As you probably know, college is the perfect place for partying. You can easily access alcohol, marijuana, and even some illicit drugs by walking through some campuses or residential housing facilities. For the average college student, this may sound like a dream — getting to take a break from your studies to let loose and party with friends; but for those recovering from addiction issues, these circumstances on campuses could compromise their willingness to get a college education.

Many people who are trying to put addiction behind them want to get back to their lives by starting or resuming college. They can not only get an education, but they can participate in new activities and join social groups to keep their minds off of using.

However, while enrolling in school seems like a great step, it could be dangerous for someone in a situation as vulnerable as recovery. There are temptations everywhere they turn, which can be almost impossible to resist.

So is there a way to get the education and social experience a university provides, without the peer pressure and environment with substances?


Drinking & Drugs on Campus

Alcohol is probably the most commonly-used substance on college campuses. People “pregame” in dorms and outdoors before football games, dances, club events, etc. Binge drinking is extremely common — the partying could start as early as 8am and last until the next morning.

On top of alcohol, many students use drugs in response to stress from school. For example, many young adults in school use marijuana to calm down from the pressures of getting a degree. Others may use adderall to stay up all night and write a paper or study for a test.

For individuals who are recovering from an alcohol or drug problem, this environment can be harmful and triggering.


Battling An Addiction in College

While most people can bounce back and live a healthy life after binge drinking in college, those with histories of addiction don’t have it as easy. Students who are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse could be sent back into a downward spiral if they relapse and start repeating past behaviors.

Temptations are everywhere you turn, making it very risky for people with addiction issues to live on university campuses. And in addition to the temptations, those recovering from substance abuse also have to deal with experiencing peer pressure or explaining their sobriety to fellow students.

Being sober in college, especially when recovering from an addiction, can make someone feel alone and isolated. Universities have taken notice…and that’s why CRPs were fortunately established.


Do Colleges Offer Recovery Services?

Yes! An increasing number of colleges and universities are developing Collegiate Recovery Programs, or CRPs, to assist students in staying sober during their recovery journey. Programs, services, and names differ based on the college; but they all have the common goal to offer comfort and care to those recovering from addiction.


Real-Life Collegiate Sobriety Programs

Here are some examples of colleges that currently provide CRPs:


Rutgers University – Alcohol & Other Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP)

This program has offered counseling from licensed professionals, academic & career services, social activities with other recovering students, and a sober-living residence hall.


Illinois State University

This college actually has a dedicated space in their Student Services building for students in their CRP program to socialize with each other and host events or activities. The program also offers recovery plan counseling, weekly seminars on sobriety, peer mentoring, and more.

Here is a list of some other colleges that offer their own CRPs.

  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Michigan State
  • Ohio University
  • Penn State
  • Illinois State University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • University of Texas
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Florida
  • University of Nevada
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Louisiana State
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Slippery Rock University
  • University of Pittsburgh 

Today, over 150 colleges in the United States offer some sort of sober living program or CRP.


What to Expect From A University’s Sober Living Program

Depending on the school, the specific components of a sobriety program may vary. But on average, they will likely have access to:


  • Mental health counseling
  • Spaces that they can call their own
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Peer support
  • Addiction group meetings
  • Crisis management
  • Relapse prevention
  • Substance-free programs & activities/events
  • On-campus sober housing


Contact the Admissions team or the campus recovery group from any listed college to learn more about what your school of choice offers.


Is A Sober Collegiate Experience Best For You?

If you want the real college experience without the presence of drugs, alcohol, or peer pressure, a sober residence hall or other CRP could be the best choice for you. You will have friends that understand what dealing with addiction and recovery is like, so you’ll never be looked down upon for not drinking at a party.


Keep in mind that CRPs are designed for students who have already been through a rehab program. They are not intended to serve as the first or primary form of treatment.


Continuing Addiction Recovery in School

If you decide to enroll in a college that provides a CRP, remember to prioritize your health out of the program as well. Continue going to therapy, surround yourself with sober friends, participate in drug and alcohol-free activities, get involved on campus, and dive into your studies to keep your priorities aligned.


To learn more about how to continue recovery after treatment, contact our team of addiction specialists by calling 267.209.7312.