Resources for College Students
Addiction and drug and alcohol abuse in college are common and also can be extremely dangerous. There are a variety of drugs, and alcohol that are commonly abused by college aged individuals. When most Americans think of college engaging in partying and alcohol use is a typical thought that does not seem threatening. Most would consider partaking in these activities as a part of the average college experience. Alcohol abuse on the weekends, study drugs such as adderall, and other drugs are common in most colleges. When you think of fraternities and sororities, partying is an occurrence that happens often. It does not really matter how the abuse gets started, for some, abuse will lead to a full blown addiction and can be very menacing.
College Students and Drug Abuse
We see misuse of prescription pills, alcohol, and other potentially harmful drugs abused by both female and male college-age adults for a number of reasons. Most being recreational use. There are other reasons why college aged students are using drugs such as trying to improve focus, cope with the stress of college, pain relief, and then also as mentioned already to have fun. However, not all college substance abuse is safe, it has negative effects on both mental and physical health.
Additional Risks Include:
Developing Addiction to Alcohol
Develop Addiction to Drugs
Impairing Brain Activity- in some cases causing severe brain damage
Experiencing Mental Illness
Facts and Stats for College Drug Abuse
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration aka SAMHSA, one of the most problematic trends in drug and alcohol misuse and abuse comes from the college age group. Also, when talking about actually measuring drug abuse in college students, statistics show that illicit and prescription drug use is on the rise among these young adults.
College Drug Use Statistics
Specific Stats from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that college age students or individuals (18-25 years of age) are taking a number of different substances and partaking in drug use as of 2017.
College Age Stats and Facts Include:
An estimated 1.8 percent of college-age people misused pain-relieving drugs
2.5 million young adults misused opioids
An estimated 5.1 million young adults met the criteria for a substance use disorder
2 in 5 young adults smoked cigarettes
Almost 57 percent of young adults drank alcohol, and almost 37 percent of them binge drank regularly
Approximately 24 percent of young adults used illicit drugs
What Drugs are College Students Abusing?
According to more recent information from NIDA, the majority of college students who misuse drugs are using prescription stimulants like Adderall, drinking alcohol, and using illicit substances like marijuana. Some students partake in poly-drug-use which is misusing multiple substances at once. Many are even mixing prescription pills while drinking.
Other Drugs of Misuse in College Aged Individuals:
Opiates/Prescription Pain Pills/Opioids
Preventing Substance Abuse in College
When you think about college preparation, little to no thought is typically given to how an individual’s plans to handle drug or alcohol use. This type of planning, especially if there are substance abuse issues in the family or past should be a new part of the game plan for attending college. Substance abuse is on the rise, and not showing signs of stopping. It is important parents and loved ones start having that talk with high schoolers as they prepare for college.
There are a number of universities who make a goal of lowering their substance abuse rates on campus, some programs include substance abuse prevention programs for college students. Many of these programs focus on keeping physical and mental health a number one priority while juggling the many aspects of college. the challenges of college life include forming healthy coping mechanisms, getting involved in campus activities, staying caught up with school work, learning- of course, and forming healthy friendships.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse in college, these are some prevention tactics to keep in mind:
Joining a sport, intramurals or through a club or school
Getting involved in on-campus events
Having an interest group that isn’t substance related (Book club, entertainment night, etc.)
Forming healthy friendships
Befriending sober students
Treatment Options for Students
If you struggle with a substance use disorder, there are a variety of drug and alcohol programs for college students, at The Beaches Treatment Center, we see a large number of college age students in our program for addiction disorders.
It is important to speak with professionals about the best treatment option according to each individual. There are a number of resources to consider.
Talk to on-campus physician: It is a medical disorder and deserves medical attention, the first inquiry can usually be done with a primary care physician.
On-campus therapy, and mental health counseling: Colleges offer this for free with most tuitions. Counseling and psychological sessions are offered, and especially if they are free- this should be something college students take advantage of.
Localized Community Support Groups: There are plenty of AA, NA, and other 12-step based groups in most towns. These groups are open to anyone who wants to stop the use of drugs or alcohol.
When you’re ready to begin treatment, you can find drug and alcohol programs for college students in several ways.