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California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference


On the weekend of October 20-21, 2012 the Healing Highlanders student organization will host the California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference on the University of California, Riverside University campus. The mission of this student-run conference is to aid others in implementing their own collegiate recovery programs and to enhance education about addiction and recovery support.

Mariel Bello, president of the Healing Highlanders would like to see every college/university in California represented at this inaugural conference. The conference is open to any student, staff or faculty member in the nation who is interested in learning more about implementing these programs on their campuses or bridging services to the larger community.
Audrey L. Pusey is the lead advisor of the Healing Highlanders steering committee and a founding member of the national executive board for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. She stressed the importance of empowering student leaders to accelerate this movement and that shared resources between the university, treatment facilities and government agencies are imperative in building recovery supports for students entering the higher education arena.

The Healing Highlanders at UCR formed in 2011 and was named UCR’s New Student Organization of the Year. In addition to their work in implementing this inaugural conference, the group is preparing to begin a partnership with a MFI, a local drug and alcohol treatment facility to provide mentoring and tutoring for high school students in recovery. The Healing Highlanders are excited to be creating bridges within the community and working with counselors and clients to open more opportunities for those in recovery to advance their education.
The opening keynote address, “Collegiate Recovery Communities, Investing in Human Capital,” will be presented by Dr. Kitty Harris, director of the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University. The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery at Texas Tech is considered a gold-star model of collegiate recovery programs and offers a curriculum that institutions can use to create a comprehensive continuing care plan to assist college students with recovery, academics, financial resources and life skills training.

Other featured speakers include at the conference will include:

  • Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack presenting the opening address.
  • Dr. Harry Haroutunian, physician director of The Betty Ford Center, presenting the honorary keynote address on “The Disease of Addiction.”
  • Peter Gaumond, chief of the recovery branch of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, presenting the closing keynote address, “Supporting Recovery in Policy, Systems and Services: Informing National, State, Local and Institutional Perspectives.”

The cost for the conference is $100 for professional staff members and $50 for students. A $75 late fee will be assessed on registrations processed after October 1, 2012. The cost per person includes a light breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, but does not include lodging. A limited amount of financial aid is available for students. For information on attending the conference, becoming a sponsor, or to make a donation, please visit the conference website at http://healinghighlanders.host.org/