This center provides a safe haven for students in recovery, allowing them to further their education and their recovery with a supportive, sober social environment and recovery support services. The program is based on the understanding that, given the chronic nature of addiction, continuing care and a supportive peer community is essential to maintaining recovery and preventing relapse.
The CUCRC is open to any student who wants support for their recovery or is interested in being part of a healthy, sober community. It offers a welcoming resource lounge, support meetings on campus, sober social events, sober campus housing and one-on-one recovery coaching by professional staff. A recent study demonstrated that, 96.6% of students who get involved with a collegiate recovery program go on to actively maintain their recovery following graduation. We sincerely wish this Center had been around during Sam’s years at CU. It could have made all the difference. We are dedicated to helping it support other students in need.
The stories of those who have taken the important step of becoming part of the CU Collegiate Recovery Community are powerful, inspirational and often heartbreaking. Please take a moment to learn about the experiences of some of the students involved with the program in the testimonials section below.
Your support of my walk will go directly to the Samuel Deford Scholarship Fund at the University of Colorado. By supporting this fund, you can become part of the desperately needed national effort to address substance use on college campuses and make a difference in the lives of these students. They deserve all the support we can give them
The height of my use during active addiction took place right here at CU Boulder. I found myself struggling more and more with depression and anxiety, and the desire to not feel. I found solace in drugs and alcohol. Little did I know, it would lead the way to a much deeper problem. I lived up on the Hill and was buddies with some fraternity…Read More
I remember being on the plane coming back from Afghanistan and being terrified. I had been a Marine Corps broadcast journalist stationed in a combat zone for the last seven months and it was the only seven months I had been sober in my entire adult life, which was only because there was no booze allowed in war. During this time sans alcohol, I had…Read More
I entered CU in Fall 2012 and was in active addiction for my first 3 semesters. I withdrew in December 2013 to attend treatment and enter recovery, taking 3 semesters off from CU through the Stay Connected Program. I attended Front Range Community College during my time away and got involved in the local recovery community. Today, I work an active 12-Step program of recovery,…Read More
If you were sitting next to me in class, I don’t think you would know that I was an alcoholic; by this I mean that outwardly I seem like a focused, intelligent and somewhat charming guy. Growing up I was all ways a driven individual. I played high school football at a high level, winning several state championships; I helped start student organizations and I…Read More
DevinBioChemistry, Class of 2018
The height of my use during active addiction took place right here at CU Boulder. I found myself struggling more and more with depression and anxiety, and the desire to not feel. I found solace in drugs and alcohol. Little did I know, it would lead the way to a much deeper problem. I lived up on the Hill and was buddies with some fraternity guys. What started out as socializing and partying a couple nights a week became every single night and then shifted to complete isolation as I pushed everyone aside. I was using heroin by that point. It wasn’t pretty and it definitely wasn’t fun anymore. I eventually became a prisoner to using. I was completely unaware of any alternate forms of living and began to accept this reality as fate. I had reached a point of pure despair and had abandoned all hope that I could ever find peace and happiness. It was my sister who saved me. She reached out to me, and I felt her care and concern. I was willing to accept anything outside of my current situation which had found me broke, near homeless and on the verge of completely dropping out of school entirely. I asked for help, and that changed everything. I started on a path of recovery and began the healing process. Slowly and surely, building healthy coping mechanisms and exchanging struggle for strengths. Eventually I felt I had built up enough confidence to test the waters of higher education again and pursue the goal I had begun six years prior of getting my degree. Returning to CU in recovery and finding the Collegiate Recovery Community here was like being offered the cheat codes to a game that had crushed me before. The entire community wants to see me succeed and is empowering me with the tools I need to do so. Today, I am excelling in both school and work, and loving life. The Center and my time in Boulder have now begun to present me with ways I can give back and share strength and hope. Helping others in need allows me to gain strength and insight into my own life that I never knew existed. It gives me a sense of well-being that no substance could, and with nothing but positive side effects. During the rest of my time at CU, I would like to continue to bring awareness to addiction and recovery, and combat the stigma that can sometimes surround our community. I would like to continue to foster the Collegiate Recovery Community as a welcoming place for those in need, and if I may help just one person escape the pain of addiction in the way that I have, it will have all been worth it.
