In college and in recovery: Reasons for joining a Collegiate Recovery Program

Alexandre B. Laudet, Kitty Harris, Thomas Kimball, Ken C. Winters, D. Paul Moberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs), a campus-based peer support model for students recovering from substance abuse problems, grew exponentially in the past decade, yet remain unexplored. Methods: This mixed-methods study examines students' reasons for CRP enrollment to guide academic institutions and referral sources. Students (N = 486) from the 29 CRPs nationwide operating in 2012 completed an online survey in 2013. Results: Students were somewhat older than traditional age (mean age = 26). Now sober for 3 years (mean), they had experienced severe dependence on multiple substances. One third reported they would not be in college were it not for a CRP, and 20% would not be at their current institution. Top reasons for joining a CRP were the need for same-age peer recovery support and wanting to "do college sober," recognizing that college life challenges sobriety. Conclusions: CRPs appear to meet their mission of allowing recovering students to pursue educational goals in "an abstinence hostile environment." Findings emphasize the need for more institutions to address the support needs of students in recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • Addiction
  • College students
  • Recovery
  • Recovery support services
  • Substance use disorder


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