Catamount Recovery Program aims to help students struggling with substance use

Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Director of the Catamount Recovery Program at the University of Vermont, Amy Boyd Austin, says it exists to give students dealing with substance use disorders a safe community.

She says a college environment, where substance use is often glorified, can be difficult for those in recovery.

“The academic portion of a college experience is not the entire college experience,” Boyd Austin explained. “A lot of it is about that social connection and those emotional bonds and development.”

Per the Vermont Department of Health, full-time college students are more likely to misuse alcohol and prescriptions than other young adults. Those 18-25 also have the highest heroin use rates in the country.

“We are currently looking at the definition of recovery, which has been 100% abstinence based and not everyone has access to treatment resources where abstinence is possible, so we are looking at a harm reduction philosophy,” Boyd Austin said.

The Catamount Recovery Program is free for students. Boyd Austin tells Channel 3 there’s about 30 students who participate each year.

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