Widening the Circle
At its one-year anniversary, Recovery Central at the University of Central Missouri is already making waves throughout the state and beyond.
Nicholle Scheibe sat in Adriatik Likcani’s “Addiction and the Family” class at the University of Central Missouri, watching “The Anonymous People,” a documentary about those living in long-term recovery from addiction to substances. It was a topic that struck the senior majoring in Child and Family Development personally. Coming from a family that had a history of substance use disorders, Scheibe knew all too well how devastating it can be for loved ones and the stigma surrounding those who sought help.
She had often wondered what she could do to change the climate for people in recovery and their families.
Unknown to her, Likcani was thinking the same thing. Prior to joining the university, the professor was a licensed marriage and family therapist and substance abuse counselor in the community and ran a recovery program. He noticed that students from the university would come to the agency for assistance with substance use disorders and wondered how they could be better served.
After the film, their minds met. Likcani told the class he would like to create a collegiate recovery organization on campus, but he didn’t know what it would look like. “What do you suggest?” he posed.
“I had given a lot of thought to addiction and recovery but not necessarily on campus,” Scheibe says. “When Adriatik said that, a light bulb went off. I went home and emailed him my ideas of what a collegiate recovery group could be.”
Like Scheibe, several other classmates had family members battling with addiction. They began meeting regularly, but informally, to talk about their experiences and educating themselves and others on substance use disorders.
Soon, the school’s Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention heard about the group and reached out to assist them.
These students, along with Likcani and interested faculty members, joined to form a working group to investigate the potential for creating a recovery-friendly environment on campus. They met regularly over the semester, learning about recovery support, collegiate recovery groups, campus and community resources, advocacy efforts and recovery initiatives statewide.
They cast a wide net for support. “Reducing stigma and making recovery an acceptable and supported lifestyle on campus is important and requires engagement at all levels: students, faculty, staff, community organizations, state organizations and national initiatives,” Likcani says.