College is an exciting time for young adults. It is a milestone in our lives that can create a lot of memories and milestones. Unfortunately, university and college students nationwide will also be participating in alcohol or drug abuse behaviors on campus.
You might be a college student or parent who is concerned about this growing problem. Each year, thousands of students under the age of 21 indulge in unhealthy alcoholic binge drinking and alcohol abuse practices. (Binge drinking is drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time.)
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2015, 31.9 percent of college students engaged binge drinking in the previous two weeks. Meanwhile, 23.7 percent of their noncollege peers engaged in binge drinking during the same time period.
Given the large amounts of alcohol consumed, binge drinking can threaten and even end the lives of young college students. Not surprisingly, rehab treatment for alcohol and drug addiction is increasing for college students. Such treatment can help prevent the following:
The Centers for Diseases and Control and Prevention (CDC) reports:“Binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, especially among young women in college settings. Each year, about 1 in 20 college women are sexually assaulted. Research suggests that there is an increase in the risk of rape or sexual assault when both the