Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held on campus to support students

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Published 2011-10-31T21:01:00Z”/>


Michaela Boggan

Stacy Nelson decided to drive from a party to the bars downtown one night, and soon red and blue lights were signaling her to pull over. She blew a 0.19 into the Breathalyzer and was jailed overnight.

Nelson, a senior business administration major, drinks about three times a week and feels the need to get drunk when she does, she said.

“I sometimes think that I have a little bit of an alcohol problem,” Nelson said.

She was not aware that there are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held on campus, but doesn’t think she needs to attend one unless it was to help a friend, she said.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were started by the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center in 1990 and have continued every semester since, program manager Shauna Quinn said.

The purpose of these meetings is to help students who are ready to confront their alcohol problems, Quinn said. The services are free, there is no commitment and a student who is also an alcoholic runs the meetings.

Alcoholism is an addiction that has to do with chemicals in the brain, but no one is really sure what happens or how it happens, said Roland Lamarine, professor of health science.

Many wonder how alcoholics anonymous meetings can help an alcoholic recover from a medical disease, Lamarine said. People who decide to go to an alcoholics anonymous meeting usually keep going because it provides them with a support group, guidance and a place to express the feelings they have during the recovery process.

These programs have really been successful because the anonymity that it offers to members, Lamarine said.

The student secretary of the meetings wanted to emphasize the importance of anonymity and did not want to be identified, she said.

The Alcoholics Anonymous process involves a 12-step program, where a person works with a group or member of the program for support.

The 12-step program teaches alcoholics a new way of life, the secretary said.

“For us to drink is to die,” she said.

Every meeting begins with a serenity prayer and then there are two to four readings that are recited out loud by alternating individuals, she said. The rest of the meetings consist of students sharing stories, feelings or accomplishments when dealing with alcohol.

“If you want to get well, we will do anything to help,” the secretary said.

Since the beginning of this semester there have been meetings where no one attends and meetings were only one or two students attend, the secretary said.

Nelson thinks most students don’t attend these meetings because they don’t believe they have a drinking problem and associate drinking with being a part of college, Nelson said.

“No one can tell you you’re an alcoholic,” the secretary said. “You decide that for yourself.”

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<strong>Michaela Boggan can be reached at</strong>

<em>[email protected]</em>


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