and school already has a fair amount of things to juggle,” Ettinger said. “It’s really making sure that there are still some things on the schedule. We think that that’s really important.”

“[It’s the same] for all holidays. We did the same thing except for Thanksgiving Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We tend to pare down a little bit over the summer, but we still try to have at least three meetings a week,” Ettinger said.

Coppell junior Christian Reyna attends the BARC’s Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) meetings. SMART is a twice-weekly peer-facilitated program that focuses on recovering from addiction through a four-point plan: building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors and living a balanced life. He knows firsthand the importance of continued support during spring break.

“When you see your friends are out at house parties or they’re drinking in various locations it can definitely get very lonely,” Reyna said. “Being able to have a safe space for us to congregate, and say ‘hey we’re sober and we’re on spring break’ or ‘we’re sober on Christmas break.’ I think it’s very important just to have a community and not feel so alone.”

In addition to SMART, the BARC offers numerous other programs, some of which are Alcoholics Anonymous, Shameless, Grace Group and The Living Room. Shameless offers support for pornography and sex addiction, Grace Group is a Christ-centered resource for mental health recovery and The Living Room is a spiritual support group for those affected by the addictions of others such as friends or family members.