For the college student struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, things can look bleak, but there is hope. Over the years we have seen many college students who were forced to drop out of school due to their addiction. We also saw others that were struggling to maintain their grades due to their addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. Based on our evidence based treatment methods, with the right treatment program, increased support and refocused priorities, these students were able to start living healthy, happy sober lives and are continuing with their education.

College Student If you are a college student who has experienced or are experiencing consequences because of your use of drugs or alcohol, look into treatment options immediately. Addiction does not get better on its own. There are a number of options available that can fit your schedule and your life. The first step is to get an assessment done by a local treatment center. They can then inform you of the options that will fit for you and explain why. Any person who is 18 years or older is able to go into any treatment center and get an assessment with full confidentiality.

Parent of College Student Does your student shows signs of addiction? If so, realize that getting help early is best.  Most schools understand students having a semester or two away. This is more preferable than your student being asked to leave. If your student is asked to leave, talk with them about their struggles. If addiction to drugs or alcohol is present, treatment is the next step.

College Counselor College counselors may be the first to recognize addiction issues in a student. It is not easy to determine the difference between addiction and normal college behavior. You can help your students to having possible resources and options available for them to consider. These options can range from drug and alcohol education, to assessments, to short intervention treatments, to local treatment facilities.

Addiction Treatment Options for College Students

  1. Residential Treatment involves living at the treatment facility in a closely monitored environment. This treatment is most helpful for students who need the close scrutiny of treatment staff.
  2. Partial Hospitalization involves full day treatment with the student living at a sober living facility or other safe environment. This treatment is best for students who are already in a safe, sober living environment already.  It provides them with the full treatment of Residential Treatment, but allows more integration with the world outside of treatment.
  3. Intensive Outpatient includes treatment during a portion of the day generally for 3-4 days per week. This option can be an excellent choice for the fully committed student who is still in good standing at college. The treatment can usually fit in a normal class schedule.  For example, at New Hope Recovery Center we offer both morning and evening IOP programs.  Being in an IOP program not only requires strong commitment and dedication but also a good level of      self-awareness. The student must understand and be willing to change the areas of their current living that must be changed for sober success.

If you are a college student who is experiencing negative consequences from using drugs or alcohol, or you are the parent, counselor, or friend of such a college student, explore options for addiction education and treatment in the area.  With successful treatment and continuing support, the student can resume their path of education.

New Hope Recovery Center is Chicago’s premier alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility.  We have experience treating all adult age groups including college students.  We also have a treatment program New Hope With Pride that provides specific programming for our LGBT community members. If you would like guidance or help in handling your own addiction or that of a loved one, please contact us at 773.883.3916.

See these articles for guidance and assistance:

1. Student Drug Abuse Warning Signs

2. 5 Things Parents Need to Know About Prescription Drug Abuse

3. Alcohol or Drug Addiction Healthy Boundaries for Parents

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center