Life-gripping addictions knocked them down, but they’re back on their feet again

Published 11:12 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

CRC provides a variety of resources to students, as listed on its website. The University Counseling Center also hosts a Recovery Support Group, which meets year-round every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 pm. in Lester Hall. It also offers a support group for loved ones and children of alcoholics and addicts during the school year.

CRC students speak with brutal honesty about their addiction, low points and recovery. They inspire one other to keep going. Their stories also offer hope for those who are considering entering treatment while continuing their studies.

Peters, Aron and Peeler wanted to share their harrowing stories and inspiring paths to recovery in hopes of convincing others to get into treatment and find support for overcoming their addictions. They also want to raise awareness about the university’s support system.

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Not even one drink

Peters works within reach of a bottle of rum that flavors up the dishes he cooks at Grit, a trendy restaurant in Taylor. But he knows if he took one sip while no one was looking, it would undo more than 1,300 days of sobriety. The prospect of that terrifies him.

Peters, a 39-year-old junior, is making good grades and forging a path into his future. He wants to help those who are going through what he’s been through.

“I want to understand why it happens, and if there is a way we can figure out the breaking points,” Peters said. “I want to know if we can identify those behaviors and modify them.”

A serious alcohol problem caused Peters to lose lucrative jobs as an executive chef and later at an automotive plant, ended his marriage and strained relationships with loved ones. With relapses into alcoholism behind him, Peters is on the right path, but it hasn’t been easy, not by any stretch of the imagination.

“The memory of what happens if I take one drink keeps me sober,” Peters said, tearfully. “That’s pretty scary. Having that memory helps me. That relapse and what happens leaves no room for error for me.”

He’s leaned heavily on the campus CRC, drawing both support and accountability from other students who are trying to stay on track. Peters credits the support of CRC as crucial to his recovery.