Substance abuse can strike anyone at any age, even when they’re attempting to do something to better their lives. For example, college students are often caught up in a whirlwind dual existence, part studying, part party. The risk of exposure to at least some drugs and a lot of alcohol is a near certainty. Some students will turn away from these temptations altogether. Others will experiment and quickly be able to quit. Still, others will be the unfortunate ones with body chemistries that leave them addicted to drugs or alcohol. Many students opt for intensive outpatient programs to get help for their drug and alcohol problems because it leaves them with the possibility of continuing classes.
College schedules are sometimes adaptable based on health problems, especially if a student decides to take online courses that leave greater flexibility in terms of study times. Since you don’t have to attend classes in a physical space, you have more spare time to seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Is this always possible, though?
Substance Abuse Among Students
A shocking 31% of college students report some type of alcohol abuse, while 110,000 alcohol-related arrests are reported annually. That’s just the statistics on alcohol. In 2016, 9.9% of college students reported that they had used Adderall. In 2007, 5.1% students confessed to using cocaine, even though this elicit substance is so highly policed that it’s unlikely that’s the whole story. The number is likely higher. As you can see, college students, just like any other population of people, can be swept up in a world of alcohol and drugs.
Due to the intensity of responsibilities in college (many students work and go to school at the same time), it’s easy to understand why college students would be unwilling to drop their studies altogether and go into a rehab center. They worry about their drug and alcohol use, but they also want to stay in school, and if they’ve “managed” well enough, they may be fearful of dropping studies to get help. It’s a deadly predicament for some college students who will fail to get help and suffer from overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal.
Attending Intensive Outpatient Programs
Inpatient programs aren’t the only avenue of help available to college students, though. There are also intensive outpatient programs that might leave room for both classes and help for a substance abuse problem and any co-existing mental disorders as well. It’s a blessing for many students to find out that they may be able to stay in school and still get help for a substance abuse problem.
Because of the grave consequences of addiction, and its aggressively progressive nature, it’s likely that grades are going to suffer due to substance abuse. Naturally, participating in an intensive outpatient program and staying clean will have a great improvement on grades over time, so it’s a worthwhile option to pursue.
Reaching Out For Help
Addiction is not an ailment that’s convenient or wanted by anyone, but it can be especially troubling to young students struggling to make their place in the world. For them, college is the right decision, and they’re doing the right thing by being in college. It’s natural to be hesitant to give up on college altogether to go into an inpatient detox. Sometimes it’s better to explore intensive outpatient programs first to see if they may work more effectively with a busy college schedule. Some students at the end of a semester may even be able to switch to online courses while they pursue an intensive outpatient program for substance abuse.
Not every sufferer is going to be able to benefit from intensive outpatient. If intensive outpatient programs fail, it might be time to consider an inpatient detox. A person struggling to overcome a drug or alcohol problem in college is faced with a lot of tough choices that they have to make. The fact that they’re trying to make those choices, though, is a good indicator that they’re aware there is a problem, and they’re trying to solve it. College students are problem solvers in training, and this can turn into yet another positive outcome for young students if intensive outpatient programs work, and they get the help they need to continue their studies.
If you know someone who is a college student struggling with a substance abuse problem and doesn’t quite know what to do about it, or you are one of those students, please reach out to our counselors at 800-723-7376. They are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.