On Tuesday, Teen Recovery Day was observed at Tulsa Community College (TCC) through various events, which included group discussions, prevention workshops, an art project, and presentations by Alateen, a part of Al-Anon, and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
According to a report on Tulsa World, more than 100 teens from various high schools and recovery programs in Oklahoma attended the event, which was held in the Northeast Campus of TCC. During the small group discussions, there were stories of peer pressure, depression, loneliness, experimentation, and a history of addiction in the family.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services revealed that nearly 6 percent of teenagers in the state – roughly 20,000 – need treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs. Sharolyn Wallace, associate professor of human services, and director of the Center for Addiction Prevention Recovery Support at TCC, said that the issue of drugs among teens is “pretty widespread.”
TCC student and recovering addict Becca Sullivan shared her story in one of the small-group sessions. She had experimented with drugs and alcohol as a teenager, and said: “Everything I did that felt good for a second… became a nightmare. I felt hopeless. I was worse than dead. I was spiritually dead.” She shared further that she began to drink and do drugs to fit in. Sullivan has been in recovery for two years, and is currently taking classes at the TCC, hoping to get into counseling in the future.
According to Wallace, TCC is one of the few schools in the country that has a collegiate recovery center.