Sober dorms have started popping up at universities to help students in recovery find a supportive community as they work towards their goals.
For many people in college, it’s difficult to juggle a rigorous schedule. College life is stressful, and many students find freedom for the first time away from home. Unfortunately, with that freedom, there’s a partying lifestyle that is endemic to much of the college experience.
For some students, partying leads to drugs and alcohol binges. It can become pervasive in their lives. It causes problems, and some students take off a semester or even seek help through their school’s medical centers. Many drop out. Other students enter college already veterans of the recovery, having experienced addicton and hit bottoms. They’re returning to school, but they want to avoid the partying lifestyle and simply focus on learning.
To meet the growing demand for a supportive environment for those who want to stay far away from the college partying scene meet this need, schools are developing “collegiate recovery programs” (CRPs).
These services are growing in popularity in universities across the country because they fit such an important need for many students in a very important part of their lives. Nonprofit Transforming Youth Recovery told the Chicago Tribune that number of CRPs increased from 35 to more than 150 in the past 5 years. In fact, “50 include residence halls dedicated to sober living.” 60% of college students age 18 to 22 reported drinking alcohol in the past month, and nearly two out of three of these students admit to binge drinking.
Many students end up with drinking or drug problems, and a few of them seek out help. They are able to find recovery and stay clean and sober through college. CRPs were created to help students stay sober and succeed in college. Not only is there housing available in many of these programs, there are programs with mental health and substance abuse counseling. Most of the students find relief making friends in a supportive and 100% drug and alcohol-free environment.
CRPs also offer support groups, peer-to-peer counseling, and sober outings and events just for members. Augsburg University, Rutgers University, and Illinois State University are just a few of the universities that offer CRPs to their students. It’s estimated that there are 50 schools with sober housing, while there are currently about 150 CRPs total across the US.