Most college students in rehab for drug or alcohol addiction are eager to return to school. It is common to feel regret for getting off track due to the drug or alcohol addiction and to feel antsy about returning to “life as usual.”

Greg Cox New Hope Recovery Center

Greg Cox, Primary Counselor, LCSW, CADC

New Hope Recovery Center's Greg Cox was recently interviewed for the Summer 2016 edition of Recovery Campus Magazine.  Greg discusses the importance of spirituality in recovery and the difficulty emerging adults have in understanding the importance of spirituality in their lives.  Greg states: "Spirituality is a critical component of addiction recovery because it focuses on growth, change and evolution....To fully recovery from our addiction, we must reconnect to our spirituality, our search for purpose in our life and connections beyond ourselves."

Spirituality often gets confused with religion, but they are very different things.  As Greg mentions, "Some find it helpful to think of religion as rules or practices agreed to by a number of people, whereas spirituality is completely related to one's own individual experience and connections."

Greg understands the unique issues confronting today's young adults: social and general anxiety, shame, low self worth and constant electronic stimulation, among other things.  For young adults struggling with addiction, shame can become overwhelming and lead to an addiction spiral: using to feel better and then feeling shame about using, using to feel better.....Greg helps our young adults break free from this cycle and begin work toward their goals and dreams.

You can read Greg's full interview in the 2016 Summer Issue of Recovery Campus Magazine.

You may also find these related articles helpful:

Why Spirituality Is Important In Recovery

Religious Trauma and LGBT Addiction

Emerging Adults – Time of Stress, Change, and Possibly Addiction

Long Term Impact of Alcohol and Drug Use on Emerging Adults

5 Steps for a Successful Transition Back to College After Rehab

Alcohol or Drug Addiction? Healthy Boundaries for Parents

Student Drug Abuse: 19 Warning Signs

5 Things Parents Need to Know About Prescription Drug Abuse

Helicopter Parenting: Recipe for Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

Parents’ Guide to Prevent Heroin Use and Addiction

New Hope Recovery Center has extensive experience helping Emerging Adults with alcohol and drug addictions. For more information call 888-707-4673(HOPE) or email us at

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center


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

Most college students in rehab for drug or alcohol addiction are eager to return to school.  It is common to feel regret for getting off track due to the drug or alcohol addiction and to feel antsy about returning to “life as usual." However, jumping back into college too quickly and without a solid plan in place can be dangerous.  A good plan will help you navigate the potential pitfalls: old using friends, peer pressure, boredom, cravings, easy access to drugs and alcohol, stress, anxiety, depression, and academic pressures.

Successfully returning to college involves the right timing and the right strategies.  Here are 5 steps to follow:

1.  Leave Rehab with a Good Sponsor

Managed care is continuing to cut treatment time for drug and alcohol addiction.  Make your time in treatment count by actively engaging in your treatment from the start to finish and planning your transition from rehab.  The first step is to get a good sponsor.

When looking for a sponsor, consider these factors:

  • Has what you want
  • Lives the solution not the problem
  • Walks the Talk in all his/her affairs
  • Has a sponsor themselves
  • Emphasizes the steps and traditions of the program
  • Has more time in recovery than you do
  • Has worked more steps than you
  • Is available for telephone calls and personal meetings
  • Emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the program
  • And lastly IS THE SAME GENDER as you

A good sponsor is crucial to help you work the 12-steps, implement new coping skills and be accountable for your recovery.  A sponsor increases your chances of remaining soberin college, where substance abuse is common, by offering support and encouragement.

2.  Identify the Best 12-Step Meetings for You

There are many 12-step meetings specifically for young people.  They are a wonderful resource for your early recovery.  By connecting in these meetings, you have the opportunity to develop a sober network of friends who are working towards the same goals and facing the same challenges as you.  Check around until you find meetings that offer the best fit.

It can be a struggle to leave an old circle of using friends without a new group established. So - be proactive and attend 12-Step meetings for young people to begin creating new friendships that support your sobriety.  You may be pleasantly surprised to discover vibrant communities having fun in recovery through a myriad of sober events.

This encouragement to attend 12-Step meetings for young people DOES NOT imply that you should stop going to other 12-Step meetings. Diversity of 12-Step meetings are good and will keep you humble.

3.  Find a Therapist Who Specializes in Young Adult Issues

As we have previously written, all emerging adults encounter stress and difficulties transitioning from high school through college and into the workforce.

A therapist who specializes in working with young adults can help you cope more effectively with any anxiety, depression and other emotions you may have during this transitional time.  Look for a trained professional who understands the developmental issues all young adults face.  This will help you increase your ability to effectively cope with life transitions and to adjustment to adulthood.

4.  Participate in an Aftercare Program When Transitioning Back to College

The most successful emerging adults in recovery are those who gradually step down from inpatient to outpatient treatment to aftercare.  You must have patience to be successful in recovery because addiction is a cunning and powerful disease.

Before racing back to college, successfully complete each phase of your recommended treatment.   A vital step between treatment and college is aftercare, which offers several months of extended support.  You get to check in, ask for help and receive support from other young adults in recovery. It is like returning to daily life with training wheels.  Aftercare provides you with a chance to safely begin to implement the new coping skills you learn in rehab.  After several months of successful transition, the wheels come off, aftercare concludes and you transition into individual therapy and college.  Aftercare will increase your self-confidence and ability to successfully navigate the world in a sober way.

5.  Get involved in structured and meaningful activities.

Rehab is a highly structured environment.  It is like standing on the moving walkway at the airport whereas recovery outside of rehab is like walking up a downward escalator.  As you transition out of rehab you will need to create a structured environment to help you stay active and sober.

One size does not fit all: find activities that are meaningful to you and support your sobriety.  Your rehab counselors should give you ideas and initial plans for structured and meaningful activities. Once you have developed a schedule with structured and meaningful activities your chances for long-term sobriety will be much greater.

Finally, remember: “keep it simple.”  Use these five steps to make your transition back to college successful. New Hope Recovery Center has extensive experience helping Emerging Adults with alcohol and drug addictions to transition from rehab to college. For more information call 773-883-3916 or email us at

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center