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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Recovery Meetings Available on Campus

Every Thursday at 3 P.M. at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a small group of community members meet and support each other in their journey to recovery.

The group is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or other similar organizations. This group is self-led, but has ties to University Health Services, who helps book rooms and facilitates electronic communication between members. Recovery is a prerequisite for attending the meeting.

The format of the meeting is fluid and adapts to the preferences of attendees. The lead organizer, who asked to be sourced anonymously, said the group often discusses experiences and looks for common themes.

“Sometimes you are on campus and you feel like you are a million miles away from a recovery meeting, but [then] can walk a couple buildings away [sic] and have people that relate,” they said.

Although the group does not adhere to the “12-step program” associated with AA, it can cater to individuals who are more comfortable with this system. The social connections forged in this recovery community are helpful during holidays, when relapses are statistically more likely to occur.

The source said meeting numbers fluctuate from a handful to about ten, with this amount constituting half the amount of people on the campus recovery email list; finding a time that works for different people’s schedules is difficult. Additional lead organizers would be needed in order to have multiple meetings per week.

Andrea Macone, a UMass Boston graduate student and administrator, is a person in long-term recovery. Enrolled in the American Studies Master’s program, for her thesis she is considering studying the history of addiction in Massachusetts, with a focus on sociolinguistics in the media.

Macone said she did not want to be sourced anonymously for this article because she wants others in recovery to see her brave stigma in order to be a relatable public figure. She values the community aspect of the campus recovery meetings.

A second anonymous source vocalized a few criticisms of the recovery efforts on campus, saying that one meeting a week is not enough to serve the community, especially because UMass Boston is currently a commuter school, and some students take classes at night after working all day.

The source also thought that more outreach could be done, because college drinking culture normalizes certain behaviors, and addiction signs do not manifest in at-risk individuals until a few years after graduation.

The source, who is from the Boston area, said that the prescription opioid Oxycontin came out when they were in high school, and particularly affected their generation.

Now pursuing a graduate-level education at UMass Boston, they said they work at a local “recovery high school,” and “work on the front lines” to assist locals with recovery, citing friends that passed away from overdoses.

Staff at the University Health Services Health Education and Wellness program––through a student activities club called “Campus Wellness”––are seeking to establish a supportive environment for the campus recovery group.

“We are building a community, and that takes time,” said Linda Dunphy, director of the program.

For more information regarding the time and location of these meetings, please email [email protected].