Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling
- What is Alcohol/Drug/Nicotine (ADN) Counseling?
ADN counseling provides an opportunity to explore your overall health and well-being in relation to your personal use of alcohol/drugs or nicotine or in relation to someone else’s use of alcohol/drugs or nicotine. Counseling offers you a confidential, supportive place to discuss what is happening in your life, with a professional who will:
- Be caring
- Provide helpful information
- Be objective
- Be non-judgmental
- Explore alternatives
- Why Do People Seek ADN Counseling?
Most people come to ADN counseling after they’ve had troubling experiences or feelings related to their own or someone else’s use of alcohol/drugs or nicotine. They usually have made repeated attempts to handle these difficult experiences or feelings, without success.
If any of the following describes your situation, you may wish to consider ADN counseling. If any of the following statements apply to someone you know, ADN counseling can help you address your concerns related to them.
- If you drink to get drunk
- If you get intoxicated, use drugs, or get high when you didn’t intend to
- If you drink or use drugs alone
- If you have experienced loss of memory or blackouts due to drinking and/or drug use
- If you have gotten involved in fights while drunk or high
- If you drive while drunk or high
- If you drop or choose friends based upon their drinking or drug use
- If you feel you need a drink, drug, or smoke to be liked in social situations
- If others have expressed concern about your drinking, or your drug or nicotine use
- If drinking, drug, or nicotine use is affecting your physical health on an ongoing basis through insomnia, intestinal disturbances, mental processing, difficulty breathing, etc.
- If drinking, drug, or nicotine use is causing conflicts with your family, friends, or significant other
- If you need to drink or use drugs or nicotine in order to enjoy yourself
- If drinking or drug use interferes with your capacity to attend class, study, write papers, or do well on exams
- If you have said or done anything you regretted due to drinking or drug use
- If you have lost the feeling of being in control due to your drinking or your drug or nicotine use
- If drinking or drug use results in your having unsafe or unwanted sexual experiences
- If you are concerned about your drinking and want to learn to drink responsibly
- If you have unsuccessfully tried to cut down or stop your nicotine use
- If you use nicotine products to control your weight, or instead of eating when you feel hungry
- How Do Students Feel about Seeking ADN Counseling?
Students often feel hesitant about seeking ADN counseling for a variety of reasons. They may feel they should be able to handle all their problems themselves or may feel shame or guilt about their difficulties. Those who enter counseling usually have spent a period of time debating within themselves whether to attend or not. Most students have mixed feelings about limiting or ending their use of alcohol/drugs or nicotine. Many have tried to do this without success and are unsure if change is possible. In addition, some students are concerned that if they seek counseling services, it will appear on their school records.
Despite the increasing acceptance of counseling by society, many students feel there is a stigma attached to seeking help. Others feel that attending counseling may mean “I must be crazy” or “I am an addict.” Some feel that a counselor will try to convince them they are “addicted” or promote unwanted goals. One common misconception is that all students struggling with alcohol use need to end their alcohol use. Other students are fearful that entering counseling somehow means they have lost control over their life.
Students who attend counseling experience the following:
- A safe place to talk about their experiences and feelings
- Advantages in talking to a neutral person who is not a part of their everyday life
- The ability to effectively make changes in their life that result in their feeling better about themselves and life in general
- What Happens When Someone Comes to ADN Counseling?
Step 1: Making an Appointment
The first step is to make an appointment by calling 848-932-7884 or coming to the counseling center. An appointment will usually be scheduled within a week. If you have a need for urgent care, please tell the receptionist, who will do whatever is possible to set up an appointment the same day.
Step 2: The First Meeting
The first meeting will focus on why you have come to counseling. The counselor will listen to your concerns and be supportive. An assessment may be done in the first two sessions.
Step 3: Ongoing Counseling
If you decide to begin counseling, a plan will be developed that will then become the initial focus of your counseling. Typically the counselor will recommend how often you need counseling depending on the initial assessment. Sessions can vary in length but usually last 45 minutes.
- What Support Groups are Offered?
The Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program offers groups for a variety of substance-related issues:
- Early Recovery Group – This is a support group for those students who are just beginning their recovery from alcohol/drug addiction. It gives the students a place to talk with others who have had similar experiences and who are making changes in their daily college life. It is also a good support network for students to meet others with more time in recovery.
- Adult Children of Alcoholics – This is a support/therapy group for those students who have grown up with a family member who had or continues to have an alcohol/drug problem. This group helps students to feel less isolated and also helps them to develop coping skills to deal with both their family’s situation and social/academic issues.
