33 Addiction Resources to Support BIPOC College Students

Concerns Among College Students

College is a time of transition, growth, and exploration but for many students, it can also be a period of great stress and struggle. This is especially true for students from historically marginalized communities, such as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) student.

As of 2020, SAMHSA reported that the rates of addiction and mental health issues among BIPOC college students have increased significantly, leading to serious concerns among educators and public health officials.

One of the most significant contributors to the rise in addiction and mental health issues among BIPOC college students is stress. College can be incredibly demanding, both academically and socially, and BIPOC students often face additional challenges related to discrimination, bias, and racism. These stressors can take a toll on students’ mental and emotional well-being, leading to a range of negative outcomes, including substance abuse and mental health issues.

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Substance Abuse Among BIPOC Students

Substance abuse is a significant concern among BIPOC college students. According to a 2022 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, rates of drug and alcohol use among college students have been steadily increasing, with BIPOC students at higher risk for developing addiction problems. While substance abuse issues increased nationwide during 2020, the rates increased more in Georgia than the national average. Substance abuse can have severe consequences for students’ health, academics, and future prospects, making it an issue of great concern for college administrators and public health officials.

Mental health issues are also a significant concern among BIPOC college students . College students are at an increased risk for developing mental health problems, especially BIPOC students, who often face additional stressors related to discrimination and bias. Mental health problems can include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and they can have a profound impact on a student’s ability to function and succeed in college.

Many colleges and universities have implemented programs and services to address these issues, including mental health counseling, substance abuse support groups, and peer support programs. These efforts have been successful in reducing the negative effects of addiction and mental health problems among BIPOC college students, but there is still much work to be done.

Despite the growing rates of addiction and mental health issues among BIPOC college students, many colleges and universities are struggling to provide the necessary support and services to address these issues. Another challenge is a lack of culturally-responsive mental health services. Many BIPOC students are hesitant to seek help for mental health problems, due to concerns about stigma, discrimination, and a lack of understanding of their specific cultural needs. This can make it difficult for colleges and universities to effectively address the mental health needs of BIPOC students, and it highlights the importance of culturally-responsive services and resources.

Addiction Resources for BIPOC College Students

  • CollegiateRecovery.org: This website is provided by the Association of Recovery in Higher Education and offers multiple helpful resources for BIPOC college students. They have a list of collegiate recovery programs at universities all across America, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • SAMHSA National Helpline: Call 1-800-662-4357 anytime, 24/7/365 to be connected with addiction recovery services in your area. This is a free service provided by SAMHSA.
  • FindTreatment.gov: This website is another service provided by SAMHSA that helps connect someone with substance abuse treatment services near them anywhere in the country.
  • Find Healthcare: This website is provided by the Indian Health Service and is intended to help Native Americans find healthcare providers that are covered by Indian Health Service, Tribal, or Urban Indian Health Programs anywhere in the country.
  • FreeRehabCenters.org: This website provides listings for free addiction rehab centers all across the country.
  • To Write Love On Her Arms: This is an advocacy-focused nonprofit organization that works to help people struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. They have a scholarship program to help people with little to no money find addiction treatment and mental health recovery programs.
  • Seattle Central College: This resource page provided by Seattle Central College contains over two dozen helpful resources for BIPOC college students.
  • Gateway Foundation: This website provides a wealth of information and resources that detail the substance abuse facing Native Americans as well as providing options for treatment and recovery.
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services: This government website provides a list of government programs that can help anyone struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues find treatment at low-to-no cost.

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Mental Health Resources for BIPOC College Students

  • Aakoma Project: The Aakoma Project is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping young BIPOC who are struggling with mental health issues. They provide resources and can help connect people with culturally-competent therapists and counselors.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: The NAMI website provides a wide range of helpful mental health advocacy and support resources. Their page on Identity and Cultural Dimensions has a range of resources specifically for BIPOC college students.
  • Black Mental Wellness: This organization works to destigmatize mental health struggles within the Black community. Their resource page provides several different sections with a wide range of mental health resources for BIPOC college students of all ages.
  • Therapy For Black Kids: This website provides a therapist locator tool to help young BIPOC find culturally competent therapists all over the country.
  • Therapy For Black Girls: This mental health service provides a directory and search tool for young Black women to find therapists near them anywhere in America.
  • Therapy For Black Men: This website provides mental health resources for Black men as well as a search tool to find therapists and coaches anywhere in the country.
  • BEAM: An acronym for Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective, the BEAM website provides a mental health services directory as well as programs and tools to improve mental health in the Black community in America.
  • BestColleges.com – Mental Health for Native and Indigenous American Students: This guide provides information about mental health issues among Native American young adults as well as listing 10 mental health resources available to young Native Americans. 
  • SAMHSA – Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center: This SAMHSA webpage provides several resources for Native Americans who are struggling with mental health issues.
  • Mental Health America – Native and Indigenous Communities and Mental Health: MHA is a national nonprofit and this webpage provides dozens of resources for Native Americans who are struggling with mental health issues and/or substance abuse issues.
  • ChildWelfare.gov: Provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, this website provides a wealth of resources for helping young Native Americans who are struggling with mental health issues.
  • NAMI New Hampshire – BIPOC/AAPI Resources: This resource guide is provided by the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and provides over two dozen resources for young BIPOC who are struggling with mental health.

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Helpful Videos for BIPOC College Students

Podcasts for BIPOC College Students

  • The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema: Hosted by clinical psychologist Thema Bryant, this podcast focuses on wellness and recovery from mental health issues.
  • Unspoken Words: This podcast is focused on the wellness of Native American and Indigenous peoples. They aim to increase awareness and improvise the state of mental emotional and spiritual wellness.
  • Addiction Recovery for the Black Woman: Inside the Mind of Shayla Martin: An episode of the BLCKNLIT podcast, this 47-minute episode has Shayla Martin describe her journey of addiction recovery as a Black woman.
  • Stories From The Field: This is a podcast dedicated to demystifying wilderness therapy and discusses many of the components and benefits of this therapeutic approach, as well as details the history of wilderness therapy.