Will I Lose My Financial Aid if I Have to Take Time Off School for Addiction Rehab?

If you\’re in college, and you know you need help for a drug problem, you may have asked yourself this question. After all, there is life after rehab. In fact, that\’s the main reason for going to rehab in the first place, that is, to get yourself and your life back on track. College is best finished while you are young, at least to the BA or BS level.

It\’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get good grades when you\’re addicted to drugs. You will always put the drugs first. You may skip too many classes because you\’re sick from drug withdrawal. College is demanding. It requires your full attention. If your grades drop too low, you will lose your financial aid anyway. Even worse, if you are arrested and convicted on a drug-related charge, you could be forever barred from eligibility for financial aid at all. Do not think that an arrest couldn\’t happen to you. It can happen to anyone breaking the law, no matter how clever they think they are.

You could also be arrested for something else not technically a drug charge, such as theft or fraud. Many addicts do this to get the money for their drug of choice. These types of charges can follow you the rest of your life and can prevent you from getting good jobs. If you want to teach, work in most medical jobs like nursing or hold any kind of professional license, for example, a CPA, you can forget about having any kind of arrest record, especially for a drug charge.

If you know or think you need help to stop using drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. It\’s nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn\’t make you a bad person. It just means you need help. Every single person on this planet has needed some kind of help at some point in their lives. Ambition and drive are wonderful qualities, but no one in this life makes it alone.

Will I Lose My Financial Aid if I Have to Take Time Off School for Addiction Rehab?

In most cases, no, you will not. It depends on the amount of time you take off, but you should be able to skip a semester without losing your aid. Most federal financial aid loans have a built-in six-month grace period. This is primarily intended to give new graduates time to find employment before their loan payments come due, but you can use this feature to take off time for drug rehab, provided you don\’t take off longer than six months. When you do return to school, the six-month grace period will automatically reset itself, giving you that six months back again. That way, you still have that time after graduation to begin to repay the loan.

What to Do

If you need drug rehab, it can\’t wait. Most people cannot quit on their own. It\’s not a matter of willpower. There are powerful biologic reasons driving you to continue with your use of your drug of choice. For the most part, these reasons are bigger and stronger than you are. Many drugs, especially opioids, hypnotics, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, cause physical changes to the way the brain normally functions. This results in debilitating withdrawal symptoms and such intense drug cravings that you can\’t fight them, not on your own. Never try to withdraw on your own from alcohol, benzodiazepines or hypnotics like barbiturates or many prescription sleep medications. Withdrawal from these substances is dangerous with medical supervision.

Talk to your school\’s guidance department. A counselor there will be able to help you with the proper withdrawal from your classes and tell you what to do to keep your financial aid. You may not need to do anything other than return within six months. You don\’t have to give the real reason. You can just say you need to take off for personal reasons. That should be sufficient. It\’s probably best not to tell the school that you need drug rehab. There are many times when even people who should know better will judge you.

When You Know You Need Help

If you\’re a college student and you are ready to seek help, we can help you with that. You can call us anytime at 833-610-1174. We will help you find a program that will allow you to get the treatment you need within the timeframe that you have. No one here will judge you. We look forward to speaking with you.

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