Colleges w/ low drug use, sense of community?

I’m a recovering alcoholic going into college pretty soon. I’m aware that all schools will have some amount of drugs and alcohol, but I’m interested in knowing if anybody knows of schools with lower drug use than average.

Other factors:
Small/medium sized college ideally
Good social life and sense of community
Good academics
Located in a smaller town or city
Outdoorsy student body
Good prep for grad school in psychology

Right now my list is william and mary, colorado college, montana state, u of wa, whitman, middlebury, bowdoin, and tufts.

Thank you in advance!!

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Pepperdine University

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Are you male or female? Some of the women’s colleges fit your bill…

Financial constraints?

Connecticut College, Muhlenberg, Goucher?

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Some schools are addressing this need with sober dorms. It’s a possible option to consider along with the other schools on your list. Try Googling sober dorms:

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BYU would be an obvious choice for avoiding alcohol, but you would need to be ok with the rest of its religious environment and rules.

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https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/media/Journal/082-Presley.pdf describes general trends of college characteristics associated with lower or higher drinking. Of course, individual colleges may vary.

Associated with lower drinking:

  • Historically Black Colleges / Universities (HBCUs).
  • Student race/ethnicity: Asian, Black < Latino < White, Native.
  • Women’s colleges.
  • No fraternities or sororities, or lower participation in them.
  • Less participation in athletics.
  • Two year school < four year school.
  • Living with parents < living on campus < living in fraternity or sorority house.
  • Larger school < smaller school.
  • Region: South, West < North Central < Northeast.
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@westcoast12345

There is a lot of partying at Colorado College and many other Colorado schools! If you like the outdoors and want a more sober alternative, maybe look at U of Utah. It’s right up against the mountains. If you are a west coaster, it’s a WUE school, so there is reduced tuition with many western states. It’s medium-sized as state flagships go, and there is an honors program.

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Three more schools you may want to check out in the Northeast: Union, Skidmore and Brandeis.

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Union offers an excellent psychology program, but also tends to be known as a school with high alcohol consumption:

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Huh. Who knew? D17 has two good (sober) friends who are seniors at Union and love it. They weighed “party school” atmospheres when choosing schools. But, I guess it’s all relative.

I do see one of OP’s choices - Bowdoin - on one of the above lists of hard-drinking schools.

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My D attends Davidson and it’s known for its really strong caring and welcoming community. There’s certainly parties/alcohol, but i think there’s also a significant sized group that does not partake.

Good luck to you!

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Oh, also, a friend’s son attends Texas Tech b/c it has a whole program for substance abuse recovered kids. I don’t know the program’s name, but I bet you can find it by googling. It’s been a tremendously good choice for him.

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Definitely check on substance-free dorms. They may not be labelled “sober” because they also accommodate students who aren’t recovering but who want to abstain.

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Haverford College (PA)

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You might want to look into the Claremont Colleges. Also, you should check out Niche. You can explore a school’s campus life, and one of the questions is: “How does peer pressure affect students’ use of drugs and alcohol?”

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For the study of psychology, consider Pitzer especially.

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I don’t usually recommend BYU, but your story could be compelling for admissions, if there’s a strong religious aspect in your essay. It’s about as stone-cold sober as you can get, since drinking is forbidden to Mormons. And yes, there’s a very strong sense of community, and it’s VERY outdoorsy. You just have to get used to the culture…because it’s different. As part of the application, you would need to get an ecclesiastical endorsement from your local pastor, priest, etc.