Student Recovery Resources for Alcohol and Substance Abuse

substance abuse resources

Substance use, including alcohol and marijuana, is prevalent on college campuses today. For many college students, this turns into substance abuse, and even substance use disorder. Combined with the mental health concerns of today’s college population, many students end up with a dual diagnosis – Substance Use Disorder and another mental illness. Not only are there not enough support services for students diagnosed or suspected to have substance use disorder, but with a combined diagnosis, resources are even more slim.

Hopefully, this collection of resources will allow colleges, high schools about to send off college students, parents, teachers, and administrators to have access to some of what they need to support students. For students, knowing there is help available is a huge relief to many. Here, we provide connections to groups, books, podcasts, research and more that can assist you on your journey to recovery.

A special thanks to Greg Dicharry, mental health and substance abuse advocate and youth mental health expert for his contributions to this article. You can read more of Greg’s story and his expanded suggestions for lasting recovery here.

12.52% of college students have substance use disorder


The Association Between Harmful Alcohol Use and Internet Addiction Among College Students: Comparison of Personality 
Several researchers worked on this article, which found that college students who used alcohol were more likely to develop an addiction to the internet based on specific personality traits. 

Trends in Perception of Risk and Availability of Substance Use Among Full-Time College Students 
This article looked at the substance use trends among college students and found that monitoring their perceptions has an impact on the availability and use of those substances.

Interpersonal Guilt and Substance Use in College Students 
Read through this article to see how feelings of guilt can increase the likelihood of college students using substances and why they feel guilty when they’re away from home. 

Substance Use Trajectories From Early Adolescence Through the Transition to College 
The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs published this study, which looks at how substance abuse changes from adolescence through the years users spend in college. 

Social Networks, Substance Use, and Mental Health in College Students 
Researchers looked at more than 600 college students to see how their social networks and other facts affected their use of tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol.

Substance Use, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms Among College Students 
In this article, you’ll find the link between depression and anxiety and the symptoms of both conditions in terms of how they relate to the use of substances among students. 

Substance Use in College Students with ADHD 
Use this piece to see what link exists between ADHD and substance abuse as well as why so many students with the condition abuse or use certain substances. 

Self-Control and Substance Use Among College Students 
Published in the Journal of Drug Issues, this article focuses on the lack of self-control students today have and how this relates to the frequency of substance use. 

FOCUS: Substance Use Among College Students 
In this article, you’ll see how quickly substance use rose on college campuses along with some of the reasons behind the recent increase. 

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics 
Check out this article to see the number of college kids today who use or abuse different substances and some of the reasons why they use drugs or alcohol. 

Substance Abuse Among College Students in the United States 
Ballard Brief defines some common terms and talks about how factors like Greek life and academic struggles can increase drug use among students. 

Substance Use Among College Students 
This free article focuses on how reaching adulthood can lead to substance abuse and the consequences that use has for college students today. 

A Day in the Life of College Students Aged 18 to 22: Substance Use Facts 
Put yourself in the shoes of a college student and walk through their average day as you read about the prevalence of drugs and alcohol on campuses. 

‘Pregaming’ Linked to Risky Substance Use Among College Students 
George Hale at Texas A&M University looks at the connection between tailgating and other pregaming activities as it relates to college students’ substance abuse. 

The Importance of Preventing Drug Abuse Among College Students 
Campus Drug Prevention designed this article to discuss why preventing drug abuse is so important, including its risk to campus and overall student safety. 

Supporting Students in Recovery on College Campuses: Opportunities for Student Affairs Professionals 
The authors of this article push campus affairs officers to implement new programs to help students stop using substances and prevent new students from using them. 


What to Expect at an AA Meeting 
This page of the AA website serves as an introduction to what happens during AA meetings and what you can expect to see during your first one. 

AA Meeting Finder App 
AA designed an app you can download to any iPhone to quickly find AA meetings near your home, college campus, and anywhere else you go. 

Cocaine Anonymous 
Cocaine Anonymous is a 12-step program designed for cocaine users, which has this page for those who need help finding online and offline groups and meetings. 

Celebrate Recovery 
Celebrate Recovery uses Christ to help people recover from their substance abuse, and the group has a tool to help you find the closest meeting to you.

Secular Recovery 
Secular Recovery helps substance users and abusers find virtual and offline meetings that use the 12 steps in a secular way that does not include God. 

Treatment Finder 
Turn to the Treatment Finder to discover 12-step and other meetings for those who have a substance use problem and are ready to start their recovery journey.

Harm Reduction 
Harm Reduction offers links to organizations that provide free Naxolone and syringes as well as programs and meetings for users who need more help. 

Narcotics Anonymous 
You don’t need to attend an in-person meeting as a narcotics user because the official Narcotics Anonymous site has a long list of virtual meetings that are open to everyone. 

