CHARLOTTE — Staffers at UNC Charlotte's student health center put together boxes of furniture Wednesday, creating a comfortable environment for students recovering from addiction.
"We all know that it is something that is very much needed," said Debbie Insley.
Insley runs the Collegiate Recovery Community, a program that caters to students coping with drug and alcohol problems. The room will be a space where students can talk about their problems with drugs and alcohol.
"We have 12 step meetings where everybody is in the same boat, they understand they all have issues," said Insley.
Charlotte's Ikea store donated the furniture and sent a team to help put the pieces together.
"From the beginning we thought it was a great fit for our products and our design expertise," company spokesperson Brian Gott.
Gott said Ikea's $5,000 grant is part of an effort to improve the community.
"We are neighbors in the University City area and really trying to do our part to make the community better," said Gott.
UNC Charlotte is the first school in the state to offer a program like this one. Staffers say it's an important resource for students who may have started drinking as young as the age of twelve.
"A lot of times students by the time they get to college have already developed some drinking habits," said Insley.
Upon completion, the meeting space could help students break their bad habits, providing a safe place to face their challenges.
"Coming to college is tough enough for a lot of students but if they're already in recovery or have addiction issues, the challenges are much more for them," said Insley.
Universities in other states have used similar programs for decades. More schools in the UNC system plan to add collegiate recovery centers in the next few years.