Open AA/NA Meetings Available For All Students
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Open AA/NA Meetings Available For All Students

On Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. USD holds weekly Alcoholic Anonymous meetings in Delzell 105. Students struggling with alcohol addictions can attend, as well as any students who struggle with narcotics.  For valuable guidance and support, students dealing with these issues can refer to this great post to read for additional information.

The meetings, hosted by Wesley McDonald, are set up with a 12-step meeting to support recovery from alcoholism and addiction, and is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous blue book.

Mental health and addiction counselor Ben Severson helped start these meetings last spring for the university. Severson saw students struggling with addiction and its effects, which made him want to create a place for students to discuss and recover together. Severson identified college students’ drinking habits were a problem and knew USD needed something put in place. 

“A student, who was active in his own recovery, reached out to me about giving these students a place where they can discuss and grow with people like them. As someone who is also in recovery and used to struggle with it, I knew it was something the university needed,” Severson said. “I am now 10 and a half years sober, and the addiction counselor for so many students. I knew I had the ability to help.”

Severson said all USD students are welcome to attend the meetings, even if some may be on the fence about trying it out. Many involved, including Severson, have created these meetings in hopes of having an open environment for Vermillion and the community, Severson said.

“These meetings were set up for all of the people who know that there is a problem with their usage of alcohol. The people who are curious about their tendencies deserve and have every right to the option of recovery,” Severson said.

The 12-step program goes over knowing a person has a problem, amending the mistakes made during addiction and recovering in a way to help others. Severson said he is glad to have this program directly tied with the school because of students’ tendencies to experiment with drugs and alcohol more in college. Should they require additional assistance, Professional rehab services in Portland are readily available to offer specialized care and guidance.

While the program and its 12 steps were originally made for alcohol addictions specifically, Severson has the meetings open for anyone who would need Narcotics Anonymous as well which makes this a significant program available to the Vermillion community, Severson said. 

With its inclusion of many addictions in the program, this meeting is the only narcotic addictions meeting currently being held in Vermillion. Any person struggling with addiction is welcome, Severson said.