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What Is a Collegiate Recovery Program?

With more people seeking recovery, more recovery centers and treatment programs have popped up across the country. As any type of field grows, it will become more specialized, and recovery is no different. This recovery specialization helps different types of people connect to the recovery methods that will likely work best for them and has resulted in greater long-term sobriety and recovery rates. This includes college students, who substance use disorders often hit hard. In fact, approximately 37% of college students report using illegal drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. Some of the most popular substances abused in this particular group of individuals include marijuana, stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin, prescription painkillers, MDMA (“molly”), and cocaine. Thankfully, more areas are offering a collegiate recovery program, where college students who are abusing drugs or alcohol can get the help they need while still working towards their degree.

What is a Collegiate Recovery Program?

As the name implies, collegiate recovery centers (CRCs) are focused towards helping those at college or in a university setting overcome addiction. Most CRCs are operated by the college or universities they’re housed on but some may be operated by third-party treatment programs. CRCs take into consideration the temptations of college life. They have adapted traditional recovery methods to better suit students trying to get both a degree and sobriety under their belts.

Happy students in a collegiate recovery program.

Rehab Options for College Students

Even though collegiate recovery programs are on the rise, they have not always been an option. For some, this type of programming is still not an option for them because of factors such as location and if they were able to get into college or not. Those who are in college and are unable to participate in a collegiate recovery program can still benefit from a variety of outpatient treatment options. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) require individuals to be at the facility for treatment for a number of days per week, usually a few hours at a time. Most IOPs offer morning, day, or evening programming options so that school can still be an option. Traditional outpatient programming, where involvement is not as intense, allows individuals to go to school as they normally would while getting treatment at least once a week at a facility. 

What Is Offered in a Collegiate Recovery Program 

CRCs are a counseling center, treatment facility, outreach center, study hall, dorm, and more all rolled into one. Traditional drug and addiction treatment like counseling therapy, 12-step meetings, group therapy and more can all be found within the walls of a CRC.

CRCs mirror other types of popular treatment. They use evidence-based approaches to help treat addictions and other types of mental illness. However, there are some unique factors that make CRCs different from traditional rehab programs or other resources.

Unique Features of Collegiate Recovery Programs


Recovery centers are spread across the United States, but CRCs are based on-campus or nearby campuses. Trying to recover in college can be difficult as we learned earlier, so it’s best to have the help of a CRC nearby.


Many recovery centers and detox facilities are for-profit businesses. There’s nothing wrong with making money if you’re helping people get better but most collegiate recovery centers are non-profit. Most colleges in the US are non-profit institutions and any organizations stemming from that program will also be non-profit – like their recovery centers.


Treatment professionals have quickly learned that tailored recovery programs offer a greater chance at long-term success. Collegiate recovery centers have been outfitted with several types of programs, but they all have one thing in common – they are meant for college-aged students.


One of the most difficult parts of getting sober as a young person is having someone understand your issues. Your peers don’t think you have a real problem because doing drugs and drinking alcohol can be typical college behaviors. It can also be difficult to go to traditional twelve-step meetings and not see anyone your age in the room. CRCs are volunteered and staffed by college-aged employees who know exactly what you’re going through and are there to help.


Alcohol and narcotics are not traditionally allowed in on-campus housing, but everyone knows the dorms are overflowing with alcohol and drugs behind closed doors. Some CRCs offer housing to students to help avoid the temptation and unhealthy environment living in a traditional dorm creates. Some students live in CRC housing for just a year while some have stayed in CRC housing until graduation. Living in a safe environment with others who support your continued recovery is a great benefit of CRCs.


CRCs aren’t just about counseling and quiet study spaces, those in recovery must have fun if they’re looking for long-term success. You’re supposed to have a great time in college so CRCs support that fun with parties, outings, and other enjoyable activities.


CRCs offer counseling, support groups, outreach, and other resources for recovery but there is a silver lining for those sobering up in college – you get your own stuff! CRCs are outfitted with computers, conference rooms, study areas, and other spaces where you can go about your business in a great setting.

Collegiate Recovery Program in Columbus, OH

If you are a college student and are struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out to our team at Ohio Addiction Recovery Center right now. You can call us to speak with one of our administrative professionals to find out more about how we can help you. 

Do not wait any longer to reach out for the help that can save your life. Call or visit our contact form today.

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