Students recovering from alcohol or drug-related addiction have a new, free resource at their disposal to aid them in their recovery.
The website MySoberRoommate.com can help Seton Hall students in recovery find sober roommates to ensure that their recovery stays on track.
Students can create profiles with personalized criteria that match them with other users. The profiles only display the information the student wishes others to see, meaning they can remain anonymous. Recovering students are matched with sober roommates based on the entered criteria and can message them through the website.
MySoberRoommate.com, which was released on June 10, 2016, already has thousands of members, according to a 2016 press release.
Addiction therapist and co-founder of MySoberRoommate, Jesse Sandler, along with co-founder Emily Churg, made the website to prevent students from relapsing. Before MySoberRoommate, there wasn’t an outlet for students to find sober roommates and ensure a healthy environment.
“I understand how crucial one’s living environment is to his or her continued sobriety,” Sandler said in an email interview. “I have several family members who have struggled with addiction and I saw firsthand how important it is to live with other sober people when you are in recovery, especially in the early stages.”
Sandler said he would see his clients struggle to find sober roommates when moving out of toxic environments. In his experience, they would either live alone or move back in with people who were bad influences, causing them to relapse.
“I was so surprised that there was nothing out there for people in recovery to find like-minded roommates, so I decided to create that space for them,” Sandler said.
Sandler described how MySoberRoommate can benefit the Seton Hall community.
“More and more people in college are in recovery, but they just might not know where to meet other young people who are also in recovery. I hope MySoberRoommate can help with that,” Sandler said. “I also think that the website can help promote a healthy lifestyle. The more common it is for college kids to engage in healthier habits and lifestyles, the more likely other college kids will join them and that can have a positive effect on the community as a whole.”
Dr. Katherine Evans, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), explained the importance of a sober roommate for a recovering student.
“Young adults in recovery are usually fairly new to recovery,” Evans said in an email interview. “As people solidify their recovery it is helpful to be around others who support the struggle to maintain sobriety. It is often necessary for people in recovery, especially those new to recovery to avoid the people and places that were associated with their past drug and alcohol abuse.”
Former Seton Hall student Taylor Marotto, now sober after fighting alcohol and drug addictions, thinks the website can be beneficial.
“I think a website like that is actually a great idea,” Marotto said. “My alcoholism and drug use is what caused me to drop out, so I never had the benefit of recovering while still in school. I was definitely influenced by having roommates who were very involved in the party scene. I think if I had the opportunity to room with someone who lived the lifestyle I live now, my recovery would have been sooner and they would’ve helped me reach my goal in living a clean and sober life,” she said.
SHU students have full access to MySoberRoommate.com for free and can sign up anonymously.
CAPS encourages all students who want to discuss any struggles, including those with addiction and abuse, to consider using the free and confidential services available at CAPS located on the second floor of Mooney Hall.
Hunter DeSimone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.