Magazine article Addiction Professional

Bridging Education and Recovery with the University Partnership Program

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Bridging Education and Recovery with the University Partnership Program

Article excerpt

Students suffering from addiction have a huge challenge ahead of them when they enter college. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimates that about one in every five college students--20 percent--meets the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). It is further compounded by the increased prevalence of marijuana use on college campuses, with daily use at its highest since 1980.

With so many avenues open for students to abuse alcohol and drugs, it is critical to give them more easily accessible avenues to sober, healthy lifestyles--especially those who are in recovery from addiction.

Many of these students are away from home for the first time, living on their own without parental control and experiencing a newfound freedom. For a student fighting addiction, these unique pressures and freedoms can have a more dramatic impact. Without a local lifeline to find ways to cope and stay sober, college life can be a perfect storm, brewing dire situations. What should be a period of learning and growth for most can become a time fraught with injuries, unsafe sex, suicide attempts, driving under the influence, vandalism and involvement with the police.

Naturally, it's traumatic for the individual students and their families. But, the impact is much greater. In fact, the cost of addiction has ripple effects across social and economic lines that spill over to student life, staff, the school and the community.

Fighting an Epidemic

What's missing at some universities are the tools that students who battle addiction need, enabling them to balance college life with life in recovery. Since many student addicts have used since their early teens, they often haven't developed the skills they need to deal with the academic, social, emotional or physical problems that stem from their addiction.

University administrators, parents and students realized the need to be proactive in finding a solution to fight this growing epidemic.

Retreat, recognized for its expertise in treating the unique needs of college students, developed the University Partnership Program, which is designed to help students navigate the demands of college and recovery at the same time.

Retreat has specialized programs that cater to college students (as well as programs for veterans and pregnant women) and approaches tailored to the individual challenges they face. Retreat concentrates on helping students find recovery using comprehensive rehabilitation, including medical detoxification, residential care, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.

College-Specific Treatment & Recovery Resources

Retreat's hands-on program guides students as they leave school temporarily to enter treatment. Retreat assesses and treats each student's individual needs--both academically and clinically--to help provide a necessary balance during his/her time in treatment. Subsequently, Retreat provides the university and the student with a plan of reentry and recovery focus when he/she gets back to campus.

Staying connected with the program and recovery tools is critical for students in recovery, especially within the first year of treatment. As a part of the University Partnership Program, Retreat and the university offer phone consultations to students once they are back on campus with their clinician, as well as online resources and tools. …

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