Students Voicing Collegiate Recovery
Young adults increasingly enter college with substance use addiction. Some may achieve recovery before setting their foot on a college campus whereas others during their college years. These students often struggle to maintain sobriety as they act out their daily lives because they find themselves in abstinence-hostile environments (Bugbee et al., 2016; Harris et al., 2008). This presentation will discuss students’ collegiate recovery experiences and will report on a photovoice project documenting students’ recovery experience and recovery management and support needs. Photovoice is a participatory social action method that uses photography to answer research questions (Wang, 2006); a photovoice exhibit, involving a gallery of participants’ photographs and linked narrative text to explicate the photos’ meaning, disseminates the findings. The presentation will focus on the narratives of students in recovery and attendees will obtain an in-depth understanding of recovery students’ experiences of stigma, shame and isolation, and marginalized social positions, which are intimately tied to their addiction histories. Students in recovery represent an invisible student group that struggles to access resources and needed healthcare services. The photovoice method can act as a powerful tool to empower marginalized students to share their recovery experiences and articulate their needs; ultimately providing a vehicle for structural-level and systemic change.