Peer-Based, On-Campus Programs Aim to Promote Culture of Recovery at College

A program that aims to promote a culture of recovery at several U.S. universities is showing promise, a new study suggests.

Collegiate Recovery Communities are peer-based, on-campus programs, based on a model developed at Texas Tech University. A study presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Meeting this week found that after participating in the program for six months, students reported feeling strong levels of support for their recovery and satisfaction with their lives. The study included 148 students at five universities.

Lead researcher Alexandre B. Laudet, Director of the National Development and Research Institutes in New York, told the Los Angeles Times that many young people may be forgoing their education because they are afraid it will jeopardize their sobriety. “There is a shocking lack of recovery support. And, in the absence of symptom management, the problem is going to start again,” he said.

Dr. Laudet said it is not yet known whether these programs can reduce relapse rates, which are usually high in college-age students.

Some colleges provide recovery housing for students. These residence halls are designed to help students find like-minded peers who are willing to take the clean and sober route through their college careers. The Association of Recovery Schools lists 16 colleges and universities with recovery programs.

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    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Addiction and recovery are out there. It is not AA or a 12 step model. Students get that support out there in the real world where 12 step recovery exists. Recovery support is more like a student assistance services and development of peer support within an educational institution. Recovery support is all about having fun, being free, gaining worth and positive recognition. It is true that there is a stigma out there so wellness, mindfulness and other positive terms can apply. What these program do is to help recovering youth learn how to be a member of an academic institution while harnessing their true potential.

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    June 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    “Culture of Recovery” sounds like 12 steps subculture. I would rather see it as a Culture of Healthy Living.

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