Southern Miss Students Help Individuals in Recovery

Southern Miss Students Help Individuals in Recovery

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) and the Southern Students About Service (SSAS) at The University of Southern Mississippi are dedicated to helping individuals in recovery.

"We are a student organization whose mission is to assist in the community in any way that we can," said Charlie Osborne, a master of social work student and intern at the Southern Miss Counseling Center. "We are composed of people in recovery or those who support the process of recovery."

Osborne and other students and faculty lead narcotics anonymous (NA) and alcoholics anonymous (AA) meetings every week. The meetings are open to the campus and Hattiesburg community. AA meetings are held on Tuesdays at noon and NA meetings will be held on Sundays at 1 p.m. SSAS meetings will be held on the first and third Sundays of each month at 2 p.m.

The recovery groups currently meet in R.C. Cook Union, room 210 on the Hattiesburg campus. However, because of increasing membership and activities, CRC/SSAS has a new home at 3602 Azalea Drive.

"The new location will allow us to continue our current meetings, have more meetings, and increase the accessibility," said Osborne. "We also plan to start an eating disorder meetings."

Osborne said Dr. Joseph Paul, vice president of student affairs, was instrumental in helping CRC/SSAS find a permanent home. "We approached him and presented our goals, the strength of the program, and our needs," said Osborne. "He responded with, 'what can I do to make it happen?' He immediately started helping make our goals a reality."

SSAS is the student group affiliated with the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). CRC is a program for students who are in recovery from addictive disorders including alcohol, drugs and eating disorders. Members of SSAS and CRC will have access to the house to host meetings, study, relax and engage in group activities. SASS and CRC aim to move into the new location by summer 2015.

Natasha Pierpont, a senior elementary education major, has been involved with CRC since it started in spring 2012. "I am five and a half years clean and I am about to graduate from college, something I never thought possible," said Pierpont. "It is all because the program and support that I receive from those that are just like me - addicts in recovery."

Osborne said one of his favorite experiences with SSAS took place last fall when the group hosted a tailgate under a banner with the message, "Taking it One Game at a Time: Sober Tailgate." "We were approached by student who had to drop out of school to go to treatment," said Osborne. "The student said he was so thankful to know that there was support here on campus."

"It is important for USM to offer recovery options because so many people are realizing that they have a problem with drugs and alcohol at such a young age," said Pierpont. "Therefore they need to know that there are ways to continue on and actually try to make something of themselves by getting a degree."

For more information about SSAS visit, or contact Sydney Smith at For more information about CRC visit