This past spring semester, Lorain County Community College has taken great strides to provide support and care for those dealing with overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. Along with the recent chartering of a student club called Students in Recovery (SIR), a Caring Advocates for Recovery Education (CARE) Center has opened on campus to aid students and their loved ones in the fight against addiction.
A dedication ceremony in honor of the center’s opening was held in LCCC’s College Commons on May 13. Those in attendance included community members as well as staff, faculty and students from the college.
Located on LCCC’s campus in the Business building room 113D, the center is a partnership between LCCC, Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) and the Alcohol and Drug and Addiction Services (ADAS) Board of Lorain County.
Their goal is aimed toward providing prevention and controlling substance misuse programs in addition to support services for those dealing with addiction issue or coping with family members who battle addiction, according to an LCCC Press Release.
“[This] is a true partnership delivered by individuals who are passionate about preventing promising lives from straying into addiction and all the challenges and consequences that can come with it,” said LCCC President Dr. Roy Church during the dedication ceremony.
Speakers of the event included ADAS Executive Director Elaine Georgas, President / CEO of LCADA as well as LCCC adjunct professor Tom Stuber, and LCCC Student Senate President Charlene Delliopala.
“This center will open up hope and recovery for the campus community,” Georgas said. “I’m amazed and impressed that we have a student-led initiative [at LCCC] which is faculty guided, ultimately for a successful, drug-free campus and community.”
At LCCC, an addiction counselor short-term technical certificate program has been designed for individuals to become advocates in the addiction prevention and recovery field, including addiction and treatment knowledge, professionalism, evaluation, service coordination, documentation, as well as individual and group counseling, according to LCCC’s website.
The program was developed by Stuber and a team of faculty headed by coordinator of the initiative Jennifer Kukis, an LCCC associate professor.
LCCC community individuals involved in the CARE Center’s creation and operation included Associate Provost Dr. John Crooks, Provost and Vice President of Academic and Learner Services Dr. Marcia Ballinger, Manager of Student Life Selina Gaddis and Student Life student workers, Associate Professor Dr. Daniel Cleary, Professor Mary Jo Digiandomenico, Dean of Social Sciences and Human Services Dr. Jonathan Dryden, Certified Crisis Counselor Quentin Kuntz, and Program Developer of the University Partnership Patrick Keebler.
LCCC Student Senate President Charlene Dellipoala, a social work major currently pursuing her master’s degree through the college’s University Partnership with Youngstown State University, spoke on behalf of the student body in support of the new center and SIR club on campus.
“As a social worker my passion lies in the addiction field, so it is truly an honor for me to be a helping friend for anyone who comes in and needs the resources,” said Dellipoala. “Students who are in recovery deeply value the support of caring individuals across the campus; I want to be a part of their success.”
All CARE Center services are free to the campus community, including LCCC and University Partnership students. Counselors are available for appointments and walk-in sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A referral specialist is available Mondays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Open five days a week, the center’s hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday.