College is a time when students embark on a new phase of their lives, when they start living on their own and learn the information that will form the basis of their future careers. However, for some students, college is also a time when they are making a new start separate from their former addictions.
A number of colleges across the country have set up residence halls for students who are currently in addiction recovery. These students are facing temptations not only in the normal college atmosphere, but also if they choose to return home. There is the temptation to partake in alcohol and other drug use while in college. Students who are already prone to addiction must have a support system in place to help them with these behaviors exhibited by their peers. Additionally, they may be trying to separate themselves from addictive behavior that's exhibited among their peers and family back home, so they must have a safe place to live when college is on break. These recovery residence halls provide for both.
Examples of such residence halls include the planned Tribeca Twelve, which covers universities throughout the Manhattan region. The residents will be tested periodically to make sure they're still clean and, if not, their relapses will be dealt with individually. This hall will have a support system among students, accessibility to counselors, and sober social events that will allow students to partake in the social aspect of college without the temptation of addictive substances.
“We want to show students they can have fun while being sober. These are emerging adults, and emotionally, they tend to get stuck at the age they started using heavily. We want to help them break through that and get unstuck from the emotional state they were frozen in when they started using.” ~ Mark Mishek, President and CEO of Hazelden (which runs Tribeca Twelve)
This residence hall is modeled on the already-successful StepUp® program at Augsburg College. Situated in Minneapolis, it already benefits from being located near a number of addiction support meetings. Additionally, with its low residence numbers (75 annually), individualized support can be provided through meetings, counseling, and community-building activities. Requirements for residence includes staying sober six months prior to moving in, living in the hall for 1-2 years, and maintaining sobriety while living in the residence hall.
By providing a supportive community to college students in recovery, the rate of sobriety can be maintained, as well as providing a positive environment where academic outcome is actually better than their peers. Without the need to focus on the temptations of addiction, they can more readily focus on their classes and achieve academic success.