JenniferClass of 2017
I remember being on the plane coming back from Afghanistan and being terrified. I had been a Marine Corps broadcast journalist stationed in a combat zone for the last seven months and it was the only seven months I had been sober in my entire adult life, which was only because there was no booze allowed in war. During this time sans alcohol, I had been meritoriously promoted to sergeant, was awarded a seat to study broadcast journalism at Syracuse University for two years post deployment and I was slated to fly to Washington D.C. upon my return to the states to receive two Thomas Jefferson Awards for excellence in journalism. It would be years before I realized this is what can happen when I wasn’t bogged down by alcohol. On that plane, however, I was terrified. I knew I would be discovered soon. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the big chunk of deployment money I had earned. I felt shackled to my fate and proceeded to lock myself in a hotel room with a taxi driver who would deliver my cocaine and alcohol daily. By the time my allotted post-deployment month off work had come to an end, I was in the hospital for having a gran mal seizure and biting off my tongue. This turned into thirty days in alcohol rehab followed by thirty days in an intensive PTSD treatment program followed by outpatient services. Yet I persisted. It is hard sometimes to allow myself to experience the good I have today after going so far down. I was at death’s doorstep and every ounce of me knew it, and now here I am graduating from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree. That I earned. The contrast is so stark. The gap so very wide from those days to now. My brain shorts out when trying to reconcile how this happened and then: oh yes. Smile. Breathe out. Recovery happened. I got sober in 2012 - right about the time I started classes at CU. I went from a non-functioning alcoholic to a fully functioning college student in what seemed like overnight. Sitting in classes at the University of Colorado Boulder on my G.I. Bill was excruciating in the beginning. I felt easily 150 years older than every person in the room. I was sure everyone could see through me and into my past. I smoked so much weed during my teen years that I didn’t remember the basics of the core math, history and geography classes I was sitting in. The noise in my head was screaming that I was not supposed to be here and had no idea what I was doing. And then … I found the CU Collegiate Recovery Community. On those days where it was me against the world and took everything I had just to make it through classes and home to collapse on my knees and cry, the CUCRC became a safe haven. The lighting was low. The people were kind The CUCRC felt like my room, where I could take a breath, buckle against the pressures of life for a moment, get centered and then get back to it. My life depended on me getting sober. On my recovery community. On the CUCRC. I forget this all too easily today as I stand a strong, empowered woman - thanks to my recovery.
StudentClass of 2018
I entered CU in Fall 2012 and was in active addiction for my first 3 semesters. I withdrew in December 2013 to attend treatment and enter recovery, taking 3 semesters off from CU through the Stay Connected Program. I attended Front Range Community College during my time away and got involved in the local recovery community. Today, I work an active 12-Step program of recovery, attend 3+ meetings weekly and do service to help others. I returned to CU in January 2015. It was difficult to readjust to being back in Boulder as a student in recovery. I had a difficult time making friends and remained on the outskirts. Eventually (and gratefully), I became connected with the CUCRC community, became a CORE member and resident of CORE housing beginning in Fall 2016. I was very fearful when I returned to CU. I was uncertain what I wanted to study, what community I wanted to be a part of, if I wanted to be in recovery at all, etc. It took some time to become comfortable. So many doors have opened up to me as a student in recovery. I value the resources available to me as a student at this world-class University. I owe great thanks to the faculty who guide me in my studies, the clinicians who work endlessly to help students into recovery, my mentors and other support persons, and the Collegiate Recovery Community at CU. I have received a beautiful and thorough message of recovery the past several years and intend to carry it myself to those who still stuffer. As a high school science teacher, I hope to do service in local public schools to educate students about addiction and carry the message that anyone can live an awesome life and stay substance-free. Service is at the heart of my program of recovery. It keeps me healthy and allows me to give away what was freely given to me.”
AdamClass of 2018
If you were sitting next to me in class, I don’t think you would know that I was an alcoholic; by this I mean that outwardly I seem like a focused, intelligent and somewhat charming guy. Growing up I was all ways a driven individual. I played high school football at a high level, winning several state championships; I helped start student organizations and I have always had a natural ability to step up and take charge. This fact, though, did not protect me from developing a substance abuse disorder. I relied on drugs and alcohol throughout that time in order to deal with life. They were my crutch, my cure all. I began to let loved ones down and by the time I got to college, I often found myself waking up in jail cells. Eventually, I can vividly remember waking up on many occasions and wishing I was dead. I would look into the mirrors searching for meaning in myself only to find the person staring back at me was unrecognizable. I felt my inner compass was broken, to what I thought was an irreparable place. I thought I was a monster, a hopeless wreck destined to build up things that I loved only to then to destroy them. I kept repeating a painful cycle that seemed only curable to me by death. My dreams and future were slipping away -- and my using took me to a place of true darkness were my life held little meaning to me. I knew I needed help and needed to stop using drugs and alcohol, but I did not have the slightest idea what a life without substances would be like. However, when I began to talk to people about my problem and share my story with others who lived a life of recovery I began to learn something new. The people I met in recovery at the Collegiate Recovery Center were happy, joyous and free. They showed up to life in a way I thought I never could and seemed to be at peace with their past. By talking with them, learning from them, and working on myself that I found my own truth for what living life in recovery means. To me, recovery is an opportunity to show up for myself and for others in need. it gives me the ability to stand proud of who I am as a person. Today, I respect people by respecting myself and I have relationships that are deep and meaningful. I establish goals and plans and follow through on them, both for others and for me. My life today is completely different from the insanity of my past. I honestly don’t think that words can truly encapsulate what living in recovery is like for me. Instead I suggest you get to know me, and you will see what it is all about. I live life to the fullest. I am healthy and at peace with myself. Because of this I find myself connecting with people in a greater way that often has them asking why are you the way you are. The simple answer is that I am sober and alive. So if you ever feel like you are trapped in your own destructive cycle, ask around, come talk with us. There are people here who understand your pain and who can help you find a better future. A future greater than anything you could ever imagine. I’m so grateful to be alive.