College is a unique experience. A pivotal time in someone’s life, professionally and personally, college is where people choose careers and, for many, transition into adulthood.
College is also about learning – more so out of the classroom than in. However, the collegiate years have earned a reputation (not without reason) that seems to indicate a rite-of-passage…particularly in the drug and alcohol culture.
Addiction on Campus
Unfortunately, thousands of students flunk out of college each year. Although many are able to make the grades, they ultimately fall victim to addiction and a partying lifestyle.
According to data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 25 percent of students admit alcohol played a central role in poor performance. In this crucial time, falling behind because of alcohol and drug abuse can have devastating and lasting consequences.
Most college students don’t realize just how far-reaching the effects of drug and alcohol abuse can be. Once a student falls behind on her work, all those missed classroom lectures and failing test grades begin to quickly pile up. And if this trend is allowed to continue for weeks and months on end, it becomes nearly impossible to catch up on all the assignments or bring averages up enough to receive a passing grade.
Fortunately, campus is fast-becoming a place actually conducive to sobriety.
Bringing Recovery to College
According to Transforming Youth Recovery, an organization that implements recovery programs and support in various forms, 135 colleges now offer recovery programs on campus.
…[we are] giving a face and a voice to the experience of being a person who is recovering from an addiction.– Ivana GrahovacAlthough this number isn’t huge (considering there are roughly 4,500 colleges and universities in America) only 35 college recovery programs existed in 2013. In fact, there were only 10 on-campus recovery groups a decade ago.
In an interview with NPR, Ivana Grahovac, the executive director of Transforming Youth Recovery, said, “The curtain of shame is starting to lift. And we are seeing a movement of people in recovery stepping forward and giving a face and a voice to the experience of being a person who is recovering from an addiction.”
Having better, more convenient access to recovery is an important trend for thousands of college students around the nation. In a “pro-party” culture, on-campus support groups are quickly becoming a vital tool for those struggling with chemical dependency.
A Good Addition on Campus
Some may think that removing the “party” from campus is taking away from the college experience, but most on-campus recovery groups are far from boring. For example, the recovery group on the University of Texas’s campus, the Center of Students in Recovery, actually meets in the university’s football stadium.
In the facility, there are steam rooms, racquetball courts, martial arts and dance studios, and even fencing equipment. Reportedly, the UT recovery group rubs shoulders with many of the campus’s athletes, another student group who has higher priorities than partying.
When it’s all said and done, not only does the positive trend of on-campus recovery groups offer benefits to the students; it also shows them that college can offer new, fun experiences without drugs and alcohol.
If you’re currently a college student who is struggling with a drug or alcohol dependency, contact your student center and ask about the available on-site recovery programs. If your school does not offer on-campus programs, they can certainly put you in touch with local resources.
Additional Reading: 5 Ways to Get High Without Drugs or Alcohol
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org