12 Step Programs: Not for Losers

The public is invited to learn about addiction and recovery programs, and the people who attend them.

When someone mentions a 12-step program, what comes to mind?

The Association of Students About Service (ASAS) at Texas Tech University wants to educate, advocate and inspire the public’s perception at a free event Saturday (Feb. 18) at the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, located on campus at 15th Street and Akron Avenue.

“This is an effort to break the stigma, and let others know that you can recover,” said Shannon Mason, a senior human development and family studies major, from Eden. “Millions have done it. It’s a life-long process, but it is possible.”

The 2012 ASAS Recovery Convention includes a day of lectures and appearances from leading researchers, advocacy groups, authors and representatives of various 12-step and recovery groups. The lineup includes Lubbock native Janice Gaunt, a Texas Tech alumna and author of “The Shame Game.”

“The disease begins with pain and addictive behaviors, which leads to shame and guilt, which leads back to more pain. It keeps people in a destructive cycle,” ASAS advisor George Comiskey said. “What Janice brings (to the conference) is the topic of coping, which brings about self-esteem and healing.”

ASAS is a registered on-campus student organization, formed by students of the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). Community service falls in line with the 12-step philosophy, because it is said to be crucial to maintaining long-term, quality sobriety. Nick Hayes, a sophomore community, family, and addiction services major from Tuscaloosa, Ala., credits the CRC for his academic success.

“I came 1,010 miles to attend Texas Tech,” Hayes said. “The CRC is a safe place. I’ve had a fun, clean and sober college experience at a major university.”

“Sometimes I’m in awe that I’m really here,” Mason said. “I’m an alcoholic, in school and about to graduate.”

Convention schedule:

  • 9-10 a.m. - Registration and breakfast
  • 10-11 a.m. – George Youngblood, “Alternative Peer Groups”
    Grace M., Cocaine Anonymous
  • 11-11:15 a.m. – Break
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Dr. Adi Jaffe, “All About Addiction”
  • 12:15-1:15 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. – Janice Gaunt, “The Shame Game”
    Ryan, Narcotics Anonymous
  • 2:15-2:30 p.m. – Break
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Ben Bass, “Faces & Voices of Recovery”
  • 3:30-3:45 p.m. – Break
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Katie Mitchell, “Eating Disorders”
    Alan, sex addiction
  • 4:45-5 p.m. – Break
  • 5-6 p.m. – Amy, Alcoholics Anonymous
  • 6-7 p.m. – Dinner
    Kurtis Matthews, addiction and recovery comedian

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu and on Twitter @TexasTechMedia.

CONTACT:George Comiskey, associate director, Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2891l or george.e.comiskey@ttu.edu.