Can You Take College Courses During Inpatient Drug Rehab?

To support your long-term goals, most inpatient rehab programs will let you take online college courses during treatment. However, you might want to take a break from your courses during medical detox, an intense treatment that typically takes place in the first week of rehab.

When recovering from substance use disorder, it’s important to focus on your long-term goals. One of the most common goals for people in recovery is a college degree. 

You might assume you need to put this dream on hold during inpatient treatment

However, most treatment centers will do everything they can to support your studies and help you create a fulfilling, drug-free life.

Can You Take College Courses During Inpatient Drug Rehab?

In most cases, yes. While the majority of rehab centers won’t let you leave the facility for on-campus classes, they will likely let you take online courses throughout your stay

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Request Assignment Extensions During Detox

Although many rehab centers will allow you to take online courses, you may want to request extensions on any assignments due during the first week or so of treatment. That’s because these early days often include medical detoxification. 

During detox, doctors help you manage withdrawal symptoms as you stop using drugs. These symptoms may range from mild (such as headaches and nausea) to severe (such as hallucinations and seizures). 

Your doctors will work hard to treat your symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible. Still, the detox process takes a significant amount of physical and mental energy. Once it ends, you can resume your classes with a clear head. 

Be Clear About Your College Goals

Even after you finish detox, you may struggle to balance your classes with other parts of your treatment plan, such as individual and group therapy. 

That’s why it’s important to tell your treatment team about your college goals. They can help you plan your schedule so your treatment doesn’t conflict with your studies. 

Benefits Of Taking College Courses During Inpatient Rehab

College courses help you start building a productive, sober life even before you finish treatment. They also allow the numerous college students battling addiction to get the care they need without delaying their education. 

In addition, your courses will help you maintain a sense of normalcy in rehab. After rehab, some people have trouble readjusting to their daily lives. That’s because they must suddenly return to their responsibilities at home, work, and school all at once. 

When you keep up with your studies in rehab, it’s likely easier to transition back to your normal life.

Finally, for many people, college serves as a welcome distraction from the challenges of early recovery. By focusing on your classes, you help take your mind off drug cravings. College also reduces boredom, which is a common cause of relapse. 

How To Maintain Your Recovery After Inpatient Rehab

Once you finish treatment and return to your college campus, you may face a variety of triggers. Indeed, most campuses feature heavy amounts of drug abuse, especially alcohol abuse. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), full-time college students typically drink more than other young adults. 

They may also misuse other substances, including illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, and prescription drugs, such as prescription opioids and prescription stimulants.

Witnessing any type of drug use increases your risk of relapse. That’s why you must take steps to maintain your sobriety. For example, you could:

Seek Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab allows you to strengthen your recovery skills while you readjust to your normal life. Like inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment may include various services, including individual therapy, group therapy, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 

Most programs will let you schedule your treatment sessions around your classes. 

Attend Support Groups

In an addiction recovery support group, you can discuss your experiences with people on similar journeys. 

The most popular support groups are 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Other options include SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery, and Women for Sobriety

You can find local support group meetings by searching online. You may also find them right on your college campus. 

In an on-campus group, you can connect with other students trying to balance their studies with recovery. Most support groups hold in-person meetings as well as virtual ones. 

Join A Collegiate Recovery Program

Along with support groups, some colleges also have collegiate recovery programs (CRPs). These programs help sober students form safe, supportive communities. 

In addition to providing peer support, they host fun, drug-free activities such as movie nights, museum visits, and concerts. These events help you unwind and enjoy the college experience without sacrificing your sobriety. 

CRPs also give you the chance to make sober friends. These relationships can play an essential role in your recovery, especially as you navigate a drug-heavy college culture. 

Manage Your Stress

Stress is a common cause of relapse, and college brings a great amount of stress. That’s why you should make time for relaxing activities such as journaling, meditating, and exercising. 

Also, try to stay on top of your assignments. The better you manage your course load, the less stress you’ll experience. 

For advice on balancing your classes with recovery, visit one of the support groups or collegiate recovery programs described above. You could also talk to your therapist about it. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family members for support. Every person in recovery needs a strong support system, especially when facing additional stressors such as college.

To learn more about drug addiction treatment programs, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our board-certified healthcare providers offer medical detox, mental health counseling, and other evidence-based treatment options to help you or your loved one thrive.

  1. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions
  2. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: January 8, 2024

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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