Addiction in College
Why IOP Treatment is Beneficial for College Students

For many young adults, making the transition from high school to college is the initial step towards full autonomy. College students get their first true taste of independence, and many begin blossoming into fully functional and self-supporting adults. Others, however, are drawn to the dark underbelly of collegiate life… the party scene. Red solo cups runneth over with lukewarm beer, prescription stimulants are handed out like candy and crowded dorm rooms are rife with experimentation. Some people who have been through college might argue that a brief period of excessive partying is simply a right of passage. Others might have taken the studious route, prioritizing their education over their social life.

At Guardian IOP we understand how difficult it can be to resist temptation during young adulthood. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to transition from simple experimentation to full-blown dependence when chemical substances are so prevalent and peer pressure such a reality. We offer an intensive outpatient treatment program for young adults who are still enrolled in school, but who might be walking a dangerous path as far as substance abuse is concerned. If you or someone you love is enrolled in school and is looking for a flexible and effective program of addiction recovery, Guardian IOP is available to help. Contact us today for more information.

Substance Abuse Among College Students

While college students abuse chemical substances of all kinds, rates of alcohol abuse and dependence are particularly high among people in this age group. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over half of full-time college students (54.9 percent) reported drinking alcohol at least once during the past month in 2019. Twenty-eight percent of college students reported binge drinking at least once within the past month. According to the 2018 Monitoring the Future College Students and Young Adults Survey, marijuana use among college-aged students is at an all time high. In 2013 it was estimated that 35.5 percent of college students smoked marijuana regularly. By 2018, this number had increased to 42.5 percent. During the same year 5.9 percent of college students reported using marijuana on a daily basis. Prescription opioid abuse among college students has been declining over the course of the past several years, though rates of prescription stimulant abuse (specifically Adderall) have been on the rise; 11.1 percent of all college students admitted to abusing Adderall at least once a month over the course of the past year; 14.6 percent of males in college use Adderall regularly as opposed to 8.8 percent of females. While alcohol is typically abused in a social setting, prescription stimulants are usually abused in an attempt to improve study habits or increase alertness and concentration. Regardless of which chemical substance you or your loved one has been abusing, Guardian IOP is available to help.

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Seeking Treatment While in School

There are many reasons why a college student might be resistant to seeking treatment while enrolled in classes.

Reasons College Students Resist Treatment:

  • Fear of judgement from peers.
  • Fear of falling behind academically.
  • Concern about juggling school work and a program of recovery.
  • Fear about the unknown/not knowing what treatment will entail.
  • Concern that giving up chemical substances will make the college experience less fun.
  • A belief that it is “too soon” to get sober.
  • A lack of understanding regarding the severity and progression of substance abuse.

There’s no doubt that seeking treatment while still enrolled in college can be intimidating at first. At Guardian IOP we work to educate our clients on the disease model of addiction, teaching them that addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition that will only continue to worsen the longer it is left untreated. We teach them how to have fun in sobriety and how to prioritize their personal recovery programs while still tending to their school-related obligations.

Our Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Include

Our IOP Program Offers:

  • Relapse Prevention Training – It’s important that clients develop the skills necessary to avoid relapse and maintain solid sobriety. This can be especially difficult in an environment where everyone else seems to be drinking and engaging in recreational drug use. We focus on teaching our clients how to avoid triggers and effectively deal with temptation.
  • Behavioral TherapyTherapeutic intervention is an important part of the treatment process. In many instances substance abuse stems from deeper issues like unresolved trauma, underlying mental illness or deep-seated insecurities. Clients thoroughly address all underlying issues in individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Case Management Services & Aftercare Planning – Whether our clients transition into IOP from a higher level of clinical care or utilize IOP as a standalone treatment option, aftercare is an extremely important part of the treatment process. When it comes to young adults who are still in college, aftercare plans generally include recovery meetings, a continuation of therapy and medication assisted treatment when necessary.

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Benefits of an IOP Program

There are many benefits when it comes to intensive outpatient treatment, especially for people who have commitments (like school) they cannot easily step away from for a prolonged period of time. Residential inpatient treatment requires clients to live in a designated facility for between one and three months; IOP, on the other hand, allows clients to live at home or in a sober living, attend work or school while attending treatment a few days a week. At Guardian IOP we are happy to work with our client’s schedules, ensuring they receive effective clinical care when it is convenient for them.

rehab for college students

Benefits of IOP include:

  • Clients are able to live at home or at a sober living.
  • Clients have the flexibility they need to take care of pre-existing obligations while supported by a team of therapists, clinical staff and peers in recovery.
  • Clients have access to individual, group and family therapy.
  • IOP programs tend to have lower costs than residential inpatient treatment programs (which is an important factor for young adults who are paying their way through college).
  • Clients are able to apply the relapse prevention skills they learn in real-life situations and share their experiences with their peers in a therapeutic group setting.
  • Clients develop invaluable friendships with like-minded peers who they are able to relate to on a deep and authentic level.
  • Clients are able to develop a relationship with an individual therapist, who they often have the option of continuing to meet with once IOP concludes.
  • Clients can utilize medication assisted treatment when necessary to prevent cravings and reduce the risk of relapse. We offer Suboxone maintenance at our New Jersey locations for clients who have been struggling with a moderate or severe opioid abuse disorder. We also offer Antabuse and Vivitrol at all of our locations.

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  • Individual Focus

  • Caring & Experienced Staff

  • Homestyle Retreat

  • Fully Licensed & Accredited 

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When you or your loved one is ready to ask for help, Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program will be available. Our admissions process is simple and straightforward and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. During our initial phone call we provide a complimentary assessment and a free, no obligation insurance benefit check. All you or your loved one has to do is ask for help, we will take care of the rest. If you have any additional questions about our IOP program or about substance abuse recovery for college students, contact us today.

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Reviewed for accuracy by:

Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.