Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Colleges Seek to Provide Support for Teens in Addiction Recovery

The average teen heads off to college with the goal of starting over and building a new life for himself. But a teen with addiction in his past is not average and his start at school may be threatened by a predilection for drug and alcohol abuse.

Many colleges understand that teens in recovery are a growing part of their student body and that they may need support to remain strong against relapse despite the temptations that may come with their newfound freedom. With an eye toward protecting their students, many are offering support services for students interested in remaining sober as they pursue their degrees.

Academic Support

Heading off to school is a common choice among patients of all ages in recovery; it’s also a bold and brave move. Academics are challenging at the university level, and failure can be a trigger for relapse. Many of the sober support services at colleges and universities center on providing academic support as needed. Some schools are offering peer tutoring, recovery-based academic advisement, and scholarships that are based on a commitment to recovery as well as academic performance.

Therapeutic Support

Spending lots of time around people who are newly free of their parents’ control and choosing to overindulge in drugs and alcohol in their spare time can make many recovering students yearn for their old life of substance of abuse. Longstanding efforts to support students who wish to avoid this culture include sober dorms and support groups for students in recovery. Called Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs), college-based groups relate to the specific needs of the college student and the challenges they face as they attempt to juggle their studies, a social life, and recovery.

Parental Support

No matter how much support colleges provide to students in recovery, they are only valuable if the student knows about them and utilizes them. Parents are encouraged to research the opportunities in recovery available to their kids at school and to make sure that their children are connected with these opportunities—and then check in regularly to see if they are in fact taking advantage of these services.

Additionally, noticing when grades slip and behaviors change as well as the attitudes of new friends and other signs of relapse can be helpful in identifying a return to substance abuse early on. Often, re-enrollment in treatment over breaks and/or outpatient treatment during the school year can help kids to stay on track as well.

A Solid Foundation in Recovery

The best way to ensure that a teen who has struggled with addiction is prepared to face the challenges of college without relapse is to start them off in a strong teen-centered rehabilitation program. Contact us at Muir Wood today to learn more about our teen drug rehab program for boys.