- Alcohol and Drug Education – This group provides a service for those students who have been arrested for a drug- or alcohol-related offense (Driving Under the Influence (DUI), possession, underage drinking). The staff works closely with the court system to meet the requirements of probation and sentencing.
- AA meetings – Although not affiliated with the University, there are a number of AA /NA meetings either on or near campus that the ADAP staff can help recovering students connect with. Give us a call for a list of AA meetings in the area. Call (848) 932-7884 for more information.
View the full list of support groups offered through CAPS.
The College Support Program (CSP) FAQ has moved, Click here to visit the new location.
Let’s Talk (Drop-In Counseling)
- What is Let’s Talk?
Let’s Talk is a service that provides easy access to informal, confidential consultations with CAPS counselors. Drop-in hours are held at different sites on campus. There is no appointment necessary and no fee. All sites are open to all students.
- Do students schedule appointments for Let’s Talk?
Yes. Due to COVID-19 and to allow for social distancing, please call 848-932-7884, press #2 to make an appointment.
- How is Let’s Talk different than seeing a counselor at CAPS?
Let’s Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service at various sites on campus where students can have a consultation with a counselor from time to time. The counselor will talk through issues with students, provide support, and help them determine the best way to assist them. A formal connection to CAPS encourages students to develop an action plan based on students’ needs and connection to individual, group, crisis intervention, and medication management, assistance with alcohol and other drugs, and referrals to specialists in the community.
Let’s Talk is available in-person or by phone. Conversations with CAPS counselors are private and confidential.
To schedule an appointment, call 848-932-7884 and choose option 2
- Who might benefit from Let’s Talk?
Let’s Talk is often the best fit for those students who:
- Are not sure about counseling and wonder what it’s like to talk with a counselor
- Are not interested in on-going counseling but would like to get a counselor’s perspective
- Have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through
- Is Let’s Talk confidential?
Conversations with Let’s Talk counselors are confidential, with a few very rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to the student or others. Counselors are required by law to report when a minor, elderly person, or someone otherwise incapacitated and unable to act on their own behalf is being abused.
Let’s Talk counselors keep brief written notes of their contacts with students and, in the event that there is an emergency or a student is referred to CAPS, other CAPS staff may see these notes. These notes are kept within the CAPS mental health records and are not part of the student’s official academic record.
Although Let’s Talk counselors are CAPS professionals, the service is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let’s Talk counselors provide consultations to help students with specific problems and to introduce them to what it’s like to speak with a counselor. Let’s Talk counselors can help students determine whether formal counseling at CAPS would be useful and appropriate for them.
- Who can see my health records?
Only you and RSH staff member have access to your health records. All RSH staff members sign a confidentiality agreement, that legally binds them to maintain all matters as strictly confidential. Your parents, teachers, and other university staff do not have access.
- How do I get a copy of my health records or have a copy released to someone else?
If you wish to receive a copy of your health records, or to disclose health information to others, a request for this release must be made in writing. This request can be made electronically, or at the Front Desk of any RSH facility, or you can use the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information Form.
- Can I email my healthcare provider?
You should communicate with your healthcare provider via your Patient Portal (nbstudenthealthportal.rutgers.edu), which is a secure site.
- Can I change my healthcare provider?
Yes. A patient has the right to request a change in provider. To do so, you can speak to the front desk, call 848-932-7402, or email email@example.com.
If you have a concern or complaint about your current provider, you can email Student Health Quality Control at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 848-932-7402. You may also submit feedback confidentially in the suggestion boxes located in the lobby of every Student Health facility.
- What are the immunization requirements?
Immunization requirements and submission process can be found on the Student Immunization Website and in the Rutgers Immunization Portal.
Staff at Rutgers Student Health can assist students by providing necessary immunizations (a fee may be incurred if not covered by your health insurance) and drawing blood for immune titers.
- I am an existing student. How do I access my immunization records?
Go to rutgers.medicatconnect.com.
- What do I do if I am not feeling well?
If you are not feeling well and would like to be seen by one of our clinicians, call 732-932-7402 or use the Student Patient Portal, nbstudenthealthportal.rutgers.edu, to make an appointment. While we do not have walk-in hours, we do reserve space for same-day appointments. Please call us to request a same-day appointment and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Our acute care services include assessing and treating common problems. Examples of typical symptoms, illnesses, and injuries that we see at RSH include (but are not limited to):
- Cold or flu symptoms, sore throats
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint problems, sprains, strains, fractures and lacerations
- Allergic reactions
- Dermatological issues (rashes, acne, etc.)
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs),
- Gynecologic problems
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Appointment duration is dependent upon the nature of your problem and usually ranges from 15 to 30 minutes.
- How do I know if I need antibiotics?
