Best Approaches to Supporting Students with Addiction
Find Recovery and Achieve Success in College
This weekend will begin ARHE’s 10th National Collegiate Recovery Conference in Boston, Massachusetts from June 29th-July 2nd. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is a national association dedicated exclusively to representing collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) and Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs.) According to the ARHE website, ARHE “provides the education, resources and community connection needed to help change the trajectory of recovery student’s lives. We are a network of professionals, administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents, and policymakers. The focus of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is to serve as national support for propagating and supporting the vision of collegiate recovery programs. ARHE offer time-tested, research and experience-based modeling for fostering and supporting those in recovery who seek to excel in higher education. ARHE is the central authority on the modeling and tailoring of CRP’s to best integrate them into the institution, and ultimately to best serve students in recovery.”
Addiction, mental health and co-occurring disorders impact numerous lives of young adults, and thus their academic and educational progress. Numerous articles have been recently published or air via multiple news outlets of the substance use disorder and mental illness currently impacting the high school and college student population. As addiction not only impacts the individual but also their family and community, students with addiction issues impact their family, their collegiate social circles and their institutions. It is vitally important that young adults seeking recovery that also have negatively impacted their education are given the proper support and appropriate resources to resume that academic journey.
Often when a student suffers from addiction or co-occurring disorders while in college, numerous things happen. They hide their issues from their parents. They rarely reach out to the school or it’s health center or counseling center. Once the issue gets worse, creating a crisis, either they fail out of school, drop out of school, take a medical leave, or the parents pull them from school to get them help. However, often the school is unaware because the student never went to the necessary channels to make them aware of the issues, the parents and/or student do not divulge to the school why the student is having issues or must leave for treatment, based either on stigma or the crisis at hand. When the student finds recovery, the parents want them back in school as soon as possible, although that may not be clinically appropriate for the student or the best, most supportive way to get them re-engaged in their education, and the school is unaware of the prior issues, so the road back to admittance is difficult and cumbersome for the student and family.
One of the most important things for a student that has suffered from addiction, has found recovery, and wants to reengage in their academic career, is to make sure everything is aligned to offer the most supportive environment. That the student slowly and appropriately reengages in college without taking away from their recovery, that the parents are aware of the most appropriate process to get the student back to school that works for both the student’s goals and their recovery, that the college or academic institution is involved in the process and that departments such as admissions, student affairs, the health and counseling center and others are all working together to best support the student, and ideally that the school offers support in the means of a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) or Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) to further support them on their return to higher learning.
We see these issues every day with our patients and their families at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, and these issues that young adult students face is one of the reasons that we partnered with Caron Treatment Centers to offer our young adult patients the support of the Caron College Success™ Program at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. We understand the needs of students, parents, and colleges and universities and as the treatment provider, we work to make sure everyone is on the same page, has the same goals, and works together to make sure that the patient is set up for their best chance of success in both achieving their academic goals and objectives while maintaining their sobriety and recovery from addiction. After all, if the student cannot sustain their recovery when going back to school, there is a large chance that their academic career and their education will once again suffer.
Our Collegiate Recovery Specialist Sarah MacDonald, CSC-AD, and our Director of Business Development Zach Snitzer will be attending this year’s ARHE Collegiate Recovery Conference in Boston to connect with other addiction treatment and mental health professionals that offer services to the young adult population, to meet with many collegiate recovery programs and communities from around the country to learn about how they best support their fellow students, and meet many representatives from colleges and universities nationwide that are leading the charge of creating safe learning environments for their students as they continue their recovery journey on campus.
Some of our friends and colleagues will also be presenting at the conference, including:
- Devin Reaves, MSW, of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction, on the topic “Collegiate Recovery Supports for Underrepresented Student Populations: Barriers 7 Lessons Learned” (Saturday, June 29th, 1pm-2pm)
- Mariel Hufnagel, MPA, of The Ammon Foundation, on the topic “Creating Conditions that Foster Recovery” (Saturday, June 29th, 3:30pm-5pm)
- Robert Ashford, MSW, PhD Student, University of the Sciences, on the topic “The CRP-4E Study: AN Update from the First Longitudinal Outcomes Project on Collegiate Recovery” (Sunday, June 30th, 8:30am-10am)
- Michael Baly, PhD, of Encore Recovery Solutions, on the topic “Resourcing Collegiate Students through Integrative Trauma-informed Approached in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder” (Sunday, June 30th, 4:10pm-5:10pm)
- Don Sloane, MSOD, of Recovery Care Partner, on the topic “There is No ‘One (Clinical) Size Fits All’” (Monday, July 1st, 8:30am-10am)
- James Ryan, LCPC, of Ashley Addiction Treatment, on the topic “Experiential Interventions in Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Engaging Emerging Adults and Their Families” (Monday, July 1st, 8:30am-10am)
We look forward to hearing these talks as well as many of the other keynote speeches and breakout sessions presentations, as we continue to learn the most effective, evidence-based approaches to supporting students with addiction find recovery and achieve their academic and educational goals and objectives.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.