Featured Alumni from The College of Human Ecology

 

Chris Budnick keeps his eyes and ears open for new and innovative trends in treatment and recovery for people with alcohol and other drug disorders. Budnick ’00 is vice president of programs for The Healing Place, a Raleigh nonprofit organization that provides such services for homeless people struggling with addiction. At the 180-bed men’s facility and the 99-bed women’s facility, Budnick provides administrative, supervisory, and direct client-service functions. He also is an adjunct instructor for North Carolina State University’s Department of Social Work, where he teaches a dual-level course, Addiction Recovery and Social Work Practice. This passion, partly fueled by his ECU professors and courses, shows through Budnick’s confidence in the healing abilities of sustained recovery management and advocacy movements. “Believe in recovery,” he says. “Be open to the variety of pathways people take to initiate recovery, and styles for sustaining recovery.”  The Healing Place offers—for men and women 18 and older—overnight emergency shelter, non-medical detoxification, a longterm 12-step peer-based recovery program, and other specialized services like a volunteer health-care clinic, case management for transitional services and permanent housing, and services for families and children. Budnick’s duties both depend on and allow him to follow current trends in his field. “There are two significant and exciting changes occurring with regard to treatment and recovery,” he says. The first is a movement to redesign recovery into more long-term maintenance, taking into account the quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery. Networks of support work with individuals to provide the most supportive recovery environment for each person. The second is an advocacy movement that illustrates how permanent recovery is a reality for thousands of people.

As Budnick sees these trends in action, he still credits what he learned from professors at ECU. “My boss graduated from ECU,” he says. “His experience significantly impacted my decision to go to ECU.” He commuted to campus from Raleigh, balancing his class load on Mondays and Tuesdays. During that time, he learned from a list of instructors he still thinks of today, as they allowed him real-world experiences in the field. “I was afforded the opportunity to travel to the Turks and Caicos islands with Dr. [Vickie] Causby and some classmates to conduct a training on domestic violence,” Budnick says.

     
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