Young Adult Sobriety

“We teach young adults how to get sober and maintain long term sobriety. Part of that means introducing them to activities and sober fun so they can experience first hand that being sober doesn’t mean that enjoying life, and having fun is over.”- Robert Pfeifer, Founder of Sober College

Treatment Designed Specifically for Young Adults

Sober College is an innovative treatment center that specializes in the care of young adults. Our unique perspective on treatment provides young adults with a plethora of opportunities in sobriety by empowering them to regain control of their lives, find purpose and develop their happiness through successful sobriety.

drug treatment center sobriety

Client celebrating one year of sobriety.

One of the biggest challenges many young adults face is the transition from residential living back into everyday life. Rather than simply help young adults abstain from substance abuse and then discharge them, Sober College provides young adults with a long-term treatment program that assists them in developing the tools and experiences they need to manage sobriety and prevent relapse in the future. The sobriety component of Sober College’s Five Core Competency program incorporates several different methods to help clients get and stay sober, including but not limited to:

  • Age-Specific Program

  • The problems and experiences that young adults face are unique to their age group and require a unique solution. Sober College only works with young adults age 17-26, creating an environment where our clients are surrounded by like-minded individuals who they relate to which makes learning to live life sober as a young adult that much easier.

  • Long-term programming

  • The National Institute of Drug and Alcohol Abuse states that a minimum commitment of 90 days in a residential treatment program gives those struggling with addiction, especially young adults, the greatest opportunity for success. Sober College offers a long-term treatment option that slowly helps young adults reenter the “real world” with the tools they need to maintain long-term sobriety and healthy living.

  • Random Drug Testing

  • In order to address any underlying causes of addiction, such as diagnoses and undiagnosed mental health disorders, trauma, depressions etc, clients must first be free of all mood and mind altering substances. Clients at Sober College are drug tested randomly 3 to 4 times per week to ensure that they are maintaining sobriety and that the community is a safe place for all clients.

  • Southern California Recovery Community

  • There are over 3,000 12-step meetings a week in the Los Angeles area including a plethora of young people meetings. This shows clients that other young people, in the real world, are getting and staying sober and enjoying life. Clients at Sober College attend young people’s conventions, young people’s 12-step meetings and are encouraged to get a sponsor and begin working the 12-steps.

  • Teaching both Physical and Emotional Sobriety

  • By removing young adults from enabling environments and peers, Sober College provides young adults with a different environment to develop a new, sober identity, by introducing them to a wide variety of new activities geared specifically toward young adults including rock climbing, surfing, sporting events, amusement parts and more.

Our goal at Sober College is to not only help young adults get sober, but to also teach them what sobriety is and how to enjoy it. Students of Sober College develop a new identity with the assistance of peers and staff that allows them to relearn how to live free from drugs and alcohol. Sober College has successfully helped countless young adults regain control in their own lives and discover a new found appreciation for family, friends and sobriety.

Relearning How to Live Life Sober

Teaching young adults how to enjoy sobriety is a critical component of treatment at Sober College. For many, the misconception that life is less enjoyable without the aid of substances fuels addictive behaviors and can make it difficult to abstain, especially when drugs and alcohol may be the only way someone knows how to relate to others. Addiction often manifests as an attempt to self-medicate and deal with struggles with school, relationships, health and a variety of other influences, further complicating already troubled aspects of life. Despite the varying degrees of struggle, drug and alcohol abuse can cause these troubles to spiral and create a vicious cycle of abuse that is difficult to break.

Young Adult Sobriety

Deep Sea Fishing Trip.

In order to fully address the challenges that may have driven some to these lengths, confronting stressors requires young adults to abstain from substance abuse. With a clear mind, residents of Sober College can objectively address issues that may have influenced addiction while learning tools to assist them in dealing with these same challenges in a healthy way. Sober College’s residential treatment provides young adults with a safe place to recover from substance addiction.

Early sobriety can be especially difficult which is why Sober College drug tests randomly several times a week to ensure residents are maintaining sobriety. In addition, Sober College instates a Freshman Phase that lasts approximately 90 days. Upon new admittance, Freshman Phase encourages new residents to develop relationships with their new housemates while accompanied by staff at all times. With minimal privileges to begin with, residents must earn privileges, such as computer access and phone privileges, through successes in the program.

Sober College provides a unique look at sobriety, surrounding young adults with similarly-aged peers who are all working towards the same goal. Our innovative residential treatment program allows young adults to empower one another as well as themselves as they explore the Five Core Competencies, developing a new sense of self and a new outlook on life.

Treating Young Adults’ Specific Needs

The experiences of young adults today differ greatly from those of previous generations and require special attention in treatment. Young adults today grow up with influences from popular media that glamorize drug and alcohol abuse and portray it as a necessity to happiness. In a world that allows every action to be publicized online, it is easy to fall into the belief that everyone is doing it. Many residents of Sober College have used drugs and alcohol to have fun and relate to their peers. Our age-specific treatment program allows young adults to recover with others who face similar challenges and experiences in the path to sobriety, making it easier for residents to relate to one another in a different way.

