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The Haven: A New Residential Community for Students in Recovery

Common room

Pictured above: The newly renovated common room of The Haven.

If you have a college student in recovery from substance use disorder, you can’t help but worry. Can your son stay sober on a college campus? Is a dorm the most supportive environment for your daughter’s new sobriety? College students are the fastest-growing U.S. population segment entering treatment in the past decade (according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and nearly one out of five young adults ages 18 to 25 suffer from substance use disorder, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Drexel is excited to announce a new residential community, called The Haven, to serve Drexel students in recovery from substance use issues or students who simply desire a sober college lifestyle. The Haven is part of a growing “national fraternity” of residential and extended recovery communities on college campuses to support students and also to counter the stigma that often prevents students and their families from seeking help for substance use problems. The Haven offers students the option to live in a beautiful, safe, sober environment, and welcomes all Drexel students (both residents and non-residents) to participate in a growing supportive recovery community at Drexel. Any student struggling with drugs and alcohol, as well as their concerned parents, can connect with The Haven confidentially for information and support.

Drexel freshmen Maureen Bellwoar, the Drexel Haven chapter president, shared this message: “I have been given such a rare opportunity at a young age to be a part of a recovery community. I am passionate about creating that same opportunity for other young people. The Haven is giving people my age the chance to get a higher education and stay happy, healthy and sober. At The Haven we provide support and love to anyone who reaches out, and we have a ton of fun doing it!”

The Haven recovery community is led by students with a minimum of one year of sobriety and operates under the direction of a licensed clinical Recovery Coach. Students develop an individualized wellness plan that is reviewed weekly with the Recovery Coach, attend 12-step meetings and participate in a multitude of social and service activities. Two weekly 12-step meetings are offered at The Haven on Tuesday and Saturday nights at 9pm------all Drexel students, staff, faculty and their guests are welcome!

John Watson, Drexel’s assistant director of counseling and director of alcohol, other drug and health education, said: “The Haven provides a wonderful new resource, with a proven set of programs, for our students in recovery or for those who are starting to get sober. We are happy to work with The Haven to see it expand its reach to help students become educated about recovery as well as breaking down the stigma associated with addiction.”

The Haven serving Drexel students is the first on the East Coast, and it will be the second Haven community, following one at the University of Southern California. Expansion is planned for three more universities this year and the goal is to be on 10 percent of college campuses by 2020. Exchange programs and summer programs are offered to any college student in recovery, providing opportunities to study and participate in internships while living in a supportive Haven recovery community.

Certified recovery specialists on staff are available to provide student support 24/7. The Haven’s parent outreach coordinator, Nancy Marcus Newman, is available to answer any questions Drexel parents may have. Parents of Haven residents receive ongoing parent support.

For more information on The Haven, its summer program or 12-step meetings, call Maureen at 610-322-8008 or The Haven office at 267-223-5203.