Going Back to School as an Adult in Recovery

Going Back to School as an Adult in Recovery


Much of the focus in early recovery is spent on learning how to stay sober, and once the needs of that goal have been sufficiently met, many in recovery may feel a void in their lives. In these instances, the importance of patients re-evaluating their new sober lifestyle goals becomes tantamount to continued sobriety. 


This can be an opportune time to finally confront past traumas or other significant motivators for substance use from a sober state of mind, what we might frame as ongoing recovery treatment. However, as far as lifetime goals involving finances and employment are concerned, this can also be an excellent time to seek out continuing education courses to improve one’s station in life.


Substance Use Disorder: The Great Interrupter


It will come as no surprise that SUD disrupts the lives of recovery patients and their families or extended support network. Most have learned first-hand how much SUD can interrupt their regularly scheduled lives, and unfortunately, education happens to be one of the more common priorities that lands on the back burner for those with SUD. Before treatment, many individuals focused most of their time and energy on their addiction to alcohol or drugs. They might have left their education unfinished or neglected altogether. Whether it be a high school diploma, an abandoned undergraduate bachelor’s degree, or completing continuing education for work-related or trade-school-based certifications, those in recovery will finally have the sober mindset to tackle these goals.


Benefits of Continuing Education in Recovery


Continuing education while in recovery can greatly benefit individuals both in early and later recovery. Each patient should gauge their comfort level with their sobriety and be mindful of increasing unnecessary stressors. However, furthering one’s education can be a safe and productive way to take the next step in the recovery process. That next step entails learning how to balance priorities in life while still maintaining the healthy habits that will promote long-term sobriety. 


Balancing school, work, and personal life while maintaining a sober mindset will better prepare individuals with SUD for avoiding potential triggers in their everyday lives. Balancing the demands and pressures from work, education, and personal life is often a struggle for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). Education is often the first of these three to be placed on the back burner of priorities, which can result in personal depression as well as potentially worsening one’s societal station in life.


Finding meaningful activities, like pursuing education, to avoid triggers is a step that all in recovery will have to undergo. The benefit of using schooling as a trainer course on life balancing lessons has the potential added benefit of improving an individuals’ life both financially and mentally. You can get a real positive upswing in your mood by completing the life goal of furthering your education. These benefits make returning to school as an adult a win-win situation when in recovery.  


Applying and Paying for Continued Eduction


The easiest route will be to check out your local community college and apply for admission. Application fees are either non-existent or minimal and once accepted, students can meet with an advisor to plan their education-based life goals further. Community college courses for certification or continuing education within a field of work are relatively inexpensive at around $600-$1,000 per course, depending upon location. There is also no rush to finish a degree/certification, and those in recovery should take their time as they learn how to better manage life as a balancing act. 


We understand that for most, the price tag mentioned above may be too steep. A thousand dollars is the equivalent of one month’s rent in many areas of the country. Luckily, there is plenty of available financial aid, especially for individuals making low to middle-class incomes. Individuals can fill out a FAFSA form as their first step to qualify for student aid through the government’s many available grants and loans. 


You can also find education grants on your own through individual community college scholarships or the list of federally applicable grants, which can be found through this link and this one. Depending on your current income, some states will even pay for continuing education at the community college or undergraduate level if you can demonstrate your eligibility. For instance, through time spent in college or years of already being the recipient of education grants that have not already been used up.


If you or someone you love is having difficulty achieving lifelong goals like continued education because of SUD with co-occurring mental health issues, then Choice House has the dual diagnosis treatment program to help put them back on the sober path to success. Located in the Boulder County area of Colorado, we offer men the opportunity to build a new foundation based as they achieve initial sobriety and learn the necessary skills to maintain that sober lifestyle in the long term. Our addiction recovery treatment programs include a 90-day inpatient service, an intensive outpatient program, as well as the chance to take up residency at our sober living campus. Addiction recovery is an education in its own right, and we are dedicated to furthering patients’ education on their disorders to better prepare them for returning to their independent sober lives. For more information regarding Choice House treatment methods or facilities, please give us a call at +1-303-578-4977 .

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