ARHE

Bringing It to Boston

By DR. THOMAS G. KIMBALL

The 10th National Collegiate Recovery Conference will take place from June 29 to July 2 at Boston University. Bring your willingness to engage in difficult and needed conversations with civility and kindness.

The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is the only association representing collegiate recovery programs (CRPs), the faculty and staff who work in them, and the recovery students who participate in them. ARHE currently and proudly represents 130 colleges and universities who have a collegiate recovery program on their campus. We are thrilled about the future as we see more and more universities realizing the need and benefit of supporting students in recovery.

We are excited to be hosting the annual conference in Boston June 29–July 2 with our friends and colleagues from the Association of Recovery Schools as well the Association of Alternative Peer Groups. We also want to express gratitude for those who are attending this year and the many generous sponsors for their support. This year’s conference is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. The conference offerings and sessions represent the most current and hottest topics in the field including:

  • Social justice
  • Supporting underrepresented student populations
  • Diversity and collegiate recovery
  • Harm reduction
  • Opioid overdose and naloxone education
  • ARHE standards and recommendations
  • Recovery research
  • Multiple pathways of recovery
  • Peer professionals and recovery coaches in recovery schools
  • Recovery allies
  • Trauma-informed approaches
  • Suicide prevention
  • Families and recovery

Evolving and being open-minded in our thinking around these and other topics for ARHE as an organization as well as all of us as professionals and students in the field is so important. Over the course of my years serving at ARHE, I have been so impressed with ARHE board members’ willingness to engage in difficult and needed conversations. I have also been impressed with the civility and kindness

I see during keynotes, roundtables and sessions at the conference as we discuss difficult and often emotionally charged subjects. It is one of the reasons why the ARHE annual conference is my favorite event to attend and participate in.

I encourage all of us to be open-minded and tolerant of one another as we navigate and discuss the challenges of the field during the conference and beyond. I have confidence that together we can find the best pathway forward.

A MESSAGE TO STUDENTS IN RECOVERY

I want to express my deeply felt admiration for all you do and all you are in your efforts to navigate and excel in the recovery-hostile environment that is a college campus. Your work, effort and resiliency do not go unnoticed by us, faculty and staff, who strive to support you along the way. As stewards and those who provide the scaffolding of support that is a CRP, we can only do so much to help you. Always remember the true and most powerful support comes from what you give to one another — your peers in recovery, your community.

To this end, be instillers of hope for one another. I encourage you to build one another up and not bring one another down. Throw gossip and drama by the wayside, and embrace honesty, intimacy and true connection. Reach out to others in friendship. Do your best to be open-minded and tolerant of us and one another.


Dr. Thomas G. Kimball serves as the president of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, holds the George C. Miller Family Regents Professor at Texas Tech University and is the director of the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities. In addition to his responsibilities at Texas Tech, Kimball is the clinical director for MAP Health Management. He has received numerous teaching awards for his courses on families, addiction and recovery. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles on addiction and recovery and has presented on recovery-related issues across the nation. He is the co-author of the book Six Essentials to Achieve Lasting Recovery.

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