Antibiotics are effective only against bacterial infections, (e.g, strep throat or chlamydia infections). The majority of episodic illnesses are viral. Antibiotics are powerless against viruses, which are best treated by drinking extra fluids, getting adequate rest, and using over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms and support your body’s defenses against viruses.
Your healthcare professional will evaluate you and provide a prescription for antibiotics, if necessary.
- What do I do if I am sick and I missed class?
Rutgers Student Health does not provide medical excuse notes for minor illnesses or injuries or notes verifying a visit to one of our Health Centers. If you will be absent from a class, lab, or exam for any reason, please report your absence using the online student absence reporting system: www.sims.rutgers.edu/ssra. It is up to your instructors to determine how to handle your absence. For students with significant prolonged illnesses or situations in which the student has been hospitalized or in extended isolation, we do provide notes.
The current policy of not providing medical excuse notes for students with minor illnesses or injuries is consistent with recommendations from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and is similar to policies at other universities.
See our full policy here.
View a flow chart on what to do if you miss class here.
- What services can I expect as a LGBTQA student?
Students can expect Rutgers Student Health staff to be sensitive and knowledgeable about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Asexual (LGBTQA) students’ medical issues and to provide appropriate screening, literature, treatment, and/or referrals for specific problems. We strive to offer an environment that encourages students to seek healthcare and that is inclusive and supportive of diversity in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Please call 848-932-7402 to schedule an appointment or schedule an appointment online.
For more information, please visit our information page about LGBTQA services. To learn about LGBTQA issues and outreach at Rutgers University, please visit the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBTQ Communities (SJE).
- What is the University and Health Services policy on the use of medical marijuana?
The use, possession, or distribution of marijuana for any purpose is prohibited on Rutgers University property and at University-sponsored events and activities. The Rutgers University Health Centers will not distribute medical marijuana, nor will their representatives write prescriptions for marijuana.
- Where can I get prescriptions filled?
We can send your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.
- I think I might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), what can I do?
Make an appointment by calling 848-932-7402 or using the Patient Portal, nbstudenthealthportal.rutgers.edu, to schedule a convenient time to meet with one of our clinicians. You’ll be able to discuss your concerns, get an examination, and have any lab tests recommended by the clinician done during your appointment. Your care is confidential! For more information, visit our Medical Services section.
We also offer STI/HIV screening clinics throughout the year at various locations.
- Will my parents find out about the content of my visit?
No. All Health Center records are confidential. Information about your visits can be released only to your parents with your written permission.
- What tests can I have done?
The available tests include tests for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, Hepatitis A, B, and C, herpes, and trichomoniasis. However, not everyone needs every test. The testing recommended will depend on your sexual behaviors, history of previous STIs or current STI, and whether you have symptoms or not.
- Do I have to have blood drawn to be tested?
That depends on what tests are being done:
- Gonorrhea and chlamydia tests can be done with urine (in both men and women) or from a cervical swab or pap smear in women. Swabs may also be collected for throat and rectal screening, if appropriate.
- HIV requires blood in this setting. However, there is a rapid-result test that can be done with a finger stick.
- A herpes test involves a swab of the lesion or a blood test. A positive blood test may indicate an exposure at some time in your life. Routine screening for herpes via blood is not recommended.
- Hepatitis A, B, and C tests require blood.
- The syphilis test requires blood.
STI and HIV testing can be done at our Health Centers or at on of the HIV/STI screenings held once a semester.
- How much will it cost to be tested?
Laboratory tests for STIs are covered in the same way as any other laboratory test.
- How long will it take to get the results?
The results are usually returned within a week.
- Can I get my results over the telephone or via email?
Yes, this is possible. You need to discuss this with your clinician to come to an agreement about it. You may have test results emailed to you via secure email. We do not use regular email for your individual health-related communication. Your clinician may, however, prefer having you come back to discuss any other questions or concerns.
- How often should I get tested?
The CDC currently recommends that everyone be tested annually for HIV; annually for chlamydia (in women younger than 25 years old) and every 3–6 months in those previously infected; and Pap smears every 1–3 years (after age 21). The frequency of testing for other infections depends upon your sexual behaviors/risk factors.
- Can I have the test for “everything”?
There is no one test for “everything,” and there are some infections for which there are no screening tests. Recommended testing depends on your personal risk factors and symptoms.
- Can I get tested so that we can stop using condoms?
Most college students are not in a permanent, mutually monogamous relationship. Therefore, we strongly encourage the continued consistent use of condoms.
- How can I access over-the-counter-medication such as Plan B?
