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Alcohol & Drug Addiction Resources

Drug and Alcohol Abuse on Campus – What to Look For

Typically, a few different things will happen at college. You go to classes, socialize, take part in extra activities or groups, graduate, and move on. Alternatively, you manage to go to classes, party, drink heavily, experiment with drugs, squeak by and graduate, and move on. Substance abuse is the overindulgence of illicit drugs and alcohol. This is also a dependence upon an addictive substance, such as drugs or alcohol. Specifically, using drugs or alcohol to relax, feel normal, deal with boredom or cope with physical or emotional pain. Furthermore, abusing addictive substances despite the negative consequences, such as missing classes.

What are the signs or symptoms of alcohol abuse?

Among college students, it is often drinking more alcohol than you intended. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recorded that 32.4% of college students binge drank in the past two weeks. Within the past month, 40.8% of college students were intoxicated. You should be aware of how much you are drinking, and if you are drinking more than the previous month. Blackout and memory loss are often a clear sign of alcohol abuse. Engaging in dangerous or risky behavior, such as drinking and driving, or promiscuous sex. Being hung over daily, struggling to make classes, and always feeling sick is a red flag for excessive alcohol use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, binge drinking is the most common among younger adults ages 18 to 34. Binge drinking is twice as common among men than among women. Most people younger than 21 who drink alcohol report binge drinking, often consuming large amounts of alcohol. If your family and friends are pointing out there is a problem, this is a clear indicator. Alcohol abuse leads to putting aside other responsibilities. Along with this, it creates depressive feelings and anxiety, leading you to drink more to feel normal. To find the help you need, visit, and speak to someone about what you are experiencing.

How do I know if I am using too many drugs?

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is used daily by 4.9% of college students. Among college students, there are higher rates of amphetamine abuse (Adderall and Ritalin). Marijuana is the most widely used drug next to alcohol. Despite the availability of illicit drugs, the average college student veers towards legal drugs. Prescription-drug abuse is a common problem within American colleges. According to the DEA, 559 college students each day abuse prescription pain relievers. Close to 12% of college students reported using one or more types of prescription drugs.

If you start to miss classes, struggle with a lower grade-point average, and stay on top of assignments, your drug use is taking over. Eventually, regular drug use leads to psychosis, hallucinations, and paranoia. The body becomes fatigued and worn out, increasing the risk for cardiac effects. There is often rapid weight loss or weight gain, unhealthy eating, and irregular sleep. Prescription-drugs are purchased legally with a prescription to cope with stress or other issues because of college life.

How do I get help or stop?

Reach out to the campus health resources, and speak to health professionals on campus. Find alternatives to drinking, take on more activities, or sports. Avoid the drinking or drug use cues, such as the parties, bar-hopping, and weekend binge drinking. Be able to say no, and do not be afraid to ask for help. Whether this is through campus resources or, the sooner you ask for help, the easier it is. The consequences of excessive alcohol and drug use have the potential to destroy your college career. Be aware of your choices, and when in doubt talk to someone about it.

Works cited

Information provided by Marcel Gemme