Our therapists can’t keep count of how many times they’ve heard someone ask, “Is taking a semester off from college to get treatment smart?” Those struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction will develop the wildest excuses to avoid going to rehab. Whether you just grated high school, or if this is your freshman year as a college student. Taking a gap year or taking a leave of absence to seek addiction treatment is always the right choice.
Taking a Semester Off From College is Not Failure
Many drug addicts and alcoholics think attending college will somehow weigh more than their addiction and cover their failure. When that addict decides to admit they have a problem and do something about it, that is the moment they shed the loser mantra and become not a failure, but one of the most respected people in town.
Choosing to work on your mental health and regain control of your life is not a failure. Those struggling with substance abuse must understand that getting help is vital for survival. Odds are if you don’t take this semester off, you might not be around the next one.
Can I Even Check Into Rehab?
Students who admit they have a problem with drugs and alcohol and go to substance abuse treatment are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Don’t worry about getting kicked out of school or somehow losing your college spot to get help.
Just about every university in America has a medical withdrawal policy in place for substance use issues. This policy allows students to leave school to deal with their addiction and pick up where they left off.
How Would I Afford It?
Another common excuse to skip treatment is financial. People will say they have to save up money to check into rehab. While some treatment centers can be expensive, this isn’t true for all of them.
When it comes to battling addiction, it genuinely becomes a life-or-death problem. Nowadays, most insurance companies offer drug rehab coverage. Not to mention, the majority of treatment centers also provide financial aid and payment plans to help you find the help you need without worrying about the money.
Not to mention, you have to think about all the money you’ll save from not fueling your addiction. After all, we know a bit too well that addictive drugs and substances can be quite expensive.
How Can I Stay Sober in College?
Many think that taking a semester off from college for rehab won’t work. After all, the moment they come back to school, they’ll be going to college parties where drugs and alcohol are everywhere. Staying sober in college is extremely difficult; there’s no doubt about that.
There are many recovery dorms across the country you can choose. These have access to group meetings, therapists on staff, and can help you continue your recovery journey. You could also consider living off-campus and find a halfway home or sober living community near your college.
It’s essential to build a sober support system that helps you when times get tough. Reach out to sober friends and family members that can help you stay sober. Consider joining AA meetings or NA meetings near you while you attend college to retain sobriety.
Another helpful point is to stay busy after classes. Find a part-time job, consider volunteering opportunities, or become a volunteer at 12-step meetings to help others through their recovery. It’s always a good idea to keep your therapist’s phone number close in case you need help during a crisis.
Stop worrying about taking a semester off from college. It isn’t the end of the world. However, not seeking treatment for your addiction can bring life-threatening consequences. Let go of the failure mentality and start focusing on your wellbeing. Don’t worry you’ll return to school full-time in no time, and we promise you those lecture halls and sporting events will be much exciting now that you’re sober.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in college, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our caring staff is always available to help and offer guidance on the best treatment options to help you find your recovery path.