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Creating Intentional Recovery Communities on Campus:
The role of college healthcare professionals in the support of students in recovery
Jes Sellers, PhD
University Counseling Services
Substance Abuse Specialist
University Counseling Services
Lisa Laitman MSEd, LCADC
Director, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program for Students
Rutgers Health & Counseling Services
Creating Intentional Recovery Communities on Campus:
The role of college healthcare professionals in the support of students in recovery
•Inquire Through Routine Patient Screening for Substance Use
AUDIT , Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, ASSIST, SASSI, CAGE or others
•Engage in a Dialogue
Ask about use of alcohol and other drugs; be curious and not judgmental
“Questions to Ask” for Healthcare Professionals - Rutgers
•Inform & Educate Patients of Facts and Websites on AOD
NIAAA, Sober Circle & Rethinking Drinking, etc.
•Assist patients in Accessing Additional Care
Make referrals on & off campus
•Advocate for Stronger Campus and Community Alliances
Start a Recovery House; Encourage 12 Step Groups on or near Camps;
Visit local treatment centers and build campus & community alliances to promote recovery
Compelling Research from Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health & Other Studies
Alcohol Studies
• 6% of college students meet criteria for alcohol dependence
• 31% meet criteria for alcohol abuse
• Approximately1700 unintentional alcohol- related deaths among college
students annually
• Nationally, 47% of college age people have used marijuana in the past year
• 20% have used in the last month
• 4% use it on daily basis
• 1993 – 1999 prevalence of past 30-day marijuana use rose from 12.9% to 15.7%,
an increase of 22%; almost all of this change occurred by 1997
Prescription Medication Misuse
• 7% - 16% of college students have used prescription stimulants non-medically;
4% within the past year (McCabe, UMSA Research Center 2005; Hall, Irwin
Bowman et al 2005)
Consequences/Affects on Colleges
• 5 % of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security
due to drinking and an estimated 110,000 students are arrested for an alcoholrelated violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence
Creating Intentional Recovery Communities on Campus:
The role of college healthcare professionals in the support of students in recovery
College Student Death
by Suicide
College Student Deaths Relating to
Substance Use
•1,100 college students die each year
from suicide - The JED Foundation and National
•1,700 die from unintended alcoholrelated injuries (NIAA Task Force on College
Mental Health Association
•Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death
among Americans between the ages of
15-24; the 2nd leading cause of death
among college students
•7.5 per 100,000 college students
commit suicide about 1/3 that of the young adult
rate in the general population
Drinking noting a 6% increase since 1998)
•Substance abuse or dependence is
involved in about 2/3 of youth suicides
Accidental Death
w/ Substance
Suicide w/ & w/o
Substance Abuse
College Student Self Report for Care:
What is missing from their awareness? ACHA 2004
Two Model Programs:
ADAPS: Alcohol and Other Drug
Assistance Program for Students
of Rutgers
PRS: Prevention & Recovery
Services of Case
Rutgers Health & Counseling Services
University Counseling Services
Recovery Support Services:
On-campus Recovery Housing
Sober Social Activities
Academic Support
Service Learning Opportunities
Housing Scholarships
Alcohol/Drug Counseling
Recovery Support Groups
Adult Children of Alcoholics Groups
Assessment and Outreach
Comprehensive Support Services
for PRS Members:
Support & Understanding through
Individual & Group Services
Academic Assistance
Scholarship Support
Advocacy & Education
Health & Wellness Programs
Leadership Training
Relapse Prevention Education
Mentoring Programs
Disability Support
Advantages of a Recovery Community 0n Campus
Promotes Recovery from Addiction
Reduces risk of relapse 80%
Improved retention of students at risk
Provides social and emotional support
Establishes a new campus awareness of students excelling in
scholarship, personal growth, social responsibility and ethical
data provided by Sobriety High Schools, Step Up - Augsburg College,
Texas Tech University & Case Western Reserve University
University Support or Treatment Center: What are the differences?
Recovering Communities on Campus
Treatment Centers off Campus
Allow students in recovery to be part of a residential
university and provide them with the support to
learn to balance recovery with academic pursuits,
research, sports, music, friendships and
Recovery support in college can help to insure that
young people can stay clean and sober while
completing academic goals that improve chances of
moving into a productive adult life.
Campus Recovery Communities are part of the
continuum of care
On campus Recovery Housing provide support so
that college students in recovery can participate in
the full campus living experience within an
environment which supports their recovery.
College student diagnosed with alcohol/drug
dependence often need more intensive care
initially to prepare them for the return to
Detoxification and inpatient treatment to
treat the acute phases of recovery
Intensive Outpatient Treatment for college
students can allow them to continue their
treatment while easing back into college
Extended care programs and halfway houses
also provide students with a structured
environment to help them learn independent
living skills.
Common Misconceptions of University Administrators and Healthcare professionals
Colleges can’t afford to offer Recovery Services for students.
Recovery Programs on Campus force Universities to become “Treatment Centers”.
Recovering Students need more direct healthcare time than other students in need.
Having Recovery Programs on campus must mean your university has a more serious problem with alcohol & drugs.
If you have a Recovery House on campus what does that say about the rest of the residence halls?