Sober Tailgate hopes to support WVU students and recovering addicts

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV)-- It was another big game day for West Virginia University and that means thousands of people gathered in Morgantown to cheer on the Mountaineers.

But, sometimes attending a tailgate can do more damage than good.

5 News attended a sober tailgate and she has more on how this event is supporting recovering addicts.

In a college town, the temptations of alcohol and drug use are all around.

And for some students, faculty, and local residents, the social pressures surrounding them make staying sober extremely difficult.

"There's obviously a lot of tailgating," Shawn Anderson, Jacob's Ladder Recovery Program, said. "There's a lot of parties. I'm sure there's a lot of drug use at those parties. And, you know, a lot of people, especially in college towns, probably just want to fit in."

Those pressures of fitting-in can often cause negative emotional consequences when students opt out of drinking.

For those on the road to recovery, being around those game-day activities is sometimes dangerous.

And finding safe alternatives is just as hard.

"One of the things people need to change in recovery is people places and things, and that can be difficult in a college environment," Andrea Winters, Grad Student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program, said.

In an effort to support those in recovery, the WVU Collegiate Recovery Program hosted their first ever Sober Tailgate, that will now be open every game-day to anyone in the Morgantown area.

"We're trying to offer an environment where they can have fun, but not have those social pressures and the temptation," Winters said.

The Collegiate Recovery Program began earlier this year and they work to provide support for students in recovery from alcohol and other substance addictions.

This community offers a place were students and faculty can achieve success and enjoy the college experience without drugs or alcohol.

"Our hope is in the future we can even add more support here for students, so they can see this as an alternative," Cathy Yura, Director of the program, said.

The Collegiate Recovery Program works with WV-Up All Night to provide alternative activities for students throughout the week.

And you can attend the next Sober Tailgate at the program's new space called Serenity Place on the Evansdale Campus.