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Boulder’s Vibrant Recovery Community

December 3, 2016
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For a long time, Boulder, Colorado has had the well-earned reputation as a party town. Less well-known is that it is also home to one of the most vibrant recovery communities of young people in the country.

College Without Drugs and Alcohol

The University of Colorado-Boulder’s Collegiate Recovery Community (CUCRC) is at the forefront of a growing national movement to address the needs of college students in recovery and living a life of sobriety.

The CU Boulder CRC offers everything from sober housing to a hangout lounge, to free support meetings and fun social activities for people in recovery and those choosing to be substance-free and their allies. Many of the resources here are available to the whole community, not just CU students.

The Collegiate Recovery Center’s Assistant Director Sam Randall wants parents and young people alike to understand, “There’s a realistic pathway to be able to come to CU and be successful and have an awesome college experience while staying healthy and living a sober life. Even if students don’t get involved with the community right away, coming to a school with a strong collegiate recovery program in place can be a good safety net in case they start to struggle.”

Randall encourages anyone who is curious to come to check them out. She notes that often “there’s relief in finding a great group of students who are having a blast without drugs and alcohol. A light bulb goes off and students think, maybe I can do that too.”

Making It Easy to Get Connected


Here are some of the activities that the CUCRC sponsors and supports:

  • Skiing and snowboarding outings
  • Football tailgating
  • Game nights
  • Bowling (the campus bowling alley is right next door to the CRC!)
  • Hiking and camping trips

On campus, the CUCRC provides space for a number of weekly support meetings:

  • Recovery Talks: student-led discussion about life in recovery
  • 12 Step meeting groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous
  • LifeRing: a secular peer support meeting focused on two weeks at a time
  • Morning Meditation
  • OASIS: an open discussion meeting for anyone looking to make a change in their life

Many students also attend support meetings off campus, which the CUCRC can help them get connected with, depending on interests.

The CU Collegiate Recovery Center welcomes students who identify as being in recovery from substance use or process addictions, as well as those who simply choose to live a life of sobriety and want to be part of a healthy community. Students can become core members or simply get involved with certain activities or meetings or use the Center informally. Visit the CUCRC website to learn more about how to get involved.

Beyond campus, there are a number of other organizations to support young people in sobriety, including Phoenix Multisporta community for people in recovery centered around an active lifestyle.

Considering Addiction Treatment in Boulder or Denver?

If you or your loved one is considering treatment for substances or process addictions, it makes sense to consider not only the treatment facility but also the location and the potential for sustained recovery after treatment. This includes quality of life and vibrancy of the recovery community.

It is good to be aware of Boulder’s reputation as a party town and to mentally prepare for these challenges. But it is also important to recognize the strengths of Boulder, CU Boulder, and the surrounding areas as a haven for recovery.

Sandstone Care offers outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs for teens and young adults, as well as dual-diagnosis treatment in the Denver and Boulder metro areas. We also offer sober living/therapeutic recovery living.  Our evidence-based care can help you or your loved one get back on track. For questions about how our programs work or supporting recovery in Boulder, CO, give us a call today. We can help you determine whether our programs are right for you or your loved one, and connect you to the resources you need.

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