Eagles For Recovery Kickoff Recieved with Support by Students, Staff and Faculty at EWU


By Cannon Barnett, Reporter

Red, black, and white balloons greeted those at The Roost the evening of April 14th, followed by an enthusiastic welcome from the Eagles for Recovery team. The group was holding a kickoff event that felt every bit like a celebration — people of all ages chatting and playing games together with smiles on their faces.

Eagles for recovery, a new group on campus focusing on supporting students in recovery from addiction, had been planning this kickoff event for over a month. More information about the beginning of Eagles for Recovery can be found here.

“It feels really good. It is nice to see the support,” said Michael McClung, the Counseling and Wellness staff member overseeing the organization, about the turnout.

The kickoff event coincidentally aligned with National Collegiate Recovery Week, a week put on by the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). The ARHE website (link here) contains a powerpoint that estimates that 8.7% of full-time college students aged 18-22 years old meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Eastern Washington University is an institutional member of ARHE, which provides resources for harm-reduction and recovery support.

“[ARHE] raises awareness about collegiate recovery. There are campuses across the United States that have had collegiate recovery communities for a long time now and it’s becoming more broad and more institutions are realizing the need to have this sort of community for students that are in recovery,” McClung said.

At the kickoff event, Deterra drug deactivation pouches were available alongside pins and stickers. The pouches are designed to make it easier to dispose of unwanted drugs. Eagles for Recovery hopes to soon be able to provide Naloxone and fentanyl test strips as well.

“Something we are very interested in is potentially collaborating with other organizations,” McClung said. “Some of the sororities and fraternities have started getting Naloxone and creating a program for that which is really amazing.”

Though many of the kickoff attendees declined to be interviewed, a few expressed positive feelings towards the new program.

“I think education is very difficult to gain, especially if you are struggling with addiction or something you need to recover from. Having this will definitely help folks get their education, and through education better themselves,” said student Emily Cuarenta.

“I definitely think this will have a lot of support around campus,” said graduate studies staff member Emily Buriak. “We don’t deal with a ton of the on-campus students that this could help the most, but when they do come in it’s nice to know that this is a resource we can send them to.”

Eagles for Recovery will be holding a recovery support group in Martin Hall 209 every Tuesday from 4pm-5pm.