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The atmosphere on many college campuses is one of weekend partying, where alcohol flows freely and drugs may be readily available.
However, there are many college students that are in recovery and do not want that kind of college experience. Today there are a large number of colleges and universities throughout the country that have put into place collegiate recovery programs as a way for these students to maintain their recovery while attending their school of choice.
What Are Collegiate Recovery Programs?
Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) and Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs) are both names used interchangeably for programs that are sanctioned and supported by a particular educational institution. These programs provide students in recovery from substance abuse or addiction a place where they can receive the support and assistance that they need to maintain their sobriety during their college experience. Students that choose to live a sober lifestyle are provided with the necessary resources they need to reach their personal goals and achieve academic success.
They are part of a fellowship and a stigma-free supportive community. Some colleges and universities also provide specific housing for students in the collegiate recovery programs. Although every program provides a supportive safe atmosphere, they do differ in some ways. Each one has its own set of guidelines and programs based on the specific needs of their students.
What Are the Goals of a Collegiate Recovery Program?
According to the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) the goal of a collegiate recovery program is to provide students in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction the chance to experience the opportunities of higher education while in college and after graduation. This is achieved through the following:
- Providing all the necessary support
- Preventing students from relapsing
- Promoting academic achievement
Necessary Elements of a Successful Collegiate Recovery Program
In order to have a collegiate recovery program be successful, research by the ARHE shows that the following elements are necessary:
- A staff member dedicated by the university must be responsible for the program.
- The program must be located in a university or college that provides academic degrees and have a dedicated physical location.
- Recovery protection services and recovery capital resources must be provided by the program.
- An abstinence-based recovery must be embraced and followed.
- Peer to peer support must be offered among the community of students within the program.
- The program must consist of non-profit entities.
Even though a collegiate recovery program is part of the structure of the university or college and is often a branch of its mental health or counseling services, the students are a very large and important part of the program. It is the students that develop the program and generally have a say in the programming and social activities that are offered.
What Activities do Collegiate Recovery Programs Provide?
Students in collegiate recovery programs have a space where they can get together and socialize. But there are also many activities provided by the program. Although collegiate recovery programs differ, the following are the types of activities that are generally offered:
- Different types of 12-Step recovery groups and fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and SMART Recovery
- Health and wellness workshops and activities
- Recovery conferences
- Leadership workshops
- Gender-specific events
- Some faith-based meetings
These activities are organized and led by students. It is important to keep in mind that each campus and recovery program will be different according to its location and the needs of participating students.
A Solution to a Growing Problem
The number of collegiate recovery programs is increasing and they are helping to find a solution to the growing substance abuse and addiction problems on college campuses. The following statistics from 2016 focus on college aged adults and are from The National Institute of Drug Abuse:
- Drinking alcohol to intoxication is higher in college students than people of the same age that are not in college. (40.8 percent compared to 30.4 percent)
- Binge drinking is higher in college students. (32.2 percent compared to 28.7 percent)
- A higher percentage of college students misuse amphetamines such as Adderall and Ritalin.
- Using marijuana every day is at the highest levels since the 1980s.
In 2017, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1 out of every 6 college aged adults, or 5.3 million people aged 18-25, needed treatment for substance abuse.
There Is Help Available
Regardless of your age, if you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse or addiction, there is help available. Call and speak to a professional staff member at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona. They will answer any questions you may have and explain the full continuum of care they provide. If Canyon Vista can’t help you or your loved one, we’ll work with you to find an appropriate treatment center that offers collegiate programming.