Virtual NA Meeting List 
Discover NA meetings you can attend at any time of the day or night on this site, which focuses on anonymous online meetings and phone options. 

Al-Anon/Alateen Meeting List 
Family groups offer support for the loved ones of substance abusers, and this site helps you find online and in-person meetings around the world. 

Heroin Anonymous 
Use this PDF to find a long list of Heroin Anonymous meetings you can attend when you need help, including the name of the meeting, the host state, and when it takes place. 

Crystal Meth Anonymous 
Crystal Meth users can search for CM Anonymous meetings that are near them as well as those that meet online when they use this site. 

Marijuana Anonymous 
Marijuana Anonymous has a chatroom that is open 24/7 for those in need of help, but the organization helps visitors learn about the program and find helpful literature. 

not many campuses have help for addicted students

Addiction Facts 

Fast Facts About Addiction 
Read through some fast facts from the Partnership to End Addiction to learn how many Americans have substance abuse problems and how screening and treatment can help. 

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction 
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has many facts about addiction, including what it means and the different ways it affects the body and brain. 

Let’s Talk Facts About Substance Abuse and Addiction 
From alcohol to stimulants, this page features facts on different substances, such as their side effects and the negative consequences of using them. 

Adult Drug Use
SAMHSA includes facts on how many people use and abuse different substances as well as how quickly the use of those substances has risen in recent years. 

Learn more about substance use disorder (SUD) on this page and then take a short quiz to see how much you know and if you have the facts down. 

Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders 
Common risk factors, treatment methods, and how doctors identify co-occurring disorders are just some of the facts you’ll find on this site. 

High-Risk Substance Use Among Youth 
The CDC shares how using high-risk substances can affect students and other youth, including the risk of addiction and how some engage in dangerous behaviors. 

Addiction and Substance Misuse Reports and Publications 
Find multiple reports on this page from the State of Missouri, such as reports from the Surgeon General and the effects of marijuana on the human brain. 

Drug Abuse and Mental Illness Fast Facts 
These fast facts from the National Drug Intelligence Center include details on chronic drug abuse and the most common substances abused today. 

Dual Diagnosis

Mental Health and Substance Use Co-Occurring Disorders 
SAMHSA found that substance abuse or use and mental health disorders can often go together and talk about some of the common symptoms of both. 

Drug Abuse and Mental Illness: Progress in Understanding Comorbidity 
The American Journal of Psychiatry published this article to discuss the ways drug abuse and mental illness relate and the effects both have on college students. 

Correlates of Mental Health Service Use Among Young Adults with Mental Illness: Results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 
You’ll find results from the recent survey on drug use and health in this journal piece, which also talks about the correlation between these factors and mental health services. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness: Challenges for Intervention 
Learn more about mental illness and substance abuse along with the challenges that face patients and medical professionals in treating both. 

NAMI: Mental Illness and Substance Abuse 
NAMI issued this PDF guide as a way to help readers see the short-term and long-term effects of substance use and how it relates to the user’s mental health. 

Drug Use and Mental Well-Being among a Sample of Undergraduate and Graduate College Students 
Learn how stress and other factors can affect the mental health of students and cause them to abuse/use substances in this article from the Journal of Drug Education. 

Attitudes of College Students Toward Mental Illness Stigma and the Misuse of Psychiatric Medications 
This journal article talks about the attitudes college students have today and how those attitudes can cause them to abuse medications and other substances. 

Mental Health and Drug Use in College Students: Should We Take Action? 
More than 6,700 students responded to a survey on mental health and drug abuse, and this article goes over their responses and what they mean. 

Relation of Mental Health to Alcohol and Substance Use Among Texas College Students 
The Texas Medical Association shared a recent study that looked at how mental health led to college students in the state using alcohol and other substances. 

College Students: Mental Health Problems and Treatment Considerations 
If you want to learn more about dual disorders, check out this article that looks at the disorders facing college students and the various treatment options. 

The Association Between Non-Medical Prescription Drug Use, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidality Among College Students 
Keith J. Zullig analyzed data from a national survey to discover the link between suicide, depression, and drug use in college students. 

University Students’ Perceptions of Links Between Substance Use and Mental Health: A Qualitative Focus Group Study 
In this piece, researchers held a focus group to talk with college students about their thoughts on mental health and substance abuse. 

Depression, Anxiety, and Alcohol or Other Drug Use among College Students 
Read through community studies and the other reports found in this article to see why college students use substances and suffer from anxiety or depression. 

College Students and Depression: A Guide for Parents 
Both parents and students can use this guide to see why so many college students suffer from depression and what their loved ones can do to help. 

Depression, Substance Abuse and College Student Engagement: A Review of the Literature 
Look over this article, which reviews some of the current literature on the link between depression and substance abuse among college students. 

Depression, Anxiety, and Alcohol or Other Drug Use among College Students. Prevention Updates 
Not only does this piece go over mental disorders and substance abuse, but it also reviews some of the current prevention methods used on college campuses. 

Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report 
This article looks at how the connection between substance abuse and other disorders recently increased and what it means for the future. 

1 in 3 college students has a mental health diagnosis


Prevention Profiles 
Launched in 2018, this podcast releases a new episode every month that covers five questions about substance abuse on college campuses to clear up misconceptions. 

Sober Grind 
Episode 45 of the Sober Grind podcast looks at the rise of substance abuse on college campuses and the overall effects it has on students. 

Alcohol and Substance Use Among College-Age Students 
Kids’ Health Cast released this episode to discuss current trends like drinking hand sanitizer and what families and others can do to keep students safe. 

College Substance Abuse 
This podcast episode from the Addiction Center specifically focuses on college students, the substances they use, and why they use them. 

Hazelden Betty Ford 
William C. Moyers is an addiction advocate and the man behind this podcast that talks with professionals about their experiences helping addicts. 

10 Habits of Highly Successful Sober College Students 
Sober Now is a recovery podcast that created this episode as a way to go over the habits college students can use as they recover and avoid substances. 

Michigan Medicine Presents: The Science of Addiction Podcast Series 
This series includes three episodes that each focus on the science of addiction, such as the risk factors associated with using drugs and the effects of them. 

Behind the Evidence: An Addiction Medicine Podcast 
All of the five episodes of the Behind the Evidence podcast focus on a different issue, such as the treatment gap and the use of methadone. 

The One Day at A Time Podcast 
Anonymous groups believe in taking life one day at a time, which is the basis for this podcast that teaches listeners how to focus on the positives every day. 


The Little Book of College Sobriety 
Susan Packard wrote this book to show college students that they aren’t alone in their sobriety struggles as she includes stories from 12 people who were once in their shoes. 

Alcoholics Anonymous 
The Big Book is the main resource for AA members, and AA now offers a PDF version on its website along with an audio version and links on where to buy a copy. 

Substance Abuse Recovery in College: Community Supported Abstinence 
This book includes info on recovery groups on college campuses and how those groups help students abstain from the substances they abused before. 

Beautiful Boy 
David Sheff wrote Beautiful Boy about his son who became addicted to Crystal Meth and the struggles he faced as a father watching his child go through his addiction. 

High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict’s Double Life 
Tiffany Jenkins wrote this memoir to talk about the shock others had after learning she was an addict along with her experiences as a substance abuser.

The Gifts of Imperfection 
Brene Brown created this popular book, which is now available with new details, to encourage others to share their stories and talk about their struggles. 

You Are A Badass 
You Are A Badass is a great book for substance users because it teaches them that they can accomplish anything and shows them how to focus on the positive things. 

The Untethered Soul 
Michael A. Singer wrote The Untethered Soul to teach others the benefits of mindfulness and meditation and how those practices can help them live better lives. 

A Journey in Recovery and Higher Education: A Decision to Change My Life 
Written by Christopher Bilandzija, this book goes over his addiction and how going back to school helped him recover and become a better man. 

Keys to success in Recovery


Campus Drinking and Other Substance Use: A Student Perspective 
Hear directly from students about how common substances are on college campuses and the struggles they face in avoiding them in this short video. 

Drug and Alcohol Abuse in College -(An Incredible Story!) 
Listen to experts talk about drug and alcohol abuse on college campuses in this video and hear the story of one student who recovered from their abuse. 

College Students and Substance Abuse 
Addiction Hope is behind this video, which focuses on the types of substances found on college campuses and why students turn to them. 

Dual Diagnosis: The Connection between Mental Health and Substance Use  
The Partnership to End Addiction designed this video as a way to help viewers learn about dual diagnosis and the link between substance abuse and mental illness.

Webinar: Substance Use Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders 
Watch this webinar to spend over an hour learning more about co-occurring disorders and how those with a mental illness may turn to different substances. 

The Dual Diagnosis of Substance Use and Behavioral Health Conditions 
Discover the sobering connection between mental health and substance abuse in this video that also discusses the importance of dual diagnosis. 

Dual Diagnosis – Inside Out Mental Health Series 
At just under 35 minutes, this video takes you on a journey through the world of mental health, including what dual diagnosis means and how it affects others. 

Sober College 
Sober College created a video to show students they aren’t alone and how one of these programs for those 17 to 26 can help them get and stay sober. 

Dual Diagnosis – Mood and Substance Use Disorder 
Produced by the DBS Alliance, this video runs for nearly an hour and helps you learn about dual diagnosis and the link between mood and substance use disorders. 

Shaming the Sick: Substance Use and Stigma 
Thousands of people watched this TED talk to discover the stigma surrounding substance abuse and what some hope to do about it. 

The Case for Screening and Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders 
Watch a video from SAMHSA to see why there isn’t a wrong way to treat co-occurring disorders and hear about some of the best treatment options.