The Impact of Collegiate Recovery Programs: Why Recovering on Campus Is an Option

A collegiate recovery program is designed for college-aged students. These programs can treat many types of addictions including substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, anxiety, depression, and mental health challenges, college students stacking hands - solidarity

By Sandy Baker

Alcohol and drug abuse in the college setting aren’t uncommon.

Movies and television shows portray the college years as a time when it seems okay to enjoy a frat party with friends or to spend your weekends high or drunk. The problem is that many college students don’t want this to be what defines their college experience. Yet, they don’t know how to find a path away from this party atmosphere that can actually provide them with an opportunity to make college more meaningful.

Collegiate recovery programs provide a source of opportunity in this situation. Because attending college and transitioning into adulthood is so challenging, there is a marked increase in the number of young people struggling with alcohol and drug dependency. As studies indicate, the college atmosphere is challenging simply because abstaining from substances in an environment where they are readily available is nothing short of difficult.

What Is a Collegiate Recovery Program?

Collegiate recovery programs are on-campus drug and alcohol treatment programs designed to provide a safe, secure place for students who want to take a step toward recovery. In particular, these programs offer a key benefit not found elsewhere. They allow the student to connect with peers who are struggling in the same way who also want to get out from under their addiction.

How Does It Work?

A collegiate recovery program is designed for college-aged students. These programs can treat many types of addictions including substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, anxiety, depression, and mental health challenges. Outpatient programs are one option, but residential treatment programs tend to offer the stable environment young adults need to encourage a break from the intense addiction they experience.

Each program is unique. Here’s a look at how it may work, as explained by the Association of Recovery in Higher Education:

  • The collegiate recovery program is a part of the school’s internal structure. That is, a branch of the school’s counseling department can help facilitate the service.
  • Students or members of third-party substance abuse centers develop some of the programs.
  • The establishing group sets the eligibility requirements for inclusion into the program. To be a part of the group, students must be willing to abstain from substance abuse.
  • The school allows the students to meet in a physical space for recovering or to host support meetings.
  • Students are able to have the supportive environment they need because they are able to work closely with other students suffering the same battle.

Why Does It Matter?

The short answer to this question is because long-term recovery of a young adult in this environment is not possible without a comprehensive program designed to meet their unique needs. That’s why these programs generally have three basic components within their curriculum:

#1: They provide tools and support.
The program follows the concept that students are inflicted with a disease and can be treated in an effective manner if they are given the right tools. Also important is the ability to develop strong social support and personal support systems. These become essential for the long-term success of the individual.

#2: They encourage development of wellness practice.
It’s understood that students cannot be successful in their environment in the long term without applying basic wellness practices to each area of their lives. That is, it is impossible for a student to succeed in the long term without incorporating a wellness plan in all facets of their life, including their education.

#3: They facilitate self-awareness.
The third concept recognizes that individuals need to become self-aware in such a way that they can develop relationships with others who have similar values, goals, and boundaries.

Let’s Make It Simpler

If you enroll in a collegiate recovery program because you are experiencing substance abuse tendencies, what’s can you expect?

  • You’ll work one-on-one with professionals who can foster an understanding of your risks while also providing you with the tools you need to start towards recovery.
  • You’ll create relationships and build strong bonds with other college students facing the same obstacles you are.
  • You will learn recovery skills and activities that can lead to success, including building life skills, developing healthy family relationships, serving the community, and developing a strong sense of purpose and hope.

There’s a growing need on campuses today for collegiate recovery programs. Providing support at a younger age can help adults to avoid the complex struggles that often come when they try to balance work-life relationships. At the same time, the college setting also allows for relief from the fears of peer pressure, which commonly limits the success of college students in wellness programs.

How The Ranch at Dove Tree Can Help

With residential, transitional, and aftercare support, students can detox in a safe environment and then work to rebuild their lives from the ground up. These powerful programs teach tools simply not available otherwise. A comprehensive approach to recovery, especially for young adults, is essential. Long-term substance abuse requires counseling and inpatient treatment as a first step. Call us today to learn more about the opportunities available to you.

the ranch at dove tree - drug and alcohol treatment center in lubbock, texas

To learn more about our programs at Ranch at Dove Tree, please contact us today at 806.307.2003.


Earn your degree. Maintain your recovery. Retrieved July, 2017.