College Students and Substance Abuse: Deadly Combinations
College is often a time of exploration and learning, but did you know it is also a time of binge drinking and substance abuse? Studies show that college students are more likely to partake in binge-drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug use, which often leads to substance abuse. College students and substance abuse are a deadly combination.
What drug is most commonly used and abused in college?
The answer may surprise you…alcohol! Sixty percent of college students drink alcohol. While many people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two are likely to experiment with alcohol, college students are more likely to partake in dangerous binge drinking. Two out of three college students binge drink to the point of blackout on a weekly basis. Binge drinking is consuming enough alcohol to raise your BAC above .08 within two hours, which is about five drinks for men and four for women. This can lead to fatal car crashes, liver problems, alcohol poisoning and death.
Getting a Prescription From a Friend Doesn't Make it Safe
18% of college students reported using illicit drugs, other than marijuana. Almost 10% of this illicit drug use comes from prescription drugs used to treat ADHD such as Vyvanse, Adderall and Ritalin. One in three college students say that they have abused Adderall at some point, either when studying for a test, going out on a Friday night, or even to help them lose weight before spring break. Many of these students are getting this stimulant from friends who are willing to sell their ADHD medication to make a few bucks. Students say they feel like its “not as bad” since they are getting it from a friend and it’s a legal prescription. Adderall is a powerful stimulant that many college students believe helps when studying for a midterm exam by keeping them awake and focused. When abused Adderall can keep users alert, increase their heart rate and suppress appetite. Adderall is a legal prescription drug used to treat ADHD, but when you abuse it, its effects are similar to cocaine. College users believe it is “safer” since it is a legal prescription that they buy off friends, instead of cocaine that is bought and made on the street. However, mixing Adderall while binge drinking on the weekend could have more serious repercussions than a hangover, missing a class or failing a test- it could lead to death.
Marijuana is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the United States. While marijuana has become legal under some state law, under federal law it remains a Schedule 1 Narcotic, meaning it has high potential for abuse and no medical use. 13% of college students use marijuana daily. Using marijuana daily can lead to skipping class, feelings of anxiety and depression, and dependence. Entering college should be a time of exploring, learning and trying new things, but those new things don’t have to be drugs and alcohol. While some students may feel they have “nothing to worry about” or that they could “grow out of using.”
Don't Wait For Rock Bottom!
28% of college students reported they were “concerned about their drug misuse” but, over 50% of college students reported a negative consequence of using drugs or drinking in the past year. If you are college student worried about your drinking or drug use, you are not alone. Don’t wait to hit a “rock bottom.” Let go and let’s chat today about your treatment options.