Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network Coordinator speaks to students on Oct. 30


Michaela Austin

On Oct. 30, Career Speaker Robert Duffy speaks about Drug and Alcohol Counseling in Room 103 during PRIDE Time. Duffy was a Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network Coordinator at Fort Hays State University.

On Oct. 30, Drug and Alcohol Counselor Robert Duffy spoke to students about his occupation during PRIDE Time. He has been the coordinator of the Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network at Fort Hays State University since September of 1997. 

Duffy is a licensed addiction counselor and directs the statelicensed outpatient counseling, diagnostic and referral service on FHSU’s campus. He is cofounder of the Partnership for a Safer Community, which established the Safe Ride program. In 1997, he received his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Connecticut. 

“Working on a college campus gives me a lot of advantages in the work I do, because I never have the same day,” Duffy said. “I’ll walk in sometimes, and I will have eight appointments on my schedule, and that first appointment might be somebody who’s in crisis, and there goes the rest of my schedule. That crisis is the most important thing for me to work with on that day.” 

Duffy also does personal counseling, which can also affect his schedule.  

“I’ll walk in some days, and I won’t have anything on my calendar, and there will be walk-in, after walk-in, after walk-in.” 

Duffy mentioned how he came from an alcoholic family, with both of his parents struggling with addiction. Duffy himself did not start drinking until he was 18.  

“My buddy joined the military, and we looked at each other, and he said, ‘Well, if we should be able to sign our life and give our life to the country, we should be able to drink,’” Duffy said. “Whether you believe that or not, you still have to ask yourself, ‘But is that the right decision for me?’ It’s not about what I should be able to do, it’s what I should do.”