N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announces funding for student substance abuse programs

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that more than $3 million in funds have been awarded to nine colleges and universities across the state to increase access to support and recovery services for students struggling with substance abuse.

According to a release from the department, the new funding will help address a growing need for behavioral health care access for young adults and follows the department’s plan to improve behavioral health and resilience across the state.

Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) have been around for over four decades and were developed in response to the growth in drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers and young adults. The programs provide educational opportunities and services in a supportive environment that promotes personal accountability while attending private or public colleges and universities.

NCDHHS Director of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services Kelly Crosbie says the program will be able to support young adults during a critical time in their lives.

“College can be very stressful, especially for young adults struggling with substance use or mental health issues,” said Crosbie. “These programs provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure students do not have to sacrifice one for the other.”

Campuses will use the funds to build and integrate comprehensive collegiate recovery programs that provide students access to drug- and alcohol-free safe spaces for them to live, study, and socialize, as well as peer mentoring and other support during their recovery journey.

In 2015, the NCDHHS named the program a priority, and funding has been provided to colleges and universities since. In 2021, $873,760 in program funding was divided to help serve around 320 students.

The nine colleges and universities that will receive program funding are:

• Appalachian State University (expansion programming), Boone: $262,549

• Elizabeth City State University (expansion programming), Elizabeth City $400,000

• Elon University (new program); Elon: $257,576

• Fayetteville State University (expansion programming), Fayetteville $399,090

• High Point University (new program), High Point $797,807

• Mars Hill University (new program), Mars Hill $75,770

• Methodist University (new program), Fayetteville $514,093

• University of North Carolina (expansion programming), Chapel Hill $130,700

• University of North Carolina (expansion programming), Greensboro $394,727

Students are encouraged to reach out to their school’s counseling center for more information.

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