Providing young adults with a safe place to achieve sobriety with like-minded peers is only one component of our unique treatment model. In addition to helping young adults achieve sobriety, Sober College seeks to introduce young adults to a wide variety of new activities, showing them life can be more enjoyable when experiencing it sober. In southern California, residents have the world at their feet with access to an unlimited number of exciting activities. No matter what may peak one’s interest, Sober College encourages young adults to explore and find what reinvigorates their passion and interests.

Students have access to a wide variety of activities, including:

Rock Climbing Museums Hiking Art Shows
Deep Sea Fishing Dances Whale Watching Amusement Parks
Surfing Beaches Sporting Events Music Festivals
Cliff Jumping Concerts Skydiving Go-Carting
Skiing Snowboarding Horseback Riding Wind Tunnel

The California Community

Southern California is home to the largest number of young adults’ recovery groups in the country, making it an ideal place for Sober College and for our residents. With a large sober community, residents will find a new sense of belonging among others who have faced similar challenges and overcame them. Residents take part in 12 Step Meetings, volunteer and get involved in the community to give them a new perspective on life.

In addition to involvement in the sober community, students of Sober College are urged to acquire a sponsor to serve as an additional resource in early recovery. Sponsors serve as role models and friends to residents and assist them in meeting helpful, inspiring people to assist them throughout their journey. Sponsors also help young adults develop their relationship-building skills to mend existing relationships and develop new ones.

Sobriety: Physical and Emotional

The recovery process is more than just the physical act of abstaining from substance abuse, but is also an emotional journey as well. Introduction to new activities not only provides young adults with new hobbies to fill time previously utilized for substance abuse, but also allows them to develop their emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence encompasses multiple facets of emotional health and includes self-control, empathy, self-understanding and development of relationships. Many of our activities are designed to engage young adults on multiple levels, even if they do not realize it. The wide variety of activities offered both challenge young adults and allow them to experience a sense of accomplishment. Students are regularly involved in activities that are not only fun, but also evoke emotional responses that young adults can analyze together afterwards. This practice allows fun to be a therapeutic experience as well. The lessons learned in this environment directly translates to emotional responses in other areas of life and teaches young adults healthy coping mechanisms for stressful events and interactions. Rather than utilizing drugs and alcohol to deal with stress, students develop the ability to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Hear from our students about their struggles with drugs and alcohol, and the hope they have found through sobriety…

Click on the student’s name to read their whole article…

Young Adult Sobriety

Writing is an outlet for young alcoholics and addicts to express themselves.

Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

-Jordan B.

A Student’s Heroin Addiction

-Emily H.

A Student on Nicotine Addiction and Cigarette Smoking

-Zach P.

Student Marijuana Addiction

“I was a regular teen, with many insecurities trying to fit in with my friends. It was hard for me to socialize and feel part of the group, but whenever i smoked marijuana I felt…confident and laid back.”

-Peter A.

Young Adult sobriety

Students working on schoolwork for their Woodbury courses at the learning center.

The Story of Drug Abuse in One Young Adult

-by Sam M.


-Teddy H.

The Story of a Heroin Addict

“After I got out of [rehab], I still wanted to use drugs. I smoked marijuana and drank alcohol…After a short amount of time I was back to using all types of opiates. Whether it be painkiller[s], opium, or heroin; I like them all.”

-Matt L.

The Story of a Young Meth Addict

-Michael K.

The following is from a student assignment in one of our courses.

“Perhaps it’s because I do not want to be remembered for my failures, yet for my triumphs. In the past, these issues weighed me down, and kept me from moving forward. My life is much different now that I am sober, and for as few as two and a half months, I can really feel a major difference. It is hard to focus on the negative parts of my life when I am as content as I am today. If anything, that is the most important thing I have learned through my writing in this course.

Since 2005, I have enrolled in four different colleges (not including this online course.) Some were much briefer than others, but the ongoing pattern was I didn’t follow through with any of them. In some

California Drug Treatment Center Sober College Takes Students On An Outing To A Dodgers Gameinstance, I made it as far as days before the final exam before somehow managing to choke. When the going got tough, I hid. I completely avoided reality. Consequently, I do not have a single college credit to my name. Right now is the closest I have ever come to completing a college level course, and the thought of getting my first credits, and actually following through with something is overwhelmingly emotional. I get chills each time I think about it and I am sure my family does too. Each word I type is inching my way closer to a goal I couldn’t imagine a few months ago. The longer I have stayed sober, the happier I have become. I have also noticed a gradual progression in my level of focus and the quality of my work.

Basically, what it comes down to is my life is really not so bad. In fact, it’s going pretty well. I have to attribute much of this to my sobriety. I know it won’t always be this good, so I want to hold on to what I have now. Writing this will help me remember that I was happy being sober, because I am sure I will doubt it in the future.

I hope this course is the first of many academic successes in my life, changing the recurring tale of failure to one of accomplishment. The future is ambiguous, and can be intimidating if I choose to worry about it. Still, there is no reason to let it get the best of me. I know I am capable of accomplishing great things; I just need to keep reminding myself that failure is no longer an option. I have wasted enough time taking the easy way out and avoiding hard work. It is time for me to suck it up and face reality head on . . . one day at a time.”