Tips for Students Choosing to Stay Sober in College
According to the Wall Street Journal, students between the ages of 18 and 24 represent the largest-growing demographic of individuals seeking treatment for drug abuse. Some students may be coming to college already having been sober in high school. Others may develop alcohol or drug addiction while at college as a result of new found freedom or experimentation and seek treatment while in school. This leads students staying sober in college wondering if it’s even possible to get the most out of a college experience while still maintaining their sobriety.
Staying sober in college is not easy, but it isn’t impossible. Many colleges have resources available for those who want to quit substance abuse or are already in recovery. Students attending college sober or returning to college after becoming sober are faced with a new and unique set of challenges.
The college environment tends to be filled with alcohol and drugs, providing a great deal of temptation for students working to stay sober following treatment. It can feel lonely and intimidating when it comes to maintaining a sober lifestyle while in college. Stress, peer pressure, and the general atmosphere can make it feel almost impossible to maintain sobriety, but it is possible. Students practicing sobriety in college can have an even better college experience where they are able to build friendships and make memories to last a lifetime.
Below are some tips to help college students navigate sobriety while in school.
- Make friends with people who share your interests. Find people who share your ideals and hobbies. By surrounding yourself with other like-minded individuals who don’t use substances, or at least respect your decision to not drink or use drugs, you will feel empowered and supported in you decision to stay sober.
- Locate support groups. Many colleges across the country have established programs and support groups specifically created to meet the needs of students in recovery. These programs and groups aim to bring to light the idea that college can be enjoyed by all, especially sober students.
- Take up sober hobbies. There are plenty of sober hobbies that you can take part in to help replace those times where you would typically go out partying. It is important to take part in activities other than just studying while in college so as not to over stress yourself. It will also provide additional opportunities to socialize and meet other people who share your interests. Boredom can even be a trigger for relapse and in college, there is no reason to not find something fun to do while still being sober.
- Find a roommate who is also sober. Living with someone who will not be bringing the party back to your dorm or apartment will make it easier for you to maintain a sober environment. It may even be best to live off campus to avoid living in the middle of all the partying. Some colleges have special housing available for sober students.
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