College life has many stresses that come as part of it and, for many students who are also dealing with the added challenge of recovering from addiction, college and campus life can prove to be quite difficult environments to function in.

Lucky for students who are enrolled in Augsburg College’s Step-Up program, there is hope, support, and incredibly valuable resources available that can make sober life a very real possibility, and can make academic success an easily attainable goal. The Step-Up program has been a means of offering help and hope to students struggling with addiction for quite some time.

What is the Step-Up Program?

The Step-Up Program is a program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a Collegiate Recovery Program, which means that it offers students who are in the process of maintaining their sobriety the chance to continue to stay clean in the context of a productive academic setting.

As part of the Step-Up program, students have the benefit of one another and a team of addiction counselors, all of which give them the chance to thrive in a community that stresses the importance of fellowship and service to the greater community.

Recovery Through Abstinence

The college environment can create a serious challenge to students in recovery because of the fact that the college culture and the norms present within it often present a serious threat to an individual’s sobriety. Pressure to engage in activities like binge-drinking can be very commonly accepted among many students, and the Step-Up program offers a community and a support system wherein a student in recovery feels that they belong to a community that emphasizes abstinence rather than use. This can be highly effective, as the pressure to remain drug and alcohol free is similar, if not stronger than the pressure that many students often feel to use.

High Success Rates

Collegiate recovery programs like Step-Up have proven to be a wonderful means of helping students to maintain their health and sobriety. The percentage of students who successfully maintain their sobriety is as high as 90%, and has been at Augsburg for the last five years. The successful rates of sober students has proven to translate into high numbers of students who are using their health and sobriety to attain high grades.

Students who were in Step-Up and abstained from the use of drugs or alcohol carried average GPAs that ranged at around 3.2 from the years of 1997-2012. This long time period seems to be fairly clear proof that programs designed to support students in their sobriety make a real impact on their ability to make the most out of their college experience.

The Connection Between Sobriety and Goals

One thing that many recovering addicts often agree upon is the fact that recovery and sobriety greatly increase a person’s ability to achieve the goals that they set forward for themselves. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they become entirely occupied with finding and using more of the substance they are addicted to.

This has a disastrous effect on virtually all aspects of an addict’s life. Because the addict is so consumed with using, they become unable to focus on other things that would otherwise be very important to them: key relationships and interests and passions that they once held dear to them.

With recovery, however, comes the ability to regain focus and to once again feel the desire and posses the ability to work toward the goals they they wish to achieve. This is why so many addicts find that their lives improve in sobriety.