Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Friends of Recovery look to provide outlet for those in need of sober lifestyles

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Friends of Recovery (F.O.R.) is a new organization at Southeast Missouri State University, started this semester, which aims to provide a support community and path to success for those dealing with substance abuse and addiction.

F.O.R. sets out to create a safe and inclusive environment for students to be involved and engaged in sober lifestyles and support groups.

According to Kristi Booth, F.O.R. president, the organization came about last semester after she had worked with Counseling and Disability Services during the showing of “The Anonymous People” at Southeast.

Southeast had been trying to get a club like F.O.R. started for the past two years.

“They asked me if I would try to put one together [F.O.R.], because SEMO is actually part of MACRO (Missouri Alliance of Collegiate Recovery Organizations),” Booth said.

With more people seeking and entering recovery, organizations like MACRO are becoming more prevalent throughout the country, Booth said. Therefore, universities and institutions have begun to utilize assistance from these organizations to help support students.

MACRO acts as an umbrella organization to F.O.R. that helps with funding and starting F.O.R. organization at Southeast.

F.O.R. is using this semester to build of the foundation of their organization, so they can begin getting to their goals for the next academic year.

The plan is for future meetings to be one to two hours, with the first half dedicated to the state and planning of the organization, while the latter half would be dedicated to students in recovery.

According to Mary Robbins, vice president of F.O.R., the major goal of the organization is to end the stigma surrounding addiction.

“We want people to recover and be successful and be upstanding citizens and succeed in life,” Robbins said.

Robbins also said the way to do this is through education and letting people know there is life after recovery. This is helpful to end the fear of those not seeking recovery, due to the worry of admitting to needing help and the judgment that comes with it.

F.O.R. has established three types of memberships. A member can either be sober in recovery, sober not recovering or an ally.

Members who are sober in recovery are usually in a 12-step program or treatment-based recovery outside of Southeast. As F.O.R. is not a replacement for these programs, these members would use the organization as a way to gain additional resources to help them bridge the gap between student and life in recovery.

Sober not recovering refers to those who are choosing to be sober for a number of reasons, such as family history of alcoholism/addiction or for religious purposes.

Allies are any other members who wish to help be supportive of those who choose to live sober.

F.O.R. hopes to be ready in time for the next academic year to have an effect at Southeast, but its members are ready to help take on what they aim to do this semester with new members.

F.O.R. meets at noon every Wednesday in the UC President's Room.