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Unique Sobriety Program Begins First Full Year At College of Charleston

WCIV

Progress can be seen and heard on the College of Charleston campus. Construction crews use heavy duty equipment to build a new structure at the corner of Coming and George Streets.

With students returning in two weeks, preparations are also being made inside the nearby Stern Student Center. Wood Marchant gets ready for his first full school year as director of the Collegiate Recovery Program.

"We do the same things that fraternities do. We have fun. We do service projects. We give back to the campus end of the community. But we're just sober while we're doing it," Marchant said.

Hired last fall, Marchant leads the new program designed to help students recovering from substance and addictive disorders. A lounge on the third floor is where members meet for fellowship.

"We also have weekly recovery meetings where we get together and talk about recovery planning. And anything that's going on with students that they need to talk about and share about," he said.

Marchant says 14 students signed up last semester. And he's already heard from five others who plan to join. He doesn't think increased interest in the program is related to another controversy about a college fraternity.

"We're seeing more and more students kind of hit what we call their bottom at an earlier age. Because of the alcohol, drug combination," Marchant said.

Still, he wants to reach as many students as possible who seek a different college experience.

"Charleston is a great place to come to school. Now it’s a great place to come if you're a sober student," he said.

Marchant says he's heard from officials at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University about launching similar programs.

If you'd like to learn more about Collegiate Recovery Program, call 843-953-6630.

Its second full semester at College of Charleston begins August 22.

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