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Collegiate Recovery Community continues support amid pandemic

CRC at DePaul

Given the sensitive nature of this article, CRC members' names have been changed to protect the privacy of students in recovery.

The Collegiate Recovery Community at DePaul is more important than ever during a global pandemic and ongoing racial violence. These stressful realities can push people in recovery back into behaviors they are working hard to overcome. Students who identify as being in recovery -- from substance use, mental health issues or eating concerns -- have leaned on this support network during these challenging times and credit the CRC with keeping them on track.

Finding peers in college who understand recovery isn't easy at a typical college or university. Established in 2017, the CRC cultivates a welcoming and understanding community for those involved. 

“For the first time in my life, it feels like a community genuinely understands my struggles and will stand by my side as I work through this process. It's a welcoming and warm-hearted weekly event that I cherish," says John, a CRC member.

Throughout the spring and summer, the CRC has continued to meet virtually one hour a week. Maintaining a consistent meeting schedule, even if remote, is important to ensure the community stays strong through difficult times.

For people in recovery, being home all day and having pre-COVID routines disrupted can trigger use for those recovering from substance misuse. It can induce overwhelming stress for people struggling from anxiety or depression. Those in recovery are often the best suited to handle stress if they have already created healthy coping skills and a robust support system.

“Recovery has felt very isolating; I felt as though no one truly understood," says Troy, a member of DePaul's CRC. “Once I came to this university, I worried about staying clean throughout college. The CRC has played a huge role in my ability to abstain from substances and live a fulfilling life as a young adult and student."

CRC members have found solace in this group and by staying in the group they have maintained a positive attitude and made good decisions while coping with racial tensions, COVID-19 and personal struggles, showing there is much to celebrate even during challenging times.

"These students are continuously growing and developing, and they hold each other accountable while being each other's biggest cheerleaders and practicing non-judgement," says Katie Bellamy, a substance misuse prevention specialist at DePaul.

Summer meetings continue weekly on Thursdays from 5 – 6 p.m. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit the CRC webpage or contact Katie Bellamy at