Going to college can be one of the most exciting parts of your life. However, for many, this phase of life comes with a host of problems. Transitioning from living with your parents to young adulthood and the independence that comes with it isn’t always easy. College students often find themselves trying to balance the demands of academic life with their social lives and often experience anxiety, stress, social pressure, and academic challenges.

To deal with this high-stress environment, some turn to drugs and alcohol. Others decide to experiment with these substances to fit in due to peer pressure. After all, most students find that college life glorifies and even promotes partying, drinking, and other unsafe behaviors. The lack of parental supervision is another contributing factor to substance abuse, as is a lack of healthy stress outlets in college.

Unfortunately, some college students end up developing tolerance, dependence, and addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both. This can have an adverse effect on their academics as well as their physical and mental health.

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

These include:

  • Marijuana – This is a drug that has steadily grown in popularity among college students.
  • Party drugs e.g. cocaine, ecstasy, inhalants, and psychedelics like LSD. These are popular at college parties and nightclubs frequented by students.
  • Prescription drugs e.g. Adderall, Ritalin, and Focalin. Also known as “study drugs”, most students use these to help them stay awake and focused when studying.
  • Benzodiazepines e.g. Valium, Xanax, Ativan. While these are often used to treat seizures and anxiety, students abuse them for their sedative and calming effects.

Drug Addiction Treatment for College Students

There are 3 options when it comes to drug addiction treatment for college students:

Inpatient treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment involves living at the rehab facility. The duration varies but is often between 30-90 days, sometimes more. Those in residential treatment receive round-the-clock medical care along with therapy and counseling sessions. This kind of extensive and structured treatment is recommended for those with severe addiction. It’s also great for those who want to concentrate on recovery without interference from the outside world.

For most students, this isn’t an attractive option since they have to take time off their studies to focus on recovery.

Outpatient treatment

An alternative to inpatient treatment is outpatient treatment. These treatment programs are designed to allow individuals to continue meeting their responsibilities e.g. school or work while still attending rehab. They go to the treatment facility for their counseling and therapy sessions and work them into their daily schedules. This type of treatment is recommended for those who have mild to moderate addiction coupled with a supportive environment to go back to.

Outpatient addiction treatment is preferred by most college students because it gives them the flexibility to still attend classes and keep up with their academic lives. However, it can be challenging to maintain sobriety especially if the student lives on campus or in the environment that contributed to their addiction. Without proper motivation and support, it can be easy to relapse.

Modified treatment programs

There are other drug treatment programs that college students can

Partial hospitalization program (PHP) Partial hospitalization programs offer high-level treatment that is similar to inpatient programs. The difference between the two is that students don’t have to reside at the treatment center. 

They can go back to their residences once they’re done with treatment which often involves 4-8 hours of individual, group, or family therapy several times a week. While PHPs offer more flexibility compared to inpatient programs, students have to be highly motivated to attend all the treatment sessions while balancing schoolwork.

 Intensive outpatient program (IOP) Intensive outpatient programs offer a more intensive treatment regimen than traditional outpatient programs. In many cases, IOPs are a step down from PHPs or inpatient treatment as the student transitions back to their normal life. 

Students enrolled in IOP attend individual or group therapy sessions several hours a day on select days. Once done, they can go back to their residences. This type of program gives students in recovery a chance to put the trigger management and coping skills that they’ve learned in rehab into practice.

So when it comes to answering which one is better for college students – inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment – there’s no clear-cut answer. It depends on the student, their level of addiction, their motivation to stick to the treatment regimen, and the kind of support network they have. The student also has to decide whether they’re comfortable taking time off from their studies to concentrate on recovery.

Finding a reputable rehab center and talking to addiction treatment specialists can help students decide which treatment program will best suit their schedules and recovery goals.

Take Charge of Your Life

The stress and hectic pace of college life are inevitable and it’s up to students to find a healthy school-life balance that works for them. Failure to do this can lead to unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors which can in turn lead to a substance or drug addiction.

If you or your loved one is a college student struggling with drug addiction, help is available. At Evolve Indy, we have a range of addiction treatment programs that can help you turn your life around. 

Our intensive outpatient program and the outpatient treatment program are both designed for people, or students, who wish to keep up with their schedules while attending treatment. That way, you don’t have to defer your studies skip a semester, or take time off to attend rehab. 

We also offer partial hospitalization programs that allow you to simply work your treatment sessions into your schedule.

Additionally, we provide individualized treatment programs based on a person’s unique treatment needs. This means that we’ll assess your addiction, health, and life situation before coming up with a treatment program based on your recovery goals.

Contact us today for more information about this and other addiction treatment programs for college students.


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