Drug rehab at Columbia?

Originally Published: September 5, 2008
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Dear Alice,

I'm a drug user and a student at Columbia. I was wondering, what avenues does Columbia provide for rehabilitation of drug users? I've heard that free counseling and other services exist, but I'm still in the dark regarding this issue as well as many of the other services Columbia may or may not provide. What do I do and where can I go?

Dear Reader,

Please, be in the dark no longer about what Columbia offers! And a sincere "power to you" for seeking information on drug abuse treatment. Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) offers support groups, as well as one-on-one counseling, to discuss drug abuse and various treatment options. While CPS can assist you in the beginning, most students are referred off-campus for longer-term outpatient treatment. To get started, you can make an appointment with CPS by calling x4-2878. Once you get a referral from a CPS counselor, some treatment options are covered by the Health Services Fee that all students pay. Full coverage details, as well as the procedures for utilizing benefits, are available from Health Services at Columbia.

As for other services available to Columbia students, Primary Care Medical Services offers comprehensive medical care, and is another potential starting point if you are interested in ending any drug use; you can make an appointment through Open Communicator or by calling x4-2284. There is a clinician-on-call at 212-854-9797, to assist with urgent medical issues after regular hours. Additionally, an officer on duty with Public Safety is available any time at 212-854-5555 (or x99 from a campus phone). It might be a good idea to plug these numbers into your phone, so you can have them on hand if needed. Of course in an acute crisis, students can always dial 911. Finally, it doesn't sound like you are asking about quitting smoking or other tobacco use, but Columbia now offers tobacco cessation support on campus.

Hopefully this sheds some light on Columbia's services available to students, and on your path to successful treatment for drug abuse, if that is what you desire. Best wishes,

Alice