September 11, 2019

Collegiate Recovery Programs
September is National Recovery Month, a national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. As we think about the millions of Americans who are in recovery, it's important to look at the critical role institutions of higher education (IHEs) are playing in this support network.
The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is the only association representing collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) and collegiate recovery communities (CRCs), the faculty and staff who support them, and the students who represent them. There are currently 131 collegiate recovery programs across the United States. According to ARHE, each member college or university "incorporates recovery on their campus in a way that is unique to their population and culture."
In fall 2018, Michigan State University (MSU) became the first university in the state to launch substance-free recovery housing in the dorms as part of their Collegiate Recovery Community program. Although the University of Michigan also has a CRP, it does not provide substance-free recovery housing. Dawn Kepler, coordinator of MSU's Collegiate Recovery Community, estimates MSU has 1,500 students who identify as being in recovery.
Other CRPs may not offer housing but have different requirements for participation. At the University of Vermont (UVM), the Catamount Recovery Program offers a multitude of opportunities for community-building for students and staff in recovery including a weekly lunch; a recovery group session sponsored through Counseling & Psychiatry Services in addition to on-campus, open 12-step meetings; Friday community game nights; and bi-weekly outings. A one-credit course, Exploring Development through Community, is required of CRP students in their first and second semesters in the program.
Students from both MSU and UVM have expressed the importance of CRPs and CRCs to their recovery and education. "Being a new student MSU was intimidating. Being in recovery, I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to find friends who don't use substances. The CRC gave me the opportunity to meet young people in recovery. It gives me a safe place to go to where there are like-minded people and fun things to do." At UVM a student stated, "The CRP offers fellowship outside of conventional 12-step meetings, and the community consists of other students in recovery that I can relate to. Without this experience, I may not have been so optimistic about sobriety in college."
If your college or university is interested in establishing a CRP, ARHE has outlined the starting points to begin the conversation. Buy in from stakeholders is a key component to moving the conversation forward, as well as research and data on student success at IHEs with CRPs, fundraising, and finally program development. For additional assistance, contact ARHE.

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Download the Guide
Student's Guide to Fraud Scams
The International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI), previously known as the International Association of Credit Card Investigators, has published a new resource,
Student's Guide to Fraud Scams (PDF). IAFCI is a non-profit international organization that provides services and an environment within which information about financial fraud, fraud investigation and fraud prevention methods can be collected, exchanged and taught for the common good of the financial payment industry and our global society.
The Student's Guide outlines different scenarios for a variety of scams that range from tax scams and identity theft to PayPal and rides share scams. Each section provides prevention tips for each situation and a top 10 list of fraud prevention tips are shared that include:
  1. Get your free credit report at Each year you may receive one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax or Experian). Upon receipt, check for unauthorized accounts, inquiries, and unknown addresses.
  2. Register to access your social security benefits statement at Upon receipt, review your estimated benefits and earnings record. You should also ensure no one is using your social security number for employment or other benefits.
  3. Do not pay for merchandise online or via the phone using a debit card. Debit cards are vulnerable because they are linked to a bank account. You have a far better chance of resolving a fraudulent transaction when paying with a credit card rather than with a debit card. Also do not provide your debit/credit card numbers over the phone, via emails or on websites unless you initiated the call or order.
  4. Know who you are paying, via person to person payments, i.e., Zelle, Venmo, etc. Pay and receive money only with people you know. Don't pay strangers with P2P (person to person). Most "person to person" transactions are instantaneous and irreversible.
IAFCI also provides a variety of consumer awareness resources, from identity theft information to online dating and emergency scams prevention. For more information about IAFCI or answers to questions, please contact them directly at 916-939-5000 or

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Evaluating Your Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program: Biennial Reviews
Organization: Clery Center 
Date: September 25, 2019 
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Task Forces: A Model for Collaborating to End Sexual Violence in Higher Education
Organization: NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
Date: October 3, 2019 
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Law Enforcement Agencies and Military Recruitment 
Organization: Justice Clearinghouse 
Date: December 3, 2019   
Location: Online  
Fee: Free

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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