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Augsburg's StepUP Program Announces Reception with Special Guest William C. Moyers

Event to Kick Off Activities Surrounding Alcoholics Anonymous Convention

Jun. 22, 2000

The StepUP Program at Augsburg College will host a special reception to kick off the activities surrounding the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Minneapolis. An informational reception for StepUP staff, students and board members, with guest William C. Moyers, will be held Wednesday, June 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Marquette Place, 1314 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis, in the party room on the 35th floor.

Moyers uses his personal experiences to highlight the power of addiction and the power of recovery. He is an award-winning journalist who has worked with the Hazelden Foundation and is a recipient of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Award for his work to advance the understanding of public policy issues related to addiction.

The StepUP Program supports chemically dependent students in their recovery and gives them the tools they need to succeed academically. The reception will, in part, celebrate the success of the three-year-old program.

"In just three short years, we have made an impact," said Don Warren, Director of StepUP. "I'm very pleased with our initial success." Over the past two years, the program has had a low relapse rate among its students, this year maintaining a 5-percent relapse rate (Hazelden Foundation had predicted the rate could be as high as 85 percent) and a mean grade point average of B for its members.

StepUP is a unique program, combining a drug-free residence hall, weekly counseling in academic and recovery skills, relapse prevention workshops and required meetings with a home group and sponsor.

"The results are changed lives and success of the students," said Toby LaBelle, StepUP Advisory Board member and Augsburg graduate.

The StepUP Program began with 23 students and will have 43 enrolled this fall.

Recent surveys show that more than two-thirds of college students, including those under the legal age to drink, report drinking within 30 days of being surveyed. In 1994, 40 percent of college students reported binge drinking (defined as taking five or more drinks in one sitting) within two weeks of the survey. Binge drinking is associated with higher incidents of property damage, sexual assaults, injury to themselves and others, and drinking and driving. In addition, students miss more classes and grades suffer.

"Even in this environment, the chemically dependent students could be successful if given the appropriate support and services. We have the results to prove it," said Warren.

An endowment fund and advisory board has been created to support StepUP. Interested parties may contact John Knight, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations for Augsburg College, 612-330-1380.