(Published October 7, 2009 in the Michigan Daily by Veronica Menaldi)

For many students, moving to Ann Arbor to begin their careers at the University of Michigan is a time of excitement, curiosity and maybe a little bit of fear. But for School of Social Work graduate student Ivana Grahovac, the emotions were different.

As Grahovac prepared to start her time at the University, she was also recovering from a five-year addiction to heroin. Though she had been clean and sober for four-and-a-half years in her hometown of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., she wasn’t sure she could recreate that security in Ann Arbor.

Grahovac said coming to Ann Arbor was a “leap of faith” and that once she arrived, she felt her sobriety constantly threatened.

“I was constantly getting these e-mails about being invited to join people for keggers, drink night specials and pub-crawls,” she said. “There was just a real lack of understanding going on that maybe there are people for whom this would be a very bad choice and possibly cause some serious negative and tragic consequences to occur.”

It was in this environment that Grahovac decided to create Students for Recovery, a group aiming to support and provide provides information for students recovering from addiction. The group also helps students find sober programming as an alternative to the usual Friday night party filled with red Solo cups and alcohol. MORE . . .