Need

College can be challenging for those in recovery. In addition to the struggles of balancing coursework, living away from home, new relationships and working their recovery program, these students must contend with the college environment— often unofficially organized around alcohol and other drug use. Simply put, college is not typically a recovery-supportive environment.

Our Collegiate Recovery Community offers an alternative. The CRC offers a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to disengage from addictive behaviors. A community of peers with shared experiences, goals, and values around recovery are there for support. Educational opportunities combined with recovery support help ensure that students do not have to sacrifice one for the other. Accountability is reinforced through other members of the CRC and program staff. The CRC offers a normative college experience apart from the culture of drinking and substance use that is present on today’s campuses.

Research

Alexandre B. Laudet received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to research CRCs and the impact on students. The data below summarizes students in 26 different recovery programs in the United States.

Relapse

Study participant CRCs had an average length of sobriety of 16 months. The range of sobriety was one month to 16.7 years. The mean student relapse was eight percent. This is impressive, given that the average relapse rate during the first year of sobriety can be as high as 90 percent, depending on the study.

Academic success, retention, graduation

Students active in CRCs demonstrate higher GPAs and better retention and graduation rates. These students succeed in the classroom and are positive additions to the campus.