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Lighthouse offers Clemson students a safe house to recover from opioid addictions

In response to growing concern over an opioid epidemic in South Carolina affecting students, Clemson has made the decision to begin hosting a safe house for students attempting to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Clemson University is collaborating with the Solutions Recovery Center in Greenville on The Lighthouse, an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program. It was created to offer a therapeutic recovery community near campus, in order to focus on early intervention and ongoing recovery from substance abuse disorders.
Tarell Rodgers, executive director at Solutions Recovery Center, discussed the need for the on-campus treatment.
“We see Clemson students come to us in Greenville but they’re already out of school for two or three years with a problem. We’d like to help them while they’re still in school.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million adults had a substance abuse disorder. According to Rodgers, the age range on those adults is getting lower.
“Our demographic used to be twenty-five and up. Now it’s eighteen to twenty-five majority. They’re starting younger,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers believes the reason for this is how treatment to mental health disorders is approached.
“Prescription drugs come in, but not therapy. Some people already have a chemical dependency, though, and develop an addiction. We want to give a more holistic approach.”
Lighthouse’s main objective is to take a therapeutic approach to recovery. There are programs designed for those without mental health issues, as well such as the basic Outpatient Treatment program.
Outpatient and intensive outpatient services let students keep up with treatments while staying at home and in school.
“We want to help people face the rigors of school and life,” Rodgers said.
In addition to Lighthouse, Clemson is paying more attention to the opioid and drug epidemic in the area. Faculty and students from the public health sciences department recently held a symposium called “Deadly Drugs in the Palmetto State: Opiates – An Epidemic?” on April 19. 
For more information on The Lighthouse at Clemson and Solutions Recovery Center call 864-626-1837.

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