After struggling with addiction during his undergrad years, Temple graduate student Bob Lamb has been working to help other students in recovery.
For most people, college culture is often associated with partying. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 20% of students across college campuses meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder. Bob Lamb was one of these students a few years ago.
“I was just like a typical college student,” says Lamb. “Like I looked good on paper but like inside—I was, you know, I was drinking a lot…you know, when it came down to getting my life responsibilities done, I was unable to do that.”
Throughout his journey to sobriety at the University of Sciences, Lamb felt that despite there being a good recovery program, a peer-based support system was lacking. When he came to Temple, he founded the Temple Collegiate Recovery Program to ensure students had that extra peer support.
“I knew there were a lot of students at Temple that were in recovery, and you know, that was just kind of something I envisioned that could be beneficial to Temple,” says Lamb. “There was already a 12-step recovery meeting on campus, but just you know, some more officialness at the university level I thought would be beneficial.”
The Temple Collegiate Recovery Program has meetings every Thursday night in Morgan Hall, where students can connect with others in recovery from substance use disorders.
Lamb is very involved with recovery advocacy in the Philadelphia area. Lamb says current studies show that Philadelphia has the highest overdose rates of any major city in the country right now, with rates rising thirty percent last year.
“I’ve been able to meet other programs that have been doing stuff,” says Lamb. “It feel like most of the universities in the area are trying figure out how to address the, you know, drugs and alcohol on campus by developing these recovery communities.”
Lamb says that although the program focuses on recovery from substance use disorders, it also addresses issues like mental health that are often coinciding with substance abuse.
“We’re kind of just an open space where anybody can talk about difficulties they’re going through, you know struggles and stresses,” explains Lamb. “You know, being a college student in today’s age is really difficult, so… it’s a good safe place to go where you can, you know, talk about that, and you know there’s other people that have been through it. Most of the major universities have somebody there that’s trying to figure out a way to do it, whether it’s student-led, faculty-led.. but you know, you just keep seeing them pop up more and more.”
Those seeking recovery support can also visit Tuttleman Counseling Services at 1700 North Broad. There is access to counselors trained in recovery-oriented treatment, substance abuse group therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.