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Cardoner Recovery Community helps Loyola students struggling with addiction

| By Stephanie Weaver

Cardoner, Loyola University Maryland’s Collegiate Recovery Community, was founded in the fall of 2014 by the office of student support and wellness promotion to help students struggling with substance abuse by connecting them with the Loyola community.

The program was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Transforming Youth Recovery, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with institutions to help students struggling with addiction.

Cardoner Recovery Community offers individual and group counseling, connections to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings on campus and in the Baltimore area, social activities, and continued support throughout the student’s time at the University.

Cardoner takes its name from a river in Spain that passes through the town Manresa, where St. Ignatius of Loyola, the University’s namesake, developed his spiritual principles and laid the foundation for his life’s work.

“Like recovery, rivers are continually growing and constantly moving forward,” said Zachary Hitchens, M.S., NCC, and assistant director of the office of student support and wellness promotion. “It is our hope that the Cardoner Recovery Community will serve as a foundation for our students’ recovery after they leave Loyola.”

Hitchens said the program has been building slowly and is beginning to host on-campus events to boost awareness among students. The first campus-wide event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 17, with a showing of The Anonymous People, a documentary about the 23.5 millions of Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction, in McGuire West at 7 p.m.

“The great part of collegiate recovery communities is that they are a community. That seems to be what our students in recovery are looking for; knowing that you are not the only one on campus who is a student in recovery can make a huge difference,” Hitchens said.

The office of student support and wellness promotion is a new, on-campus office which combines student support services and alcohol and drug education and support services. This office is responsible for supporting students who demonstrate high-risk behaviors, and subsequent-related concerns and crises that are often linked to mental health challenges and substance use. The office of student support and wellness promotion provides addiction counseling, education, substance use prevention, and wellness programming for the Loyola University Maryland community.

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