Just about every year, the number of young people in recovery rises. Nobody can say exactly why; it’s a combination of factors that aren’t completely understood. Either addiction is spreading, which would be troubling; the stigma behind it is receding, which would be positive; or both, which leaves you unsure of how to feel.
One thing is for certain: Young recovering addicts require a special kind of support that not every healthcare specialist is fit to provide. Their experience in recovery is often very different from than that of adults or older addicts.
Attending College While Sober
Many young people have a difficult time transitioning to college, but for youth in recovery, fitting in can feel like an all-out chore. Merely finding friends is pretty tricky, because drinking and partying are the two main avenues for social engagement, as far as many young people are concerned. Those who don’t participate in these activities, even if they’re not in recovery, may feel tempted to do so just to fit in and make friends.
Hardly any students are aware that their university offers a multitude of fun, sober-minded clubs, organizations, and games. Why? Because those scenes aren’t the scene.
Challenges Facing Youth In Recovery
Today, it’s easier than ever to find support and acceptance on your campus–or even online–as a recovering addict. The sober-mind youth subset is growing–it’s not just recovering addicts–and most universities have offered sober dormitory housing for ages. There, sober students can easily meet, unite, and build a common identity with other youth in recovery.
College doesn’t have to be the relapse mine-field we often assume it to be. If a recovering student participates in sober-minded activities, college can actually make for some pretty good aftercare treatment–the ultimate training ground for getting back out there in the real world as a new, sober person.
What better place to reinvent yourself than a place in which virtually everyone, recovering or not, is looking to do the same?
Not to mention that almost every university offers counseling services to their students in case of crisis.
The pressure to celebrate with booze and drugs is a relapse-trigger that young recovering addicts must face several times per year. It can feel outright wrong to refuse the tradition: go out, get drunk as can be, and have an incredible time. The 21st birthday is worth discussing at length particularly because it is so overblown. This is the day on which many addicts stop feeling proud of themselves and begin feeling victimized. That’s the best time to remind themselves what they figured out in treatment: that life is better clean and sober, where you can be your authentic self, and that’s the truth every day of the year.
One of the most prominent problems for young addicts is the availability of help, or at least the way they perceive it. Most insurance plans cover addiction treatment; if not, there are other options, too. Call Sustain at 949-637-5499 to discuss your options and opportunities. We’re here to help.