Binge drinking, late-night partying, and experimenting with drugs are seen as a normal part of the American college experience. But it’s not all harmless fun.
College students in the United States are at a high risk of developing addiction or abusing substances. Approximately 80% of U.S. college students have abused alcohol, while the number of students who have abused drugs like Xanax increased by 450% between 1993 and 2005.
It’s for exactly these reasons that collegiate recovery programs are popping up at universities across the country.
What is Collegiate Recovery?
Collegiate recovery provides a non-typical social environment for college students while they continue their education.
According to the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, “A collegiate recovery program is a College or University provided, supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use.”
Because college campuses can provide so many obstacles for students in recovery, collegiate recovery programs aim to remove some of the barriers. They teach students how to maintain abstinence, structure their daily lives in a way that helps them avoid triggers, balancing recovery and academics, and help them to connect with others that have similar experiences.
Benefits of Collegiate Recovery
The largest benefit of collegiate recovery is the alternative social environment. The typical college experience is full of risky behaviors in many standard social circles. For someone who is in recovery, being surrounded by these people on a regular basis can be hard. Choosing this social environment is making the active choice to guard against these risky behaviors.
Participating in a collegiate recovery program is that it ensures participants don’t have to sacrifice their higher education for their recovery, either – should a student begin to relapse, they won’t necessarily need to leave campus and miss classes to recover.
How to Find a Collegiate Recovery Program
Many colleges and universities already have a collegiate recovery program running. You can find a list of collegiate recovery programs in every state here.
However, not every school already has one of these programs available. The availability of these programs is growing across the country, but they’re not everywhere just yet.
Many collegiate recovery programs started out being run and led by students. If your school doesn’t currently have a collegiate recovery program, consider starting one. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education has a thorough list of tips for proposing the implementation of a collegiate recovery program available here.