According to research, students of college-age comprise one of the biggest groups of substance abusers nationwide. Not only are young people between the ages of 18 and 24 more likely to become addicted to drugs, but they are also more likely to develop serious and possibly long-term mental health problems. This is mainly because the human brain continues to develop until the age of 25.
Alcoholism and College Students: Addiction and a Learning Curve
Going to college is regarded as a major stepping stone to adult life and when you learn to juggle academic studies with socializing with peers. Although you are often still underage at this time, drinking alcohol tends to play a large role, particularly in the first six weeks of the freshman year, excessive drinking is almost normalized as a part of a rite of passage. Factors such as a feeling of independence, a need to fit in, and underlying anxieties about the newness of the situation can be powerful enough to lead someone to take risks with their behavior and drink to excess. The culture of drinking within a college environment can have some very negative consequences.
Good Fun Doesn’t Have to Include Alcohol
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism did a 7-year study and found that alcohol-related deaths among U.S. college students, as well as heavy drinking and DUI, all increased. Among 18-24-year-olds drinking-related deaths rose, most of these were from traffic injuries as well as alcohol-related poisonings.
Figures show that 4 out of 5 college students drink; this includes nearly 60% of students between 18 and 20. More than 40% of all college students engage in binge drinking. This is when you consume an excessive amount of alcohol in a short time. For men, the rate is around 5 or more drinks in a two-hour period, and for women more than 4 drinks in a 2 hour period. Your body cannot physically process that amount of alcohol in that time but it doesn’t take long until tolerance is built up so that you need to consume more to achieve the same euphoric effect. This is how easy it is to develop an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Figures suggest that 20% of college students meet the criteria for AUD.
Alcohol is a highly addictive substance and within the college lifestyle, it can seem normal to be drinking often and even to excess. It can have an impact on academic performance, and self-esteem, and make you vulnerable. People don’t think you can be an alcoholic and be young but this is sadly not the case. Alcohol abuse is like abuse of any substance; once you are in its grip you are no longer in control. The unpleasant effects of a hangover create a vicious cycle of drinking to ‘feel better’ and before you know it alcohol controls you. It takes priority over studies and affects cognitive functioning, not ideal when you are a student!
Helping College Students with Drug and Alcohol Addiction
One of the most important aspects of helping college students get the treatment they need is by raising awareness of the symptoms of substance abuse so that people can be encouraged to get help sooner. Substance abuse is a significant problem among people of all ages although it has become more pronounced among the student population in recent years. The worrying thing is that students these days are experimenting with much more potent substances than previously during the 1960s and the “Summer of Love”.
The big problem in addiction among college students is that it has become almost normalized by the sheer number of young people using recreationally. This invariably leads to peer pressure. Because drugs are manufactured to be much more addictive than in the past, it is not long before students develop addiction issues. When there are big groups of people using and abusing substances openly, it enables others to conceal their problems not only from those around them but also from themselves.
Once someone has recognized they have issues with drugs, or a loved one has become concerned about their behavior, they should seek help as soon as possible. Certain drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine can be taken in fatal doses very easily indeed, making it possible to die even on the first time of use. It is never too soon or too late to reach out for help for addiction and always possible to achieve a happy and healthy life that’s substance-free.
Choose CASA Recovery for Drug Addiction Treatment in San Juan Capistrano
If you are a college student struggling with drugs or know someone else you want to help, contact CASA Recovery in Southern California. We offer completely personalized drug addiction treatment in programs that have been devised with the individual in mind. Contact us in confidence today and organize an initial consultation.