Collegiate Chemical Dependency Recovery Program

Collegiate Program

Collegiate Recovery Programs | La Hacienda

Young people in their late teens and early twenties suffering from substance use disorders still have the chance to change course and achieve successful recovery.

La Hacienda Treatment Center recognizes that ending substance abuse is especially important for young adults who still have most of their lives ahead of them.

That’s why we have a substance abuse treatment program just for the age group and support collegiate recovery programs to help those in college receive recovery support services.

Life Changes and Pressures

From their late teenage to early 20s, young adults face a number of issues that put them at risk for alcohol abuse or drug addiction and mental health issues.

Risk factors include the academic demands and financial pressures of obtaining a higher education, leaving home for the first time, finding a job, becoming self-reliant, and other significant challenges of a major life transition.

While some start substance abuse at this age, in others adolescent drug use or drinking habits only increase in the face of new pressures.

Facing the Issue is Part of the Problem

Millions of young adults live with a substance use disorder or mental health issues, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Many of them are unaware they have a problem or don’t seek substance abuse treatment if they are aware. A 2018 national survey revealed that out of 5.1 million young adults who reported a substance use disorder, nearly 90 percent did not get treatment for alcohol or other drug abuse.
Transitioning into adulthood brings up a range of emotions. Young people are often inexperienced in determining how and when they need to seek help.

Especially on College Campuses

There is an increasing nationwide problem with drinking and drug use on college and university campuses, resulting in many negative student outcomes.

The challenges of starting higher education course work–separation from family, entering into new social networks, and challenging academic demands–significantly contribute to increased substance abuse, one of the most widespread health problems on college campuses in the United States.

Higher education students who regularly abuse substances miss more classes and have inferior study habits, thus they make lower grades. This often leads to failure to graduate, which hinders their opportunity to find a good job.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as five or more alcoholic drinks for males, or four or more alcoholic drinks for females, within a couple of hours, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

A national survey reports that 39 percent of college students report engaging in binge drinking, often encouraged and enabled by their peers substance abuse and social pressure.

According to study results published by the American Medical Association, most binge drinkers do not consider themselves to have a substance use problem and have not sought substance abuse treatment.

A Problem for Others

Binge drinking has physical and behavioral consequences for both the drinkers and those around them.

For the drinker, it can cause dangerously elevated blood alcohol levels, physical or cognitive impairment, even death.

The drinker’s inability to control their actions can lead to use of illicit drugs, unsafe sexual activity, physical and sexual assault, and poor academic performance.

Drugs to Supposedly Help Studies or for Pleasure

Using drugs to help focus on studies and stay awake longer is another increasing problem on college campuses.

Legally, this involves college students asking mental health practitioners for dextroamphetamine (Adderall) prescriptions in order to enhance their ability to focus and study.

Illegally, they may obtain and use cocaine, either with the same objective of improving their studies, or for its short-term results.

Collegiate Recovery Programs

Recognizing that alcoholism and drug abuse are serious problems on college campuses, universities and colleges across the U.S. are increasingly supporting students in recovery from addiction. These collegiate recovery programs are designed around the academic populations and cultures.

A collegiate recovery program functions in many ways, utilizing a variety of services, models and tools to help students in addiction recovery. The common thread is that they focus on student recovery support services in higher education.

History of Collegiate Recovery Movement Programs

The collegiate recovery movement began in 1977 when Dr. Bruce Eliot Donovan started the first collegiate recovery program at Brown University. He helped recovering students find 12-step meetings, provided individual support and academic counseling, and helped students find off-campus counseling.

The collegiate recovery movement took another step forward in 1979 when Rutgers University created one of the first Alcohol Policy Committees at a university. Its collegiate recovery program opened in 1983, followed five years later by the first recovery-only housing of its kind in the United States.

In 2002, collegiate recovery community directors at Augsburg College, Texas Tech University, and Rutgers University formed the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS). When the association began to focus primarily on recovery high schools and drug-free schools, the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) was formed to serve the college and university programs.
In 2005, members participated in a series of activities that brought together members of the US House of Representatives and various federal agencies including the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

What do Collegiate Recovery Programs Include?

Collegiate recovery programs, often operating under the school’s department of student affairs, include these recovery resources:

  • Recovery advocacy
  • On-campus 12-step meetings
  • A drop-in safe space
  • Substance-free housing and social events
  • Professional counseling in recovery management

Do Collegiate Recovery Programs Work?

On-campus programs for students in recovery definitely produce measurable positive student outcomes.

The Journal of American College Health reported on a study that showed that collegiate recovery programs “meet their mission of allowing recovering students to pursue educational goals in ‘an abstinence-hostile environment.'”

It also said there was a need for more academic support from higher education institutions to address the recovery support needs of college students in sustaining recovery.

Part of the reason that collegiate recovery programs continue to expand is that successful programs often share technical assistance, recovery resources, and recovery management tips with new or struggling programs.

Examples of Collegiate Recovery Support Programs

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities (TTU CRC) was founded in 1986. College students submit an application and letters of recommendation for possible admittance. Applicants must obtain a year of recovery in the first semester that they start with the program. The CRC supports more than 100 students in recovery the pursuit of higher education at Texas Tech University. There are also a number of other support groups on the college campus.

