University group represents students in recovery at national rally in Washington, DC

Health Sciences

RENO, Nev. - A group of 17 University of Nevada, Reno students, faculty, staff, and colleagues will be helping to spread the message of recovery and hope as they attend the Unite to Face Addiction Rally in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4. The group is sponsored by the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT), a part of the Division of Health Sciences at the University. CASAT's addiction treatment minor program is the University's largest minor program, with 940 students currently enrolled in its classes.

CASAT founder and University of Nevada, Reno professor, Gary Fisher, Ph.D., and Meri Shadley, Ph.D., academic coordinator for CASAT's addiction treatment minor program and director of Nevada's Recovery and Prevention Program (NRAP), the University's collegiate recovery program; will be attending the event. NRAP Project Coordinator Daniel Fred and Assistant Project Coordinator Jordan Fugate also will be participating, along with six NRAP members who are University students.

Tens of thousands of people from across the United States are expected to attend the event, including students representing collegiate recovery programs, community recovery organizations, recovery peer support specialists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, prevention specialists, faculty members, trainers, spouses and family members of individuals with addiction problems, church members, professional associations, individuals in recovery and people who have lost a child or family member to addiction. This is the first national rally celebrating the fact that long-term recovery from addiction is a reality for millions of individuals.

"This rally is important because many in the general public misunderstand individuals with addiction-related problems," said Nancy Roget., executive director of CASAT. "Many think that people who are addicted should be able to control their use of alcohol and other drugs rather than viewing it as a medical/health issue similar to other chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It is essential that we educate individuals that recovery is possible and solutions to addiction should be based upon science and compassion, not stigma and shame."

The goals of the Unite to Face Addiction rally include: celebrating recovery; ending the silence about recovery and the stigma of addition; educating people on the health crisis related to addiction; and discussing strategies to prevent addiction and make treatment and recovery services more accessible.

For more information, visit the Unite to Face Addiction Rally website. For additional information, visit the CASAT and NRAP websites.