Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

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Drug and Alcohol Abuse Resources

BRCTC Recovery Services

The BRCTC Recovery Program is a support system for our students, faculty and staff who are at any point in the recovery process and for those who are close to someone who is struggling in their recovery and would like to receive some support.

Group Sessions

Group Recovery Coaching Sessions are offered bi-monthly. Come and meet with peers who may have had similar recovery experiences to gain support and learn how others cope.

Group sessions are kept completely confidential (there are a few cases in which exceptions to confidentiality must be made, please see the disclaimer below). You can trust that by attending a BRCTC Recovery group, you will find yourself in a judgement-free, supportive environment.

Individual Sessions

BRCTC has 3 individuals on staff who are West Virginia Recovery Coach Academy trained recovery coaches and who provide services free of charge to students, faculty and staff. Recovery coaching sessions are kept completely confidential (there are few cases in which exceptions to confidentiality must be made, please see the disclaimer below).

If you are interested in speaking with a Recovery Coach regarding individual or group sessions, please contact one of the Recovery Coaches below.

Lisha Burks –, 304-260-4380, ext 2409
MK Francisco – 304-260-4380 ext. 2117
Sara Gordon –, 304-260-4380, ext 2120

***Disclaimer: Faculty and staff at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College have a duty to report threats of harm to oneself or harm to another to the appropriate authorities.

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable, but if left untreated, can last a lifetime.

Health Risks:

People who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, which may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of long-term drug abuse throughout the body. For example, research has shown that tobacco smoke causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.

The Impact of Addiction Can Be Far-Reaching

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Lung disease
  • Mental disorders


  • East Ridge Health Systems: For adults and adolescents, outpatient substance abuse services include assessment, diagnosis, intervention, individual, group and family therapy, and pharmacological management. Clinicians serving adolescents also work with local school systems to provide services to youth engaged in or at risk of alcohol or drug abuse.
    • (304) 263-8954
    • 24-Hour Crisis Number: 1-855-807-1258
  • Martinsburg Institute: Since 2002 Martinsburg Institute has been providing treatment for Opioid Dependence in Berkeley County and the surrounding areas. We provide medically assisted treatment which includes a daily dose of methadone, individual and group counseling, urinalysis testing and more. The Martinsburg Institutes’ goal is to help you reclaim your life by creating a recovery plan, education, building a support network, and decreasing harm to yourself, family and community.
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.


Federal Law: How Drug Convictions Affect Financial Aid

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all colleges and universities to notify all students, even those who are not receiving financial aid, about the financial aid implications of drug convictions. Under federal law, anyone convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal financial aid will lose their eligibility.

Here’s a quick guide to the regulations:

Those convicted of possessing illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:

  • First offense: 1 year from date of conviction
  • Second offense: 2 years from date of conviction
  • Third offense: indefinitely

Those convicted of selling illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:

  • First offense: 2 years from date of conviction
  • Second offense: indefinitely

For more information, review the Federal Student Aid rules on financial aid eligibility. We also invite you to acquaint yourself with BRCTC’s drug and alcohol policy.

If you have questions about this federal financial aid policy, speak with a financial aid advisor.

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