The CRC model incorporates recovery support, access to higher education/educational support, peer support, family support, and community support/service to help college students attain a systems-based sustained recovery. 

With financial assistance from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Education, Texas Tech University began providing technical assistance to collegiate recovery programs nationwide.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University has collegiate recovery programs to support college students in substance abuse recovery on both its Kennesaw and Marietta campuses. Both have dedicated community space for meetings and seminars, and space for studying as well as staff offices. The Outfit, a KSU Residence Life Living Learning Community for collegiate recovery members, has capacity for up to eight residents.

Augsburg College

With a strong campus-based infrastructure, Augsburg College’s StepUP® Program, founded in 1997, is one of the nation’s largest collegiate recovery programs. It hosts between 70 and 100 recovering students working active programs on the college campus. The majority of students in StepUP choose to live on campus in StepUP’s dedicated recovery housing. Living on campus is strongly encouraged as a way to build community with other students in recovery and aid the recovery process, but is not required.

Augsburg’s program is renowned in the collegiate recovery movement for having the largest number of students in recovery housing, students in recovery maintaining a GPA of over 3.0, and a 95 percent abstinence rate among students overall.

Effects of Collegiate Recovery Communities Programs

Collegiate recovery communities produce positive results.

A collegiate recovery community provides students entering higher education institutions a same-age peer support network, which aids them in coping with surroundings that often encourage drinking and drug use.

A collegiate recovery program benefits other college students, not just its members. A strong campus-based infrastructure of recovery support services encourages students with substance use disorders to enter addiction treatment and begin recovery.

By serving as good examples of sober living, students in recovery help reduce their peers’ substance use.

A collegiate recovery community improves academic outcomes. Grades suffer when students are struggling with substance abuse. College students who receive addiction treatment and enter recovery often have better academic outcomes due to improved study habits and class attendance.

Graduation rates also improve. Freed of their drug dependence, recovering students are more are more likely to graduate instead of dropping out of school. This improves the school’s graduation rates and the students’ opportunities for successful careers and lives.

Resources for Collegiate Addiction Treatment and Recovery

These organizations have a variety of information about collegiate recovery programs, substance abuse recovery, addiction treatment, recovery program information, recovery management, and recovery advocacy. Check their websites for more information about collegiate recovery.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental illness and substance use disorders.

American College Health Association

Through advocacy, research and education, the American College Health Association (ACHA) is a voice for student health and wellness. ACHA represents over 800 institutions of higher education and the collective health and wellness needs of 20 million college students.

La Hacienda Supports Campus Recovery Communities

La Hacienda Treatment Center has actively worked with collegiate recovery groups since 1996, providing resources and professional input from our staff members.

In 2004, La Hacienda started awarding scholarships to more than a hundred students in recovery at the University of Texas at Austin. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) honored this program with its national award for philanthropy in 2019.

“This kind of support is rare in collegiate recovery,” said an official with UT’s Center for Students in Recovery. “The consistency, the length of time, and the humility with which this has been given is unprecedented. La Hacienda has quietly been one of the most steadfast supporters of collegiate recovery in the country.”

Substance Abuse Treatment for Young Adults

The unique physical and mental states of this age group are best addressed by a clinical practice that approaches addiction treatment from the perspective of young adults.
The recovery process occurs most successfully in an environment where the patient feels supported by the recovery community, and different age groups see their addiction recovery efforts through different viewpoints.

La Hacienda's Collegiate Program

National Dug Control Policy | La Hacienda

La Hacienda Treatment Center’s Collegiate Program is designed to meet the challenges of individuals 18 to 24 years olds who are having difficulty due to alcohol and other drug use.

This age group is moving from a life of being dependent on parental care to a life of independence. La Hacienda wants to help make that transition successful for young adults with substance abuse issues.
La Hacienda focuses on addressing the needs relevant to this age population:
  • Chemical dependency education
  • Dealing with peer pressure
  • Healthy relationships
  • Independent living skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Self-esteem/self-worth issues
  • Healthy leisure skills

The various treatment modalities include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Daily group counseling
  • Support groups
  • Daily education didactic
  • Physicians’ lectures
  • Big Book/12 Step Study
  • ROPES course
  • Family counseling
  • Post-treatment recovery management plan

If you or someone you love needs help with a substance use disorder, phone La Hacienda Treatment Center at (800) 749-6160 today and talk with one of our dedicated admission specialists.

Recovery Psychology | La Hacienda

Recovery Psychology

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Addictive Behavior | La Hacienda

Addictive Behavior

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Chemical Dependency Evaluation | Doctor evaluates the patient with a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor and records the results | La Hacienda

Chemical Dependency Evaluation

chemical dependency evaluation is usually the first step before starting treatment for substance abuse. It involves questions that may recognize, depending on the substance abused, whether a person suffers from a substance use disorder (addiction) and can be aided by clinical programs.

Chemical Dependency Counselor | Patient meeting with a therapist | La Hacienda

Chemical Dependency Counselor

A chemical dependency counselor is a qualified mental health professional who specializes in chemical dependence or addiction. Such programs work with chemically dependent persons to address the reasons behind their substance abuse problem or addiction.