Black Bears for Recovery

What is Recovery?

When you think of recovery, your first thought may be the term ‘alcoholic’ or AA meetings. It may bring to mind the concept of sobriety or the twelve steps. However, recovery is defined differently depending on the individual. Check out the definition provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

“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.”

There is no mention of substance use. The focus is on self-improvement and quality of life. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how recovery can mean different things to different people. It could mean recovery from mental health issues. From eating disorders.  From substance abuse. There is no limit to what can be included.

This can be further broken down into four dimensions:

  1. Health: Taking care of our physical and emotional wellness
  2. Home: A stable place to live
  3. Purpose: Leading a meaningful life and participating in society
  4. Community: Maintaining a network of support and friendship
Recovery and Recovery Support. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from


Black Bears for Recovery

Building that community is where collegiate recovery comes in. College students in recovery, particularly related to substance abuse and dependence, experience things their peers do not. Although many college students do not drink or use other drugs, the majority does. This can create a culture where drinking or smoking are an expected part of the college experience. These behaviors can interfere with a person’s recovery, whether that recovery is substance-related or not.

Something as simple as meeting other students can become complicated. With many students finding friends through parties, students in recovery are often at a disadvantage. Black Bears for Recovery provides an opportunity to meet other students and offers support for academic, personal, and recovery concerns.

This builds a community to foster connections with others. It is less about defining what recovery means to you, and more about providing the support necessary to have an enriching, fulfilling life.

To get involved, check out our Facebook or e-mail James Hiers at



Al-Anon Meetings: These are for people affected by someone else’s drinking, typically a family member. It is open to everyone and there is no expectation of participation until you feel comfortable. Every Monday in the Woolley Room of DTAV at 7 PM.

Twelve Step Meetings: There is an AA meeting on campus every Sunday at 5 PM in the Senior Skulls Room of the Memorial Union. These occur only when school is in session.

Bangor Area Recovery Network (BARN): Located in Brewer, they have meetings every single day. Check out their website or their Facebook page.