A college campus is probably among the hardest places to be when you’re sober. Like a square peg in a round hole, you don’t fit – but a Collegiate Recovery Program can change that. You can have friends in college who don’t drink or do drugs. You can find a sober community that is dealing with the same things you are. Ultimately, you can stay sober in college with the support of other students just like you.
I interviewed Breanna Cook from Transforming Youth Recovery – a nonprofit that wants to make life better for college students in recovery. The company was founded on a challenge to give away one hundred $10,000 grants for students that want to start a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) for their campus.
So if your campus doesn’t have one yet, here are the six steps to start a collegiate recovery program.
1. Check if someone else has already started one on your campus
Sometimes people have already created what you want, you just have to find them! It’s great when this happens because you don’t have to do all the start-up work that’s involved with creating something new on campus.
2. Find a faculty or staff member to partner up with
Colleges are not easy to work with. Faculty and staff know how to navigate the university landscape and make things easier for you. Having one who’s passionate about recovery will save you lots of time and frustration.
3. Create a registered student organization
Becoming a recognized club on campus gives you access to meeting rooms, marketing opportunities and sometimes funds as well. You can start a collegiate recovery program without this step, but you’d miss out on some helpful resources.
4. Advertise and host a weekly meeting for students in recovery
This is the foundation of your CRP. Students are looking for a sober community, just like you are, and you can bring everyone together. Eventually you might even have multiple meetings that are different. But start out with at least one meeting that people can rely on every week.
5. Outreach to students, classes and clubs that may be interested
A personal invitation always works better than a poster. Make sure you’re connecting with the places that students in recovery might go. Reach out to faculty and staff who meet with students who are addicted or in recovery. They could be waiting for something just like your CRP.
6. Host or attend sober events together
College is supposed to be fun! Apart from your weekly meetings, you should be coordinating get-togethers for your group. You could attend campus events together, form an intramural sports team or even create your own events. Start by getting to know your group and see what things they’re into.
If you’d like to get more details on how to start a collegiate recovery program on your campus, Transforming Youth Recovery will actually guide you through the process with toolkits and one-on-one coaching!
So for those who enjoy a Collegiate Recovery Program, what has it done for you? And for those who don’t have one on their campus yet, do you think you’d like one?
As always… Party.0n!