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Recovery for Redbirds, Creating an Environment for Young Adults

Written by on October 16, 2022

Photo provided by Recovery for Redbirds

NORMAL, Ill. – The Recovery for Redbirds program at Illinois State University is a place for students who are struggling with addiction and other compulsive actions can come together and work through things with their peers and get help from professionals.

The program which has been around since 2017 has actively helped any and all students in the surrounding area of Bloomington-Normal. 

“The idea was the more that we open it up, the more we’ll have a diversified group that can meet the needs of more individuals,” said Leading Staff Counselor Jamie Laurson.  

Information for the program is able to be seen upon signing up for Recovery for Redbirds, which has a diversified amount of sub-programs to help with a multitude of addictions.

“Generally people only know of one support group, that being AA or NA, the 12 step kind of support groups,” said Laurson. “But actually there are dozens of support groups, we don’t just focus on substance abuse but all compulsive behaviors.” 

One of the biggest upsides of the program is the socialization factor. Students who are struggling can understand that they aren’t alone in those struggles, and even more they know that there are other people that want to change themselves. Members of the program also can find solace and encouragement through the success stories of others who have overcome addiction.

“Research has shown to us that a significant predictor that someone will return to substances is association with old friends,” Laurson stated. “The more abstinent friends someone has, the more likely that they will remain abstinent.” 

The program allows a place for young adults to feel included. Recovery for Redbirds allows young adults to feel more involved and allows them to relate to their group more because they are able to relate to people around their own age more.

“Our goal was to be able to create a strong foundation where everyone can find their place,” said Laurson. 

The program is open for anyone who is struggling to sign up, and meets multiple times a week for food, events, and more.