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Can I Take College Courses During A Drug Rehab Stay?

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

Medically reviewed by

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

March 5, 2019

College students are at a heightened risk of addiction, due to the prevalence of experimentation and high amounts of stress. Many college students, however, do not seek professional treatment because they are fearful of falling behind in their studies. Fortunately, there are several rehabs that allow students to continue taking classes while in treatment.

The Answer Is… Yes!

Drug rehabilitation is designed as a way to improve your life and is in no way a punishment. As a result, rehab centers are more than happy to let you continue taking college courses during a rehabilitation stay. Obviously, this is going to be a challenge as you go through detoxification and other treatment procedures, but it is still possible. Ways that you can continue college while in drug rehab include:

  • Inpatient Rehab – If your addiction is severe or if you require immediate medical attention, you can attend inpatient rehab during the summer months or ask your teachers to allow you to take your homework in with you.
  • Outpatient Rehab – Lets you spend most of your time outside of the rehab center, meaning you can schedule around your class and homework time.
  • Online Courses – Most universities allow you to take online courses for full credit. Signing up for these courses gives you the opportunity to actively pursue your degree while recovering from addiction.

Continuing your education while in drug rehabilitation is going to be one of the biggest challenges of your life. But it is one worth taking: imagine emerging from drug rehab sober and with a game-changing college degree in your hands. You’ll be more than ready to tackle the world and achieve great things.

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The Advantages Of Taking College Classes During Rehab

For many people going through rehab, taking college courses may feel like it’s not worth the effort. That’s simply not the case. Beyond helping you get a degree, it can offer you a wider range of benefits and advantages, such as:

  • Removing you from a potentially dangerous relapse environment
  • Letting you continue with your life, while improving your education
  • Giving you a distraction from the rigors of drug rehabilitation
  • Avoiding the “taking a break” phase of education that so many people never resume

The latter point is particularly impactful for people who have suffered under a “stop-start” approach to education. Too often, people take breaks from college to get their life back together and simply move too far in their life to go back. Taking college courses while in drug rehab helps you keep focused and achieve your important education goals.

Consider A College Rehab Program

One cool resource that college students should embrace is a college rehab program. These programs are designed to help students with an addiction recover in a safe and comfortable environment. Though these programs aren’t as inclusive as an off-site rehab center, they can still offer you a wide range of benefits, including:

  • People to talk to when cravings hit
  • Sober activities
  • Psychological counseling
  • Group counseling
  • A relaxing environment, free of stress and strain

These centers, while not a great first option for severe cases, may work as an aftercare method for those who have finished more extensive rehabilitation options. They can help shift your focus away from your addiction, create social connections and build a support group that can help you remain drug-free for the rest of your life.

Sobriety Tips For After You Finish Rehab

Once you finish rehab, you are going to have to go back to a college lifestyle. For many people, this can greatly increase the risk of relapse. Unfortunately, there is a lot of drug and alcohol use in college, and it’s understandably hard to avoid giving in to relapse. Follow these simple tips to continue a life of new-found sobriety:

  • Find sober activities on campus, such as attending on-campus movies or visiting museums with friends.
  • Take classes on yoga and other meditation techniques to earn both college credits and important relaxation techniques.
  • Attend an on-campus 12-step program with other people who are going through the same process.
  • Regularly go to class and finish your homework on time to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Continue living your life without obsessing over the fact that you are going through recovery.

Pay special attention to the last two tips, as stress and anxiety can easily lead to relapse. Continually reminding yourself that you are in recovery or obsessing over it will only increase your stress and make it harder for you to recover. Approach your new sober lifestyle in a relaxed and comfortable manner and embrace the kinship of sober or newly sober friends.

Never Be Afraid To Learn More

Education is too important for you to put off during the difficult period of rehab. That’s why you need to find a way to integrate it with your treatment. If you are struggling to find a way to integrate it into your healing process or simply need a little guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at to learn more.

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