Colleges offer ‘recovery housing’ in response to opioid crisis

Recovery programs on college campuses, often including special dorms, are multiplying fast amid the opioid crisis, spreading from a handful of campuses to around 100 across the country.

Most campuses offer substance-free housing — no alcohol or drugs allowed. But recovery housing goes further. With services like on-site counselors, peer support groups and sober social events, recovery housing is tailor-made for students recovering from substance abuse who need a supportive environment where they can stay clean amid the pressures of college.

“In the past, we talked about prevention,” said Tim Rabolt, director of community relations and strategic advancement for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. “Now the topic of recovery is becoming more prevalent as individuals and organizations realize the need to support people who went through treatment in the long term.”

College students use opioids at lower rates than the general population, but campuses are not insulated from the crisis. Students who become addicted during college, as well as those who were addicted earlier in their teens and are now recovering, want to complete their education but need help in recovery and keeping their lives on track.

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