Frequently Asked Questions

What is a collegiate recovery community?

A collegiate recovery community is a College or University-provided, supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use or process addiction. It is designed to provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure that students do not have to sacrifice one for the other (Association for Recovery in Higher Education, 2021.)

What is the Center for Students in Recovery?

The Center for Students in Recovery (shortened to CSR), founded in 2004, provides a supportive space and community for students in recovery or seeking recovery from addiction of any kind. Participation is completely voluntary and there is no barrier to entry. Students at any stage of recovery and at any point in their academic journeys are welcome. Students are invited to hang out during open hours, come to a support group meeting, attend a CSR social event or just get in the loop about volunteer opportunities and upcoming activities. All are free to visit our space and pick up information about our resources with or without attending a meeting or event. Recovery works and can be part of a genuine college experience.

Where are you located?

The Center is located on the 2nd floor of Bellmont Hall, BEL 222. Directions to the center and parking can be found here. 

I'm curious but don't know where to start?

It’s common to feel uncertain about taking the first steps to get connected with the recovery community. If you’re interested in talking about your options or how we can support your recovery journey, you can schedule a one-on-one office hour appointment with one of our staff members. Staff office hour appointments can be held either in-person or virtually and typically last 30 minutes. Please contact us at

I am interested in learning more about the Center, recovery, and sobriety, but I'm not sure it's right for me. What are my options?

It is quite common for students to want to learn a bit more about what options are available on campus to support their desired change in their substance use before jumping into a recovery meeting or group. It can be a big, sometimes scary, step to begin the process of changing the ways that we engage with certain behaviors or addictions. Fortunately, our campus offers a variety of supports that may be helpful.

The Center for Students in Recovery offers drop-in recovery groups for students interested in learning about their recovery options and what recovery could look like for them. We also offer one-on-one meetings with our professional staff, trained in recovery coaching, to help students determine what supports feel like the best fit for them. Please contact us at

The Counseling and Mental Health Center is available to discuss mental health options (both in-person and telehealth appointments available.) Schedule an initial appointment online or call 512-471-3515.

What can I expect when I attend a recovery meeting at the Center?

While each type of recovery meeting that we offer may have slight differences in focus, you can expect a warm welcome and friendly folks! Our meetings are held in our main Community Room, just to your left when you enter our space in BEL 222. Our meetings are designed to provide a safe and supportive space for students exploring addiction recovery and often the sharing of personal experiences with addiction, recovery, successes, or challenges is encouraged, but not required of each person should you wish not to share. We offer a space where individuals respectfully listen to each other, share thoughts, feelings, provide validation, and offer encouragement to fellow members to help members cope with issues in their lives related to their substance use or addictive behaviors. We ask students to not attend the group under the influence. Coffee, tea, and snacks are provided.

Is a recovery meeting right for me?

The best way to know is to check one out, but answering yes to the following questions might indicate benefit from one of our groups:

  1. Is my use or addictive behavior interfering with my academic performance? My work performance? My relationships?
  2. Do I engage in the behavior for a “pick me up”? Out of boredom? Because I’m stressed? To fit in with others?
  3. Do I ever regret my actions after using? Blackout and not remember my actions? Get into fights after drinking/using? Get angry or embarrassed when others bring up my drinking/using?

You can find a list of current meetings here. Please contact us at for any questions.

Can you refer to emergency mental health services?

Yes. If a problem arises after business hours or on the weekends, call the University CMHC Crisis Line at 512-471-2255. A counselor is available to talk with you about your concerns 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Crisis Services - I Need to Talk to Someone Now

What if I'm concerned about another person's behavior?

If you are worried about a friend or family member, we invite you to participate in our mutual aid support group explicitly designed for students with a loved one who has struggled with addiction. 

If the person you are worried about is also affiliated with UT, please call the Behavioral Concerns Advice Line (BCAL) at 512-232-5050 if you are concerned about the behavior of a UT student, faculty, or staff member. Trained staff will assist you in exploring available strategies, and will also provide appropriate guidance and resource referrals.

If you have concerns regarding an individual's behavior who is not at UT, or even your own behavior, call the CMHC Crisis Line at 512-471-CALL (2255) (UT Students Only).



How can I learn more about supporting people in my life who are in recovery?

There are two main ways we hope to support you as you navigate supporting someone in your life in recovery. The first is through our Family Den group, designed for students who have a friend or family that may be struggling with addiction or already in recovery. More information about the Family Den group and when it meets may be found on our meeting page.

Secondly, the Recovery Ally Training program was developed by the Center for Students in Recovery as another way to support students in recovery on the UT Austin campus. Upon completion of the Recovery Ally Training, a participant will be able to:

  • Describe the science of substance use disorders and recovery,
  • Demonstrate how to have a conversation with a person who seems to be struggling with substance use,
  • Demonstrate how to effectively express support for a student in recovery, and
  • Describe on- and off-campus resources.

Please visit our Recovery Ally page to learn more about the trainings and to view and RSVP for an upcoming date.

I need to withdraw from classes due to seeing treatment for substance use disorder. What do I do?

Visit the University Health Services page for information on medical withdrawals and course load reductions. If you need help navigating this process, please reach out and we can walk through the process with you as well as begin to plan a return strategy. 

Do you have any information on local sober living options?

Sober Austin maintains a database of local sober living resources and is a great place to begin to explore options.

Do many students participate at the center?

Yes. Students of all ages and academic levels are welcome, from traditional undergraduates to non-traditional, graduate and professional students. Students who attend other colleges and schools in the Austin area are also welcome at CSR meetings. We welcome students pursuing various pathways to recovery and celebrate and support each person’s individual recovery journey. There is no formal membership and our meetings and activities are open to all students in recovery on campus. The Center is run by full-time staff members and part-time student assistants who are knowledgeable about recovery resources on and off campus. We’re here to link you to resources and help you get the support you need.

What is recovery?

This is the big question! Each student gets to define what their recovery journey looks like for them. If you want a more formal definition, "Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2021.)"

What are the different pathways to recovery?

There is no one standard method for how people start and maintain their recovery over time. The most commonly used methods include:

  • 12-step format (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.)
  • SMART recovery
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • faith-based recovery
  • mindfulness based recovery
  • recovery via medication, therapy, and fitness
Are there scholarships available?

Yes, the Center offers scholarships to UT Austin students in recovery. For more information on eligibility requirements and application information, please email

Will my privacy be protected?

The Center for Students in Recovery takes student privacy very seriously. All recovery meetings and groups are closed to observers. Center staff do not disclose the identities of those who attend our activities. 

I am doing a class project and need to interview someone at the Center. How can I do this?

Please contact Lilly Ettinger at