Taking a Semester Off for Drug Rehab Is Always a Good Idea
One of the most short-sighted excuses for why a person would delay or not go to drug rehab is the excuse of school and/or college, “I cannot take a semester off to go to drug rehab”. There really isn’t an argument to be made for white-knuckling it through school, yet we hear it all the time. Some even go so far as to say, “But I’m going to be a Doctor I can’t stop going to school now.” Crazy, I know but that is exactly what addiction to drugs and alcohol does, they make us crazy. They distort our thinking, making irrational thoughts look rational and absurd decisions look routine. Until an alcoholic or drug addict is of sound mind and body they should not be trying to take on an academic schedule.
It would be like asking a man with no legs to rollerblade. It’s going to take time. He needs to figure out how to get his hands on some prosthetic legs, Rollerblades and how to walk again. It’s not impossible; he just needs the right steps provided by the right teacher at the right time and that can only be accomplished when all the nonsensical excuses have been laid to rest. So now let’s look at all the distorted reasons why people feel that it is a bad idea to take a semester off of college for drug rehab.
If I Miss a Semester for Substance Abuse Treatment I’ll Look Like a Failure
Guess what. You already look like a failure. That’s like a gray animal with big ears and a long trunk saying, I don’t want to look like an elephant. People who steal money from their Mother’s purse, shoplift, sell things to pawn shops, stick needles in their arms and drink every night of the week look like failures… because they are acting like failures. The dropping out of school for 6 months part is not going to be the thing that makes Uncle Marty say, “Oh you know Timmy… he’s the failure.” Addicts and alcoholics cannot see themselves for the way the world does because the world views people based on their consequences and how they react to them. The alcoholic works every day to forget the consequences so they can keep using.
This is why so many kids out there feel that taking a semester off to go to drug rehab will make them look like a failure. They can’t see that they are already a failure that is refusing to succeed. 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. That journey starts by walking into the registrar’s office and asking for a medical leave of absence and that is downright noble.
Won’t I Get Kicked Out of School If I go To Drug Treatment?
NO. In fact, 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. Look it up. If you’re doing the right thing and facing your problems you can’t get fired or get kicked out of school based on a substance abuse issue alone. So that excuse is pretty much taken care of, but wait, there’s more! 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 back up where they left off. I had to do this on multiple occasions and found that when I returned to school I was held in higher regard by my classmates and teachers than I was while I was high. This is a link to Southern Methodist University’s policy on medical withdrawals. It clearly states that all you need to do to petition for medical withdrawal is present proof of treatment before registration. The point of all this is that, if you ask your school for help they will bend over backward to help you succeed.
I Can’t Leave My College Friends, These Are the Best Days of Our Lives
Really? You can’t leave your friends? Guess what you’re just going to rehab, you’re not dead yet. Plus, if your friends could keep you sober they would have done it already. Oh, one more thing. Each year the number of overdose deaths in America doubles. So, if you don’t quit now you’re going to be dead soon and then you can’t play with your friends anymore. The “best days of our lives” part is what really makes this comical. In addition, we are held captive by our disease. So these good times that you speak of are not very good and we both know that. Hell, you probably can’t even tell the real friends from the fake ones at this point. Once you sober up you can see people for who they really are and they can finally see the real you. Then you will know who your true friends are and be able to decide if staying with them is worth risking your life.
My Parents Paid So Much for College I Can’t Quit for Rehab
It makes no sense to try and graduate from college while high when a short break could help you complete in 4 years instead of 9 like me. How can you possibly understand Newton’s method of fluxions and fluents (no idea what that is) when all you think about all day is how you’re going to find the money for a bag of heroin. Plus, you will actually save money on college tuition by leaving for a semester rather than failing and failing time and time again and staying in school for 9 years like me.
If I had gone to treatment while in college and taken my recovery seriously I could have completed school in 4.5 years instead of nine. I ended up going to nine rehabs and taking nine years to finish school. Nine years of college and I have just one degree… Nine. The point is, if you take a medical withdrawal the only additional cost could be one rehab and half a semester, plus you may not even have to pay for the extra semester and if you have insurance from a provider like Blue Cross Blue Shield your entire treatment could be covered. So really you could take a semester off at no additional cost to your parents. Plus, stop trying to play the hero, just last week you took $20 from your Mom’s purse without blinking an eye.
If I take Time Away from School for Treatment I’ll Be So Far behind
Guess what? 50% of your friends won’t graduate in 4 years and 1 semester never killed anyone. If you are concerned about falling behind please refer to the above rant about 9 years in college.
Staying Sober in College Is Hard, Are There Sober Colleges?
OK, that’s the best question all night. First off, you’re not going to get any sarcastic responses from me on this topic. Staying sober in college is very, very hard. College was made for the middle of the road amateur drinker. Not for the full-fledged addicts like us. It is almost impossible to stay in school and stay sober for real addicts. Almost.
You see, there are colleges that have great recovery dorms across the country. The best, however, was also the first. Augsburg College in Minneapolis Minnesota was the first college to offer a full recovery and academic program on campus. The recovery dorms feature AA meetings, they have therapists on staff and they fully integrate the rest of the college into the recovery experience. No other college in the country has more people in recovery than Augsburg college. Here the “Normal” students learn about the recovery process and the two worlds live and work in harmony. Traditional students have a clear view of addiction and recovery, free from the stigma passed down by ignorant generations. Her recovery is celebrated and understood at a level never seen before and rarely duplicated. It’s no wonder that my 9 years of college finally ended at Augsburg.
So if you can’t take a semester off for drug rehab, then complete the rest of your degree at a college designed to support recovery.