The Association of Recovery in Higher Education Hosts Leadership Conference and Skiathon in the Colorado Rockies

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This event is the largest gathering of students in recovery from addiction to date.

students in recovery
It is so important for young people in recovery to experience firsthand that it is possible to have an awesome life without using alcohol or drugs.

The Association of Recovery in Higher Education ARHE is pleased to announce its first national student leadership summit. The ARHE Collegiate Recovery Student Summit and Recovery Skiathon will be held in Keystone, Colorado Feb 2-5, 2017.

The ARHE Collegiate Recovery Student Summit and Recovery Skiathon is a unique event that supports students in recovery who have overcome addiction and are living a sober life. With over 185 students and staff currently registered to attend, the ARHE Skiathon will be the largest gathering of students in recovery involved in collegiate recovery programs to date. The University of Colorado Boulder Collegiate Recovery Community and the Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community are the host colleges for the event.

The Summit will offer leadership sessions and speakers in the mornings before the lifts open and in the evenings, after the lifts close. During the day, many will hit the slopes, or go ice-skating, snow tubing, explore the ski village, attend recovery meetings, or hangout in a Lakeside Student Lounge at Keystone Lodge. It is an opportunity for students to connect with other sober students, to gain inspiration and leadership experience, and to enjoy an adventure that celebrates life in recovery.

“The idea of a student summit combined with a ski trip arose out of a conversation (University of Colorado Collegiate Recovery Center Coordinator) Sam Randall and I had last year after our students hung out together at a different skiathon,” said Jason Whitney, ARHE Board Member and Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community Program Coordinator. “We saw how inspired they were by meeting each other and experiencing an adventure together. We imagined what would happen if we could gather students from collegiate recovery programs around the country for a student-focused recovery conference and skiathon hosted by ARHE. It is so important for young people in recovery to experience firsthand that it is possible to have an awesome life without using alcohol or drugs. These students have worked hard to establish and maintain recovery while also going to school. They deserve all the support we can give them.”

Collegiate Recovery Programs and Communities (CRPs and CRCs) provide a safe environment, a sober social community, and recovery support services for college students in or seeking recovery. They are a game changer on college campuses for students who have overcome the odds and want to pursue their education while continuing to progress in their recovery. CRPs have become essential to the long-term success of students in recovery post-treatment, and students involved in such programs rarely have a recurrence of use. A study by Alexander Laudet, across 26 sites with 486 students, showed an 8% relapse rate per year across programs. Typical relapse rates are 40-60%, according to studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“When this launched, we knew right away this gathering was going to be special,” stated Sam Randall, ARHE Board Member and CU-Boulder Collegiate Recovery Community Program Coordinator. “More than 140 students registered just in the first week from over two-dozen collegiate recovery programs in every region of the country. The National Student Leadership Summit and Recovery Skiathon will provide a meaningful and worthwhile experience that we hope will further energize each student, their programs, ARHE, and the collegiate recovery movement as a whole. We thank our many sponsors for supporting the summit and helping us to reduce costs for students who are participating. Without their partnership, many students would not have been able to attend.”

Thanks to many generous donors and event sponsors, including Founding Sponsors, Life of Purpose Treatment, Transforming Youth Recovery, AIM House and Summit Behavioral Healthcare, scholarships are being provided to help as many students as possible to participate. For almost all of them, this will be their first time connecting with students in recovery from other colleges. The summit will serve as a unique opportunity for student leaders from across the country to network with each other and to share ideas and peer support practices they can take back to their campus while having an epic experience in recovery in the Colorado Rockies.

As we face an opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, these students are the best evidence of what is possible with a long-term ongoing continuum of care that includes campus-based recovery services and a supportive peer community. Young people now have opportunity to move forward in recovery from addiction and be successful earlier in their recovery thanks to the growing number of collegiate recovery programs on campuses throughout the country.

For more information on the event, please visit: https://www.arheskiathon.org

About the Association of Recovery in Higher Education:
The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is a national leadership organization dedicated to empowering collegiate recovery programs and professionals to support students in recovery. The non-profit provides education, advocacy and development expertise to help grow and sustain the availability of collegiate recovery programs across the nation, with an emphasis on connection and collaboration. The ARHE envisions a collegiate culture that embraces recovery where students can find academic success while being supported in their recovery and valued for their dedication to health and wellbeing, and contributions to the campus community. For more information about ARHE, please visit: http://collegiaterecovery.org.

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Veronica Amarante
Life of Purpose
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