TCNJ Magazine: Spring 18

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33 SPRING 2018 the staff at Prevention Point shake the man's hand, pat him on the shoulder, just treat him as they would any other person," Thompson says. "It was a good reminder to endeavor to treat everyone the same, no matter how they might present." Dariano's leadership experience at TCNJ has been an essential part of his recovery and inspired him to do even more. Last September, as part of a series of campus events to commemorate National Recovery Month, he volunteered to speak about his struggle with addiction. He titled his speech "Heaven and Hell: My Journey with Drugs and Alcohol." Inside the library auditorium, 90 people showed up to hear his story. Most of them were students, but there was also a surprise visitor: his mother. ■ Epilogue: Today, at 34, sober for five years, Dariano is applying to master's programs in social work. christoPher hann is a former senior editor at New Jersey Monthly and a frequent contributor to TCNJ Magazine. system, treatment would not have cost Dariano a single euro. Each year, Gibson also brings 20 students from her addiction course to Prevention Point, a harm reduction center in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Among its many services, Prevention Point provides clean needles to intravenous drug users. Gibson says she wanted to show her students a local organization whose work most closely mirrors the Portugal model. "Prevention Point is the closest program around here that shows the same humanity in their approach to helping people who struggle with their drug use," she says. During the day Luke Thompson spent at Prevention Point last fall, one client stood out. The man arrived in a disheveled state and appeared unbathed and perhaps mentally unstable. "I saw When community recovery supervisor Christopher Freeman '05 took the reins of TCNJ's newly created Collegiate Recovery Program in 2015, his first order of business was trying to change the notion, popular on campuses across the country, that equates the college experience with headlong excursions into drug and alcohol use. "Everybody thinks excessive use and binge drinking is the norm," Freeman says. "One of the ways to change the culture is to change that perception." TCNJ is one of just 180 colleges nationwide to operate a Collegiate Recovery Program. Freeman helps to arrange counseling services and Narcotics Anonymous meetings for students in need and coordinates a series of late-night (and substance- free) recreational alternatives designed to build community — and have fun doing so. Last September, in recognition of National Recovery Month, the program sponsored a series of events that included a training session with the Student Nursing Association on how to administer Narcan, a medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. TCNJ also provides substance- free housing for students in recovery. Lions House, a 10-bed townhouse on campus, is designed to TCNJ IS HERE TO HELP Freeman's Collegiate Recovery Program impressed the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy when a representative visited last year. promote a support system for such students, a key ingredient in overcoming addiction. "When somebody has an addiction, they're particularly susceptible to triggers or cues in their environment," Freeman says. "Putting them in a typical residence hall, where other students might be using alcohol or drugs, puts them at a parti- cular risk." And the TCNJ program is set to expand. In January, the college received a $990,000 New Jersey state grant (in addition to the state's $245,000 yearly renewable grant) primarily to build a wellness center and recovery lounge in the Recreation Center. It's one more step toward Freeman's vision of creating a holistic program to help students overcome their addictions. —Christopher Hann

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