Treating Addiction In College

Some college students are hesitant to get help for a drug or alcohol problem because they don’t think they have an addiction. The pressure to succeed in school can keep students from getting help; that’s why, unfortunately, addiction treatment for college students often goes unsought.

Accepting treatment shows dedication to personal health and can ensure long-term professional and personal success.

Research has shown that the earlier someone gets treatment, the more likely they are to maintain their sobriety. There are also treatment centers designed to help students without disrupting their academic progress.

Addiction Treatment For College Students: Detox

The first step for anyone in recovery is detox. The detox period allows drugs and alcohol to leave a person’s system. During this time, addicted people often experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. A medical detox can prevent many of these symptoms. Detox from alcohol and Benzodiazepines can be dangerous, but addiction professionals can monitor and manage any potential complications.

Drugs That Could Require Medical Detox


Most college students abuse alcohol more than any other substance. It can take up to a week to detox from alcohol. Common withdrawal symptoms range from fatigue to nausea and vomiting. Alcohol withdrawal and detox can be deadly, so professional help is a must.


Countless college students use Stimulants like Adderall as study aids. Few realize the addictive nature of the drugs or the consequences of quitting. Heavy users may experience insomnia and fever when trying to quit.


Though often touted as a non-habit forming drug on campus, Ecstasy is addictive and can cause permanent health damage. College students giving up Ecstasy often experience insomnia and depression as the brain tries to compensate for the absence of the drug. Treatment for Ecstasy addiction often includes a supervised detox.


Benzos, such as Valium and Xanax, are some of the most dangerous drugs to quit because Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be deadly. Students with anxiety are likely to abuse Benzos to relieve the stress and pressure of college life. Heavy Benzo users may experience hallucinations and seizures if they quit without medical detox.

Featured Centers Offering Treatment For College Students

Addiction Treatment For College Students: Behavioral Treatment

Mental health counseling helps treat the psychological and behavioral issues that led to or developed after an addiction. Counselors help college students learn how to cope with drug cravings as well as stress and difficulties that can trigger drug use. The pressure of college and youth can be a lot to take for many students. A lot of students have a co-occurring disorder that led to their drug use. Treating underlying mental health problems is essential to a successful recovery.

Common co-occurring disorders students face include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder

Most colleges and universities have on-campus mental health counselors. These counselors help students cope while maintaining confidentiality. Therapy can be offered individually, in groups, or online.

Inpatient Versus Outpatient Rehab

Some addicted college students need the help of drug rehab to get sober. There are both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers that help college students achieve sobriety without interfering with classes.

Inpatient treatment centers offer an environment free from on-campus temptations. College students in rehab often improve their grades.

Many inpatient rehabs also cater to people in college by being close enough to campus that residents can attend class during the day.

Outpatient rehab is an option for college students with milder addictions. These outpatient centers provide withdrawal medication and counseling without interfering with the student’s day-to-day schedule.

Mental health counselors and support groups can help break the psychological parts of an addiction.

Paid Advertising. We receive advertising fees from purchases through the BetterHelp links below.

Online Addiction Counseling

Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp.

Get Matched
Begin Therapy
  • Personalized Matching Process
  • Easy Online Scheduling
  • 30,000+ Licensed Therapists


Paying For Treatment

Because many college students aren’t working while they’re in school, they are often on a tight budget. Students who need help may hesitate to consider rehab because they think that they can’t afford it. But there are many options when it comes to paying for treatment; most colleges and universities offer free counseling and mental health resources on campuses.

Financial assistance and scholarships are available for college students who can’t afford rehab on their own.

Finding Treatment

It’s rare that college students are willing to admit that they have a substance use problem. In one study, only 3.6% of college students with a substance use problem recognized that they needed help. If you’ve thought about getting help or think you might have a problem, you may want to look into a treatment program.

A therapist or addiction specialist can help you determine if you have a problem and what kind of treatment you might need.

If you’re a college student who has been struggling with a drug and/or alcohol problem, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Contact a treatment provider to learn more about your treatment options today.