On-campus alcohol, drug addiction counseling now offered
Students who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction can now receive treatment at Central Michigan University.
Central Michigan Collegiate Recovery Education and Wellness, or CM CREW, consists of two Ten16 Recovery Network employees working out of Robinson Residence Hall Room 319.
Ten16 is an agency that offers detox, outpatient counseling, peer support, education and prevention for alcohol and other drug addictions. The center has locations in Midland and Mount Pleasant, as well as across the state of Michigan.
“The university has tried getting an alcohol and other drug counselor and it’s money we don’t have,” said Tony Voisin, associate vice president of student affairs. “We’ve tried for the last three or four years and have submitted proposals because we (didn’t) have anyone to do that.”
CM CREW is still getting set up their office, but will start seeing students in a limited capacity this semester. Zero university dollars are paying for the salary and benefits of the two employees.
The first recovery support group will be held by CM CREW at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and will continue every Tuesday and Friday at noon in room 139 in Robinson Hall.
“It’s a confidential opportunity for students who have a desire to not use or are already not using to meet and find community with each other,” said Jessica Miller, CM CREW program supervisor.
The support sessions will be called “Recovery by the Slice,” because free pizza will be available to students who attend the group session.
“We’re leasing the space to (Ten16) and the rent they pay is going back into the account that funds their programming,” Voisin said. “It’s not taking away dollars from other programs. It’s not tuition money or state money — it’s outside money paying for the staff members.”
Programming costs for CM CREW will be funded with $10,000 gathered from disciplinary fines through the Office of Student Conduct. Isabella County contributed money from funds generated in the county from the liquor tax in coordination with money from Ten16 to pay for the two positions.
Even though the CM CREW office is still in development, students can contact the two Ten16 employees — Miller and Gabe Stummee, student support coordinator — by calling (989) 774-1220 or (989) 774-1224 or by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eventually, a new phone number will be assigned to CM CREW and they hope to set up regular “drop in” hours in the near future, but students are welcome to stop by during the day.
“If a student wants to live without relying on alcohol or other drugs, we want to be that person there for them to meet them where they’re at,” Miller said. “Recovery looks different for everybody. We want to be there for everyone.”
Stummee will lead the support therapy sessions. Because of his background of being in long-term recovery himself, he said he will be able to easily relate to students in the group sessions.
Stummee graduated last year from Augsburg College in Minneapolis where he participated in a collegiate recovery program. He helped lead it and was part of a partnership the college had with a nearby recovery high school, he said.
Miller also said she is in long term recovery, and has nine years of experience under her belt of counseling students at Delta College.
“When a student calls this office, they can trust that (the person) on the other end of the phone will understand what they’re going through because they’ve been there in one form or another,” Stummee said.
Only CMU students will be able to utilize CM CREW, Voisin said, but if they use the resources and graduate, there are other branches of the nonprofit that graduates could get connected with if they choose.
“Students leave the university for all types of reasons — family reasons, academic reasons, financial reasons — but also because they are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions,” Voisin said. “This is a way we’re hoping to increase retention.”
On a second drug or alcohol offense a student violates on campus, they are required to get an alcohol or drug assessment, which requires them to go to an off-campus agency or provider. When CM Crew is in full operation, students will have a more convenient way to get assessments at an on-campus location, Voisin said. The university will not collect money from the assessment, and students will be required to pay the fee that will be handled by Ten16, he said.
Besides providing easier access to alcohol assessments, CM CREW will provide educational programming and resources to campus on alcohol and drug addiction, as well as serve for a “safe place” on campus for students struggling with substance addiction, Voisin said.
“It’s such a great thing for students facing these kinds of issues,” Voisin said. “I’m very encouraged by the relationship we’ve developed with the Ten16 (employees). It’s a great thing for CMU and its students — that’s why we’re doing it.”
CM CREW will be a place the CMU Counseling Center will be able to refer students who have more serious alcohol or substance addiction concerns, said Ross Rapaport, director of the counseling center.
“This partnership with Ten16 is a pretty creative solution to help leverage some resources that are available,” Rapaport said. “Alcohol misuse has been a problem and concern for years. It’s just really been trying to figure out a way to get a coordinated response from the university and get adequate resources.”