How College Students Overcome Addiction

Addiction is an issue that affects people of all ages, but college students are particularly at risk. With easy access to alcohol and drugs, peer pressure, and the stress of higher education, addiction can have a profound effect on the lives of college students. Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies that can help college students battle and ultimately win their fight against addiction.

1. Acknowledge the Problem
The first and most important step in overcoming any addiction is to recognize that you have an issue and take action to address it. It is important to understand that it is possible to overcome addiction and that help is available. Talking with a friend, family member, a health provider, or a counselor can help affirm that you’re on the right track and motivate you to continue forward.

2. Develop a Support Network
Having a strong network of family, friends, and other supporters who care about you and your recovery is essential for staying sober. With the help of these individuals, you can stay on the right path and develop a strong plan of action. It is also important to connect with other college students who are in recovery. This can provide support, encouragement, and inspiration when you may be feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of sobriety.

3. Create a Plan
Once you’ve established a support network and realized that you have an issue, it’s time to create a plan of action for recovery. This plan should involve short and long-term goals and strategies for achieving those goals. Seek out advice from counseling professionals or support groups to ensure that you have the best plan possible.

4. Avoid Triggers
Triggers are circumstances or situations that lead to cravings for addictive substances. Whether it’s certain people, places, or times of the day, identify the triggers in your life and take steps to avoid them. This could include avoiding certain locations and activities, or finding ways to limit your exposure to negative influences (such as removing yourself from social media).

5. Establish a Routine
Having a regular routine is important for any college student, but even more so for someone in recovery. Taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, and emotionally is essential to maintaining long-term sobriety. This could include adopting healthier habits such as exercise, eating nutritiously, setting achievable goals, and participating in positive activities on a daily basis.

6. Seek Treatment
If your addiction has gotten to the point where self-help is not enough, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional. Professional treatment centers, residential facilities, and special programs designed for college students all provide structured, evidence-based treatments in a number of different settings. By seeking out the right kind of help, you can set yourself up for long-term success.

College students are at high risk for addiction, but fortunately there are a variety of strategies that can help overcome it. Addiction is a serious issue, but if you or someone you know is struggling, it is possible to get better. Through the steps listed above and the support of family, friends, and other professionals, recovery is not out of reach.