college students with addiction

Moving Along the Continuum of Care: Treatment for College Students with Substance Use Disorders

by Daniel Schwartz

For individuals with substance use disorders, treatment is profoundly beneficial in improving health and quality of life. But treatment is not one-size-fits-all—each individual has unique needs in addressing their substance use.

Fortunately, the treatment options available are boundless. Beyond residential versus intensive outpatient programs, it is possible to tailor your treatment to your specific goals through a variety of options. College students are one demographic that frequently look for programs that incorporate aspects that allow them to continue their education. Accessing treatment for a substance use disorder and achieving educational goals are not mutually exclusive.

Life of Purpose has pioneered a model that maintains an academic focus in substance use disorder treatment. “Our model was specifically designed to meet the needs of emerging adults who do not wish to have their education disrupted by a treatment episode. Our clinical team treats the underlying causes of substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders while focusing on relapse prevention, life skills, and other evidence-based practices to help them sustain long-term recovery. Our academically focused case managers provide an academic assessment and treatment plan to help our clients earn a degree or program certification. Both of these elements happen simultaneously while a client is under our care, hence the term academically focused substance use disorder treatment.”

Programs that allow college students to continue their education may be located near, or have partnerships with a college. There are a variety of ways to access treatment as a college student, and it is important to look for programs that employ evidence-based practices.

The support does not stop there. Many colleges throughout the country offer services to students in recovery such as sober housing, early access to class registration, and on-campus support meetings through Collegiate Recovery Programs.

The incorporation of higher education into substance use disorder treatment represents a significant paradigm shift within the behavioral health field. While the dominant norm has long been to seek treatment while minimizing all other commitments and responsibilities, or to focus on treatment exclusively, specialized programs have enabled students to successfully complete treatment and seamlessly transition into recovery all while attending college. These developments exemplify the immense potential for enhancing treatment options for a wide variety of populations.

The future of treatment programs has never shown so much promise, as new methods to customize individuals’ treatment continue to emerge. To learn more about innovation in substance use disorder treatment for college students, click here or call 1-888-787-7673.

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