After battling addiction, business information systems junior Davis Henegar decided to create his own program to help other students overcome their own battles.
“I figured out a way to get sober and I thought it would be selfish to not share that with other people,” Henegar said.
In an effort to avoid the stigma associated with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), Henegar named his program Mustangs for Recovery in Spring 2018.
“Part of the 12-step alcoholics anonymous is that we share the message with other addicts and alcoholics still struggling, so I try my best to carry that out,” Henegar said. “I chose to call it Mustangs for Recovery because people are sometimes embarrassed to go to A.A. meetings.”
Since the program’s launch, more than 20 students have attended and each class had an average of four attendees, Henegar said.
One of Henegar’s goals with the program was to create a safe place for students who were not sure if they had a problem or not.
“I was doing the hardest drugs imaginable and this time last year I weighed 115 pounds and I was just in terrible shape and I still didn’t think I needed help,” Henegar said. “So basically I was just dragged kicking and screaming to a 95 day inpatient treatment program and it wasn’t until about three or four weeks into the program that I realized that maybe I did have a problem.”
In addition to 12-step meetings on Thursday nights, the program also offers weekly meditations Wednesday mornings followed by goal-setting sessions immediately after.
The meditations are led by Tracy Short, an intern for the Cal Poly Health and Wellness Center. During a goal-setting session, attendees set three goals for the week. The goals help attendees go through their day with a sense of direction, according to Henegar.
“I was required to fulfill a spiritual enrichment once a week during my time in A.A. because part of the A.A. program is you need to have a higher power, because the way a lot of alcoholics see it is addiction is caused by a lack of power,” Henegar said. “I try to keep religion out of it because it’s not a religious program — it’s a spiritual program.”
Henegar plans on opening a sober living home for men and women in the future.
“It’s just really nice to see that my work that I’ve been putting into this program is starting to pay off potentially saving lives, and that’s just a really good feeling,” Henegar said.