Sober Living On a College Campus

on Tuesday, 03 April 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery

Sober living, provided on college campus.  Read more about college recovery programs.  Most college campuses often warn students of the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but very few of them provide much support for those who may abuse drugs or alcohol.  Recently, a few college campuses have implemented sober living facilities and other support for students in recovery.  A college campus is one of the toughest places to stay sober, especially while the majority of college students drink frequently.

Dan Cadesky found himself at Case Western reserve University in fall of 2006, clean and sober after two years of abusing drugs and alcohol, including two arrests for selling drugs.  After a year of hard partying, Cadesky found it hard to adjust at Case.  He remembers, “I hated Case.  I was newly sober, grumpy, and felt so different.” He met some guys in a 12-Step group, where he learned they lived on campus in a Recovery House, a university owned residence for students recovering from substance abuse.  He said, “I visited immediately and wanted to move in.”  He stayed for three years, remembering it as a bonding experience where they all were going through the same thing.

The Recovery House serves up to six students, also living with a graduate student.  The students must abstain from drugs and alcohol, develop a plan for continued sobriety, and meet weekly with counselors.  Twelve step meeting are held in the basement of Friday and Saturday nights.  Some students in recovery may not live there, but they are welcome to hang out there if they want. The university also offers a “One Day at a Time Scholarship,” an annual award for a student in recovery.

The White House’s Office of national Drug Control Policy  has urged colleges to consider recovery programs.  One challenge these colleges face is that when students can maintain coursework and addiction, it is often undetected until they get in trouble.  Some experts even suggest that recovery support programs be implemented in high schools.

Drinking is part of the college experience, and this is also where substance abuse begins for so many people.  Very few colleges have sober-living facilities.  Last fall, Ohio University and University of Michigan started non-residencial recovery community that provides counseling and support to students in recovery, while Hazeldon runs a similar program in New York City that services only college students from several universities in the area.  More colleges are looking to recovery support for its students, which would really help students in recovery not to feel so alone, as well as giving them the support they need.  When the college life is so inundated with partying, it must be very lonely to be in recovery.

If you know someone in college who needs help with substance abuse, click here, for more information about treatment.

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