Over-the-counter medications, such as Plan B, can be purchased at any pharmacy. Talk to your healthcare provider about obtaining a prescription for over-the-counter medications.
- My partner has something and I don’t know what it is. Can I be tested and treated?
Yes, you can. However, since there are many infections, it would be helpful to know what your partner has.
- My partner got more tests than you are giving me. Why is that?
An individual’s symptoms, past infections, and past and present sexual behaviors, along with the recommendations of the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) determines what tests are indicated.
- My girlfriend has an abnormal pap smear. Can I get tested?
Pap smears are a screening test for cervical cancer. An abnormal pap smear does not mean that she has cervical cancer or will ever develop cervical cancer. It does mean that she needs gynecology follow-up. An abnormal Pap is often related to having human papillomavirus (HPV). This is no similar test for HPV in men. If you have visible warts, they can be treated, but if there is nothing visible, there is nothing to treat.
- What should I do if I was sexually assaulted?
Health Services staff are trained to provide counseling and care to victims of sexual assault; however, we do not provide examinations intended for forensic use. Options for additional care, advocacy, counseling, and support are provided, and all information is strictly confidential.
Call 732-932-7402 or use the Student Patient Portal, nbstudenthealthportal.rutgers.edu, to make an appointment. While we do not have walk-in hours, we do reserve space for same-day appointments. These appointments are often accessible only via telephone.
You may also contact:
The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance
3 Bartlett Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1190, 848-932-1181
Insurance and Use of Services
- How do I pay for uncovered services?
You will receive a bill in the mail. Follow the instructions on the bill. You may mail a check or pay online with a credit card.
- Do I need a referral from Rutgers Student Health before I go for treatment outside of Rutgers?
It depends on the treatment you need and your insurance policy.
You will need an order from your provider for radiology procedures. However you do not need a referral to use an off-campus medical provider.
If you are using an off-campus medical provider, you are financially responsible for co-payments, deductibles, and any portion of their bill not covered by your insurance carrier.
- Am I covered if I am a domestic student travelling internationally?
Coverage varies; you need to check with your individual insurance carrier.
- I need an x-ray. Can this be done on campus and is this a covered service?
Rutgers Student Health does not perform x-rays on campus. You will be provided with an order (like a prescription) to present to a local radiology group or facility. Claims submissions to your insurance company and payment are dealt with by the radiology group. Please take your insurance card along to the visit. If the claim is denied by the insurance company, you will be responsible for payment. Please be sure to check your insurance plan’s benefits to determine if you will be responsible for co-insurance or deductibles.
- My private doctor or specialist wants me to get blood tests while I am on campus at Rutgers. Can I get these tests done on campus?
Rutgers Student Health utilizes Quest Diagnostics for its laboratory work. Provided your physician is affiliated with Quest and has a Quest account, AND your insurance carrier participates with Quest, you can bring your doctor’s requisition form or prescription with the correct codes and your insurance information to the laboratory at Hurtado Health Center. The Laboratory area is available Monday–Friday, 8:30am–3:00pm to have your blood drawn. No appointment is needed.
*To allow for social distancing during COVID-19, Let’s Talk currently requires appointments.
Quest Diagnostics will submit a claim to your insurance company and the results will go directly to your doctor. If Quest does not participate with your insurance plan, Rutgers Student Health staff can help you find a local drawing station for a laboratory that accepts your insurance or we will draw your blood and your policy holder will receive a bill from Quest Diagnostics.
Fees and Co-Pays
- What is the difference between the Health Fee and my health insurance?
The health fee gives all full time students access to all resources provided by Rutgers Student Health. Health insurance covers the costs of these services.
All full-time students are required to pay a student health fee and have active health insurance.
- Are co-pays required at Rutgers Student Health?
No, co-pays are pre-paid by the student health fee included in your term bill.
- Will I be charged if I want to see a therapist?
We do not charge or submit claims to insurance companies for psychological counseling or the Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program. Psychiatric visits are medical appointments and claims will be submitted for those visits. Co-pays do not apply.
- Will I be billed for laboratory tests (i.e. bloodwork)?
No, you will not be billed for any lab tests ordered by one of Rutgers’ healthcare providers. The university covers lab tests ordered at our Health Centers.
- Whom do I contact with a question about a bill or claim generated from a visit to Rutgers Student Health – medical or psychiatry?
Contact Medical Healthcare Solutions, Inc., toll-free at 1-800-762-9800.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- I have private health insurance and have a problem that would cause me great difficulty should my parents see that a claim was submitted to the insurance company. What can I do?
We understand that this will happen from time to time and have built in mechanisms to handle this for you. Please speak with your provider or our Front Desk Office Supervisor about your specific concerns.