By: Jay Staples, Alumni
Often college adults cannot see the line between “I am in college enjoying myself,” and “I may have a problem with drugs and alcohol.” It is reported that roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. More alarming is that the number using illicit drugs has risen from 34 percent in 2006 to 43 percent in 2016, the highest it has been in three decades.
The key for those that want to stay free from drugs and alcohol while in college is to find other peers to hold them accountable and recover together instead of taking it all on alone. While most college young adults are tailgating before the game, going to house parties, partaking in a pub crawl, or any of the other countless things centered around drinking and drugs, those choosing to stay abstinent from drugs and alcohol can have the same amount of fun, minus mind and mood-altering drugs.
Addiction feeds on isolation. Having a community of people with like-minded goals and aspirations can be a life saver for young adults. Outings, socializing, and supportive accountability within a sober community allows men and women to know they are not alone in this journey. All too often individuals cannot see outside of the box in which addiction created. Living within a sober environment with other people allows the student to see they are not alone. They find a purpose in life and are able to succeed in their studies and in life.
The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published a national survey that students in collegiate recovery programs have achieved positive outcomes. Research has found that these young adults have lower relapse rates, higher GPAs than average, and are more likely to stay in college and graduate. In fact, they reported up to 95 percent of participating students were able to sustain their sobriety while attending school.
Programs like Burning Tree West enables young adults the ability to find the support they need to get into long term recovery and get an education in the process. No one should have to choose between recovery or education. You can have both given the right community.