A Welcomed Trend: Sober Campus Living

There are a growing number of services aimed at helping college students who are in recovery or struggling with a drug or alcohol problem. It’s no surprise since the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that Americans aged 18-24 are the fastest growing demographic group seeking treatment for substance abuse. SAMSHA data also indicates that the rate of heavy alcohol use is highest among Americans aged 20-22 and of that group, college student consumption is heaviest.

In an effort to accommodate the college student subset seeking treatment, we’re beginning to see more campuses support alcohol-free lifestyles.  As of today, 20 colleges have collaborated to form the Association for Recovery in Higher Education and welcome sober students.  Some of the participating schools include:

  • Texas Tech University boasts a Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery with about 80 members in its “collegiate recovery community” which provides study-pods, recreational activities and campus 12-step meetings.
  • The University of Michigan’s Collegiate Recovery Program offers recovery courses, counseling and drug- and alcohol-free activities.
  • Penn State has allotted campus space and staff to its new student recovery program.
  • Kennesaw State University in Georgia — one of the Association’s founding members — has a community of 50 members, up from just three students in 2008.

Students at Texas Tech, for example, are proof that sober programs work.  Tech’s Center students have a 10-year graduation rate of 80% and a cumulative GPA of 3.34.

Campus sobriety is a privilege granted to those students willing to do the hard work of earning their degrees AND taking care of the precious commodity of living sober.

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Does your son or daughter attend a school that supports an alcohol-free lifestyle?  Please add to our list of schools and share which sober living aspects you like most.

Related Links:

10 Important Questions to Ask Sober High Schools

How to Help Your Teen Cope with New-School-Year Stress

Celebrating with Alcohol: A Reward for a Job Well Done?

My Thoughts on “How NOT to Raise a College Binge Drinker”

    User Picture

    Pat – Psychotherapist & Partnership Parent Coach

    October 27, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Hi Kimberly,
    I can understand how upsetting it is to watch your son struggle with heroin and not be able to get him treatment. You mentioned there is no treatment center within 50 miles. I’m not sure if you are referring to all outpatient programs, or if your reference is to residential/rehab programs. It is possible for him to get help on an outpatient basis. I’m wondering if there is a suboxone doctor near you who could help with detox and on-going maintenance and counseling. A link to a directory can be found at http://www.drugfree.org/heroin.

    Also, it would be important to get overdose prevention training as a precautionary measure. You can get Narcan, the overdose antidote, from most pharmacies without a prescription and find training at the same link.

    You might try calling Kaiser and asking them what they suggest in terms of treatment that they will pay for. And you can always call us at 1-855-DRUGFREE and speak with one of the parent specialists who can help you develop a plan. There is no charge for this service and they will help you locate resources for your son.

    Wishing you and your son well,

    User Picture

    Kimberly Mulvaney

    October 27, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Need help with 23 year old Son addicted to Heroine we have Kaiser and no treatment center within 50 miles of us
    Our family is in crisis watching him submit to this drug daily .
    He can’t keep a job and is constantly steeling from us .

    User Picture

    jennifer jost

    October 24, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    I need help for my 14 yr old son who wants to start a clean/sober support group in high school not college.

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