Sober dorms could be the answer to the rising drug epidemic. However, what exactly is a sober dorm and how can the concept be utilized effectively to help students combat the disease of addiction?
How Sober Dorms Can Help
When a freshman goes to college he’ll be dealing with a completely new environment. Most students move to new cities to go to college, and are, for the first time, away from their parent’s home where they were provided with a structure to their life and choices. And this lack of support and control in addition to the stress regarding academic success or failure, paying tuition, among others, can lead to addiction problems.
Most campuses have problems with students drinking too much, using prescription drugs to control anxiety and depression, and abusing stimulants.
Will Sober Dorms Really Work?
To fight this drug and alcohol abuse on campus, the Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, developed a program in 1988 – building a sober dorm. Since this time, many changes have been made but the fact is that more and more universities and colleges are taking this step.
When students go to college for the first time, all they can think about is the campus. They know, beforehand, that it will be “wild”, a daily party. And it’s not a surprise to anyone that campuses are filled with alcohol, marijuana, and even cocaine.
The main difference between 10 years ago and now is that before, the only help students would get was from local Alcoholic Anonymous and student health services. However, with the creation of the sober dorms, students have all the support they need from different activities until counselors ready to help them out.
The major goal of creating special dorms that promote “substance-free” housing is to give the support that many students who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse lack. So, with this in mind, these sober dorms offer special activities to help students to be busy all the time like meditation classes and yoga, among others.
A student who is recovering from his addiction will find in the sober dorms other people who are dealing with the same things, with the same problems. And together, they can motivate each other, and avoid any relapses. If they had to stay on campus, they would most probably relapse just to try to fit in.
Success Rates in Sober Dorms
When students are addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to drop out or to have lower rates. However, when comparing this numbers with recovering students that live in sober rooms, they are able not only to raise their grades as they’ll more likely finish their degree.
To be accepted in a sober dorm, each college and university have their own criteria. However, the most common are that the student needs to be sober at least for 90 days. They will also need to have an interview with the dorm counselor as well as meet with the current residents.
Despite all the advantages a sober dorm can have to a college student in alochol or drug addiction recovery, it shouldn’t be considered a treatment center. Students who want to live in sober dorms are already participating in addiction rehabilitation programs which also include therapy for substance abuse. What sober dorms do is to help this recovery students have their own space, surrounded by other students who are in the same situation and where they can access a counselor to help them deal with any problem that might arise.