College Students

Supporting College Students on the Road to Recovery

For young people across the country, college is a pivotal point in their lives, and for many of them, college is the first time they’re leaving the protective nest of their parents or guardians. Not only does going to college come with newfound freedom and independence, but it also comes with unique struggles, such as academic stressors and pressure to fit in with peers. These factors can create an environment where some turn to substance use as a coping mechanism or a means of fitting into their new social landscape.

Drug and alcohol use is extremely common among college students. Each year, among college students aged 18 to 24, approximately 3,360,000 drive under the influence of alcohol, 6% try illicit drugs for the first time, and about half of the nation’s 5.4 million college students admit to binge drinking or taking drugs at least once per month.

The consequences of substance abuse in college can be detrimental to one’s education, career, and life as a whole. As a result, college students struggling with substance abuse must get the treatment and support they need to stay sober and succeed in their education.

At Cobb Outpatient Detox, our addiction detox program in Georgia is uniquely designed with the needs of college students in mind. Whether you’re struggling with addiction yourself or know a college student who is, we urge you to reach out to us today to discuss how we can help.

Understanding Substance Abuse Among College Students

The transition to college brings newfound freedom but also unique challenges. With academic stress and the desire to fit in, some students turn to substances like drugs or alcohol.

College life can make substance use seem normal, especially with parties where alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs are common. Some people get involved with the wrong crowd, give in to peer pressure, and experience their recreational substance abuse progress into something more serious.

For others, their substance use is about handling pressure and finding ways to cope. College life presents an array of stressors. From rigorous academic demands to the need to fit into social circles, students encounter a multitude of challenges. If they aren’t equipped with healthy coping skills and a strong support system, these challenges can manifest in the form of substance abuse and addiction. Instead of seeking professional help, some students resort to substances as a means of self-medication, inadvertently worsening their situation.

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Most Commonly Abused Substances by College Students

Certain substances are more likely to be abused by college students than others. The most commonly abused substances by this population include:

  • Alcohol – Over half of college students aged 18 to 22 drink alcohol every month. An estimated 13% meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and about 1,519 students die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries each year.
  • Marijuana – Nearly 50% of college students admit to using marijuana for recreational purposes.
  • Prescription stimulants – Prescription stimulants or ADHD pills like Adderall are popular among college students. They may take them to stay awake for studying or partying. One study found that up to 20% of college students have abused prescription stimulants by taking medications that are not prescribed to them and up to 60% of college students with a valid ADHD medication prescription have given some of their pills to people who didn’t have a prescription.
  • Cocaine – Cocaine abuse has increased in college students over time. About 13% of college students report using cocaine.
  • Ecstasy – Ecstasy is a popular club drug that contains MDMA. Between 4% and 10% of college students have reported using ecstasy.

Regardless of the type of substance used, college students who abuse substances of any kind are susceptible to developing a substance use disorder. Without treatment, substance abuse can result in academic decline, legal problems, mental health conditions, physical health problems, and poor social life.

Addressing the Needs of College Students in Addiction Treatment

Addressing substance abuse among college students requires a multifaceted approach. First, It’s crucial to provide an environment where students feel comfortable seeking assistance without fear of judgment or stigma. Both college campuses and addiction treatment centers must place a focus on making students feel safe and supported when it comes to asking for help with substance abuse.

Second, tailoring addiction treatment programs specifically for college students proves essential. Drug and alcohol treatment programs should acknowledge the unique challenges and pressures that students face. Offering flexible scheduling, understanding academic commitments, and integrating counseling or therapy within the campus community can make treatment more accessible and effective.

Additionally, treatment centers for college students should coordinate efforts between mental health services, academic advisors, student organizations, and residential life staff to ensure a holistic support system for students in recovery. This comprehensive approach helps address not just the addiction but also the underlying issues contributing to substance abuse.

Outpatient Detox & Treatment for College Students in Georgia

Detox is the first phase of recovery. Outpatient detox and treatment programs for college students in Georgia allow them to maintain their academic pursuits and daily lives while detoxing with medical guidance and professional support.

Outpatient detox involves a structured process of safely managing withdrawal symptoms while the individual continues to live at home or in their college environment. It allows students to attend classes, meet academic obligations, and engage in everyday activities while receiving the necessary medical support, medication management, and monitoring.

In our outpatient program, we offer:

  • Daily medical and clinical assessments
  • Individually tailored treatment plans
  • Individual and group therapy sessions
  • A flexible schedule that accommodates your needs

Our team of multidisciplinary addiction specialists collaborates closely with local academic institutions and local communities to provide a comprehensive support network for students in recovery. Conveniently located minutes outside of Atlanta, Cobb Outpatient Detox is equipped to support students at universities all across the metroplex, including:

  • Georgia State University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta Technical College
  • Emory University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Spelman College
  • Morehouse College
  • Atlanta Metropolitan State College
  • Life University
  • Fortis College
  • Clayton State University
  • Agnes Scott College

Our Atlanta-based outpatient treatment programs may also include access to mental health services, support groups, and specialized counseling specifically designed for college students. These resources aim to address not only the addiction itself but also the underlying psychological, emotional, and social factors contributing to substance abuse among this demographic.

Your College Comeback Starts at Cobb Outpatient Detox

At Cobb Outpatient Detox, we understand college students’ unique struggles and needs. Our drug and alcohol detox program, located just outside of Atlanta, is crafted to support college students, blending individualized treatment for addiction with academic success. We help you detox safely on an outpatient basis so you don’t have to take time away from your academic career but still have the opportunity to get your life back on track.

Getting sober with Cobb Outpatient Detox opens many doors for college students, allowing them to embrace sobriety and ignite their future. Our program can help college students achieve:

  • Academic success
  • Emotional well-being
  • Career opportunities
  • Financial stability
  • Mental clarity
  • And more!

By fostering a culture that prioritizes well-being, supports mental health, and encourages healthy coping strategies, our goal is to pave the way for a more positive and fulfilling college experience.

If you or someone you love are struggling with addiction and are ready to begin your recovery journey, please reach out to our team at Cobb Outpatient Detox today.

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Whether you’re looking for drug and alcohol detox services or just need someone to talk to, our team can help.


  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Harmful and Underage College Drinking, Retrieved December 2023 from
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): College Drinking—Facts for Parents, Retrieved December 2023 from
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Raising Awareness About Prescription and Stimulant Abuse in College Students Through On-Campus Community Involvement Projects, Retrieved December 2023 from
  4. National Institutes of Health: College students’ use of cocaine: Results from a longitudinal study, Retrieved December 2023 from

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