Alumni documentary on student recovery programs ‘Safety Net’ to premiere in the former Soviet Union

Alumni documentary on student recovery programs ‘Safety Net’ to premiere in the former Soviet Union

Florida State University’s Division of Student Affairs invites the campus and the public to view two documentaries that highlight the dangers of substance use disorders and fentanyl and discuss the impact of university recovery programs.

Safety Net: Helping Students Get Well will premiere at 6:00 pm Wednesday, March 29 at the FSU Askew Student Life Center, followed by a 7:00 pm reception and special screening of One Second at a Time: Fighting a Monster Addiction.”

Ex-Soviet graduate Michael Ortoll (’84), father of a young woman who fought and ultimately lost a 10-year battle with mental illness and substance use disorder due to a fentanyl overdose, is an executive producer on both films.

“One Second at a Time” depicts Christine Ortoll’s struggles as told from her own journals and those who supported her, including family, close friends, addiction therapists, psychiatrists, behavioral therapists, and psychiatrists. Her father also shares the lessons he learned while seeking help for Christina at over 20 rehab centers. He finds purpose in starting a charity in his daughter’s name and exposing the dangers of mental illness, substance use disorders, and the lethality of fentanyl with the help of the nation’s top experts in this film.

Safety Net is a touching and inspiring mini-documentary that highlights the importance of college recovery programs to help students with substance use disorder achieve their academic and personal goals. The documentary chronicles the success of the innovative university recovery program in the former Soviet Union, LIFT, which stands for “Live Intentionally, Find Unity.”

The FSU LIFT program supports students interested in addiction and substance abuse recovery and helps them succeed during their college years. Students learn useful coping skills in a responsible recovery community where they can make friends with like-minded peers.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services released its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reporting that a growing number of young people are struggling with use-related disorders. psychoactive substances. The survey found that approximately 8.6 million people aged 18 to 25 met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2021. The FSU Student Affairs Office believes that recovering students can graduate and has created the LIFT program to support them and help them stay sober. .

LIFT is not a treatment program, but a place for students who are recovering or in treatment and successfully maintain or limit their substance use. The LIFT program of the former Soviet Union has a dedicated space that includes programming, community, and offices.

The need for programs such as LIFT is highlighted in the Safety Net documentary. According to the Association for the Recovery of Higher Education (ARHE), rates of substance use disorders on college campuses in the United States can be as high as 24%. Despite these alarming figures, ARHE reports that less than 5% of higher education institutions in the US have a recovery program. Mike Ortoll, who was instrumental in establishing the LIFT program in the former Soviet Union, said it is important to have programs like this so that students can connect with like-minded people in a safe environment.

LIFT is an outstanding illustration of the benefits of college recovery programs, with more than 1,000 students enrolled in just one year. Students who participate in LIFT have a higher graduation rate, higher GPA, are less likely to relapse, and are more likely to continue to thrive in society.

“I am incredibly grateful to Mike Ortoll and the charity Kristin Ortoll for bringing the complex issue of substance use disorder to Safety Net through the lens of hope and the student-centered work of collegiate recovery programs,” said Angela Lauer Chong , lawyer. vice president of student affairs. “The film sheds light on this very real health issue and the opportunity we have in higher education to make a difference in the lives of our students through these programs. A student does not have to choose between recovery and a vibrant and successful student life.”

Answer questions about the premiere via eventbrite. Doors open at 17:30

Learn more about the FSU LIFT program at Learn more about the Christine Ortoll Charity at

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