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Student support group needed on campus

Oct. 7, 2005


Baylor's come a long way over the years in terms of social issues.

But even today, there's a serious stigma surrounding chemical addictions.

Baylor isn't immune to the destruction addiction leaves in its wake, but many students fear talking about the topic on campus and seeking help.

Ben Hemeniuk | Lariat staff
Our campus needs a safe place for students to receive support, whether they're facing an addiction problem or if their friends or family are the ones dealing with a destructive habit.

The Baylor Counseling Center offers one-on-one counseling to address addiction, but there are no official support groups on campus.

Schools around the country, such as Texas Christian University, have created programs to tackle issues exactly like this.

It's not that Baylor students don't also struggle with addiction.

It can strike anywhere -- alcohol at weekend parties that sometimes spills over into the week, study drugs to help students stay up and cram for the next test or simply prescription painkillers students can't ween themselves off of after an injury.

Several Waco groups are open for students to use, such as the Waco chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Heart of Texas Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse. Those are great organizations doing good things, but they're in the Waco community.

Baylor students need a place where they can talk to other students who have the same problems. A place where they know they won't be judged. A place where they won't worry about being reported for substance abuse.

It's hard enough for students to recognize that they have a chemical dependency. We as a university need to make recovering from addiction as painle

ss a process as possible.

We all make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes lead to habits that turn into full-blown addictions. At the same time, we're all born with feet of clay, and we shouldn't judge lest we be judged ourselves.

One of the themes this university has demonstrated through the years is a heart for people who need help.

We've got to help people in the Baylor family who need understanding most.