Addiction Treatment for College Students

Addiction Treatment for College Students

College students party in college, particularly in schools with Greek presences. Many college students may develop a substance abuse problem but are less likely than non-student counterparts to seek addiction treatment. Review possible options and barriers for addiction treatment in college.


Treatment Barriers

Obstacles can occur for any person seeking addiction treatment, especially as the person realizes treatment is desperately needed. College student addiction treatment barriers vary student to student and generally depend on each student’s individual situation. Some common college student addiction treatment barriers may include:

  • Self denial
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Exorbitant costs
  • Heavy class load or other time conflicts
  • Perceived stigma surrounding treatment
  • Easy access to drugs or alcohol
  • Prior failed addiction treatment
  • Difficulty finding a treatment facility


Helpful Conditions

Students who are seeking treatment for addiction generally find the following conditions helpful. When these three items are available, a college student is more likely to seek the necessary support for addiction.

  • Flexibility to work around class schedule and other responsibilities
  • Positive support system to increase chances of success
  • On-campus support system for college addiction treatment program for family support and best chance at success


Options for Treatment

A few different options exist when it comes to college students and addiction treatment. The best type of addiction treatment for a college student depends on the individual situation. Three main types may include:


Outpatient addiction treatment

Outpatient treatment is typically the most flexible for college students. Residence in a treatment facility is not required and a person can still attend classes or work. Outpatient therapy may not be as effective as inpatient therapy for some people.


Inpatient addiction treatment

Inpatient treatment requires a college student to reside in the facility but minimizes the risk of relapse while increasing chances of success. Students may continue studies or postpone them until after treatment ends.


Hybrid of inpatient and outpatient treatment

A cross between inpatient and outpatient treatment requires persons with addiction to attend daily treatment sessions, perhaps for several hours each day. A student will not need to spend all the time in the facility which leaves time to continue taking classes and working towards a degree.


Finding Support

The following people are excellent support resources for college students unsure of where to go for help.


  • Parents are some of the best people to ask for help. College students may be unsure where to go or who to speak with if treatment is needed but family can be the best place to start finding people who provide unconditional love
  • College mental health centers typically take a proactive role in helping students with addiction. Colleges have addiction programs in place to support individuals in seeking help while remaining in school.
  • Medical professionals may find help through individual doctors, therapists, counselors or other medical professionals.
  • Government agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have treatment facility locators for college students to find nearby places for treatment.


Addiction is hard to fight at any age, but college students need special supportive services. Call us if you are in college and looking for help in fighting addiction to alcohol or drugs.