Having an addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can deal with. What a lot of people don’t know is that addiction is a disease. It can be treated but never cured. Addictions are generally associated with drugs or alcohol but there are other addictions as well (e.g. sex). It’s hard to imagine that a college student would have an addiction, but it’s not as rare as you would imagine.
Admit you have a problem: If you can’t admit to yourself that you have a problem, you will never get better. If you are in denial you are only lying to yourself.
Talk to a professional: Talking to a counselor or therapist who is familiar with the subject really helps. It is stress relieving and there is nothing to lie about since all the information you provide is confidential. Enroll in an inpatient or outpatient program if possible. Most campuses have a counseling center that can help on this.
Stop using the substance you are using: Total withdrawal from the addiction is critical. It is best to be under medical supervision during this process because when going through withdrawals you should be in a safe place. Enroll in an inpatient or outpatient program if possible, most insurances cover participation in both. Your campus counselor can refer you to a facility
Stay clean: Relapsing is very common mainly because it’s easy to do. When attending a college you are going to meet many new people, be away from your family and friends, and live in an area you are not familiar with. When partying at school or even just associating yourself with the wrong crowd you will be confronted with the cause of your addiction. Just say no. It sounds difficult especially with all the stress you will be faced with your first year at college, but if you attend meetings regularly it helps relieve that stress. A meeting is a 12 step program that helps you stay clear of your addiction. All the people who attend meetings are addicts as well so they will support you and encourage you to stay clean. You should also get a sponsor. A sponsor is a person you will most likely meet at a meeting. A sponsor is someone who has an addiction but been clean for a significant amount of time. So if you are ever in a situation where you are faced with the cause of your addiction or if you have any urges it is really helpful to have a sponsor because you can call them in these situations and they will be able to help you.
You can be an addict and not even know it. So just because you are at college doesn’t mean it is okay to experiment with drugs or abuse alcohol. Most people experiment with dangerous drugs for the first time when they are at college.
Parents: Do you tell your parents of your addiction? As painful as this might be, the answer is yes. They should be your number one supporters. While they will be angry, they will eventually realize that anger isn’t going to be the solution..