College and Substance Abuse
College students are faced with pressures and stressors that many are not prepared for. Some turn to substance abuse to help them cope with these new responsibilities and this new lifestyle. For some, mind or mood altering substances are the method of choice due to their fast results. While turning to chemical substances may seem to turn the tides of stress relatively quickly, many students do not realize that these actions count as substance abuse. This not only accounts for illicit drugs and prescription medication, but alcohol, as well.
Common Reasons for Abuse
- Anxiety – Many times, college students are experiencing their first real taste of freedom. They may have never been away from their parents for an extended period of time, and they may feel excitement by the prospect. But they also commonly feel a great deal of anxiety due to the newfound freedom and responsibility of taking charge of their own lives. In some cases, they turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the stress.
- Grades – You’ve probably heard of college students doing “all-nighters” in order to cram for a test or finish a report. Increasingly, they’re also turning to stimulant drugs, such as Adderall, to complete these all-night study sessions without falling asleep in class the next day. These drugs help keep them alert and focused, but they can also become addictive if used in excess. They may also cause dangerous symptoms, such as rapid heart rate or high blood pressure.
- Peer Pressure – In elementary school, kids are taught to “just say no” to drugs. That’s because most young people are most likely to be offered drugs or alcohol for the first time by their peers. College students are often trying to find themselves and discover what type of person they want to become. During this confusing time, they may cave to peer pressure if the opportunity to try drugs or alcohol arises.
- Social Engagements – Alcohol and certain drugs makes one more social and outgoing. For those who aren’t used to the party scene, or anyone looking to make more friends on campus, this can be an alluring prospect that may be too hard to resist. Heavy drinking while partying can easily become an addiction.
- Experimentation – Part of growing up and finding oneself is experiencing new things. For some, that includes seeing what using drugs and alcohol are really like.
Time spent in a rehabilitation clinic is the most effective means of treatment. Inpatient centers offer an integrative approach that is far above any outpatient center or counseling alone. They combine medical care during detox and withdrawal, counseling to help uncover the root of the addiction, as well as peer support from other patients and support groups.
Visit Addiction Resource to learn more.