These universities have addiction recovery resources that can help you or a loved one continue a substance-free life in college.

Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that is usually made easier in controlled environments that are relatively free from triggers and temptation. Of course, life is full of uncontrollable circumstances and college is no exception. The college environment will introduce you or your child to a wide variety of people, situations and experiences — some of which may influence recovery in a negative way. Drug and alcohol misuse is common in college, so it’s important that people in recovery have support and resources to help them stay sober.

For people who are ready to go to college but are in recovery, there are universities around the country who offer addiction resources to their students. It’s possible to have a sober college experience, especially with the support of these campus resources. Here are 10 of the best college recovery programs in the U.S.

Augsburg University, StepUP Program

Located in Minneapolis, MN, Augsburg University offers one of the oldest and the largest college recovery support community in America through the StepUP program. The unique program is designed to create a community of accountability and support, and also addresses mental health along with addiction recovery. Students are offered substance-free housing options, mentor programs, weekly meetings with others in recovery and much more. StepUP is led by trained staff members and licensed therapists and everything the program offers is at no additional cost to the student.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Live Free

The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts a peer recovery support program called Live Free. The organization is run by students and focuses on wellness and recovery strategies, including sober events, guest speakers, workshops and weekly group meetings. Their goal is to foster a sense of community among students who are sober or in recovery and make UW-Madison a place where all students can thrive.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Recovery Program

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Student Wellness programs offers students many resources to help them make healthy decisions about their substance use, including their BASICS Alcohol Intervention Program and the Carolina Recovery Program, dedicated to helping students who are in recovery. Students are able to foster a relationship with a recovery mentor, attend workshops and take trips to sober events and conferences. Alongside these resources are day-to-day support services, such as group meetings and fellowship. The University of North Carolina also offers sober living houses to help students on their recovery journey. 

University of Central Florida, Collegiate Recovery Community

The University of Central Florida, located in Orlando, Florida, offers a collegiate recovery community for students who wish to stay sober. The program is made possible by the university’s Student Health Services and it focuses on preventing, treating and helping students recover from substance misuse and addiction. Students are able to attend group recovery meetings, counseling and fun sober events.

University of Colorado-Boulder, Collegiate Recovery Community and SoberBuffs

Located in Boulder, the University of Colorado-Boulder campus offers its own collegiate recovery center. This program has a resource lounge where students can gather in a substance-free environment and the community offers sober activities and events as well as weekly meetings, support groups and one-on-one recovery coaching. Students who are in recovery can also choose to live in sober housing. Another student organization, SoberBuffs, also plans weekly sober activities and events for students to celebrate sober and healthy living.

Fairfield University, Collegiate Recovery Program

The collegiate recovery program at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut offers resources needed to support student sobriety and recovery. Along with a lounge where students can congregate, the program offers recovery housing, addiction counseling, weekly meetings, community service opportunities and planned sober activities. The program also offers wellness programs that incorporate mind, body and spirit.

Mississippi State University, Collegiate Recovery Community

Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi is home to a collegiate recovery community that offers a variety of helpful recovery resources like peer support groups, counseling, seminars, sober tailgating and many other fun events. Its mission is to promote courage, hope and citizenship in order to support students in recovery from alcohol, drugs and all process addictions.

Illinois State University, Collegiate Recovery Community

Illinois State University offers a collegiate recovery community for students in recovery or looking to lead a sober life. The program offers recovery coaching, weekly drop-in groups, community service projects and social events. Since volunteering in recovery can be a helpful way to stay sober and make a powerful impact on others, the university’s CRC also offers community service events and advocacy opportunities to raise addiction awareness and end addiction stigma in the community.

University of Vermont, Catamount Recovery Program

Located in Burlington, Vermont, the University of Vermont’s Catamount Recovery Program is a sober community that seeks to support and empower students who are in recovery. They offer alcohol-free and substance-free housing and provide services such as one-on-one coaching, counseling and group meetings. They also host service work opportunities as well as fun sober events and activities for students to enjoy. 

Georgia Southern University, Center for Addiction Recovery

Students must apply to Georgia Southern University’s Center for Addiction Recovery, a program designed specifically for students who are in long-term addiction recovery. Students must be sober for at least six months before joining the program. When they join, they’ll attend weekly seminars and have the opportunity to attend recovery conferences and leadership retreats with other members. Members also have the exciting opportunity to participate in a sober study abroad in college, a special month-long program through the center.

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By – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Editor – Renee Deveney
As a contributor for Advanced Recovery Systems, Renee Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. With a family history of addiction, Renee is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use and mental health. Read more

Augsburg University. “StepUP Program.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Live Free. “Live Free.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

UNC Student Affairs. “Carolina Recovery Program.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

University of Central Florida. “Prevention, Treatment, Recovery. All in one place.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

University of Colorado Boulder. “Collegiate Recovery Center.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

University of Colorado Boulder. “SoberBuffs” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Fairfield University. “Collegiate Recovery Program.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Mississippi State University. “Collegiate Recovery Community.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Illinois State University. “Collegiate Recovery Community.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

The University of Vermont. “Catamount Recovery Program.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Georgia Southern University. “Center for Addiction Recovery.” (n.d.). Accessed July 17, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.