Vol. 92, Issue 3
Counselor has always said ‘no’ to drugs
By Latisse Suggs
Echo staff writer
Byron Brooks, N.C. Central University’s mental health counselor, has never abused alcohol or drugs.
“Unlike most substance abuse counselors, I am not in rehab, nor
do I have a family member in rehab,” said Brooks. “I have always wanted
to go into a health profession.
“When I was in high school, one of my friends, who was an addict, got pregnant. I went to see her after her daughter was born and seeing the baby in the nursery going through withdrawal — that was it. I said: ‘This is what I want to do.’”
33-year-old native of Dallas, NC, Brooks has an extensive educational and professional background. He received his BA in Psychology from East Carolina University and has earned advanced degrees and certificates in rehabilitation and substance abuse counseling. He is currently in a doctoral program at N.C. State University.
Brooks has worked as a substance abuse counselor and he has taught graduate courses on addiction counseling.
He brought his expertise to NCCU in July 2000. Brooks said has big plans for making sure that the needs of NCCU’s diversified student body are met. Besides planning activities for National Alcohol Awareness Week, he plans to write grants to get federal money for continual prevention efforts on campus.
Brooks plans to provide resident advisors with access to more educational materials and bring Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous resources to the campus.
“Students need easier access to these resources, instead of having to drive across town for an AA meeting,” said Brooks.
Although there will be no on-campus treatment, Brooks will eventually provide assessment, intervention and referrals to students who are victims of substance abuse.
“I want to make students aware of the health affects of substance abuse,” said Brooks. “More students will die from alcohol-related causes than will graduate with advanced degrees.
“That’s the information that I want students to know, the true costs of drinking and drug use.”
For further information or counseling, Byron Brooks is in Student Services,
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