Students in Recovery on NPR

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In murder mystery novels, when the hero, a private detective or homicide cop, drops by a late-night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to stave off a sudden craving for a beer or two or 20, it’s usually in some dingy church basement or dilapidated storefront on the seedier side of town. There’s a pot of burnt coffee and a few stale doughnuts on a back table.
The Center for Students in Recovery at the University of Texas could not be more different.
In a bit of inspiration, UT located the center inside the luxurious athletic facilities attached to the university’s football stadium. There are martial arts and dance studios; fencing, squash and steam rooms. It means the students in recovery are rubbing shoulders with UT’s many student-athletes — another group with priorities besides partying. The scholarship athletes and the recovering addicts make for an interesting mix.
Twenty-three-year-old Lizette Smith, a member of the latter group, was born into a well-to-do family in a small town in Alabama. She was smart, popular, got good grades — even had a job. Her parents were largely absent, she says, busy with their own lives and their own demons. By 14, she was abusing Adderall, and as she grew older, she abused illegal drugs and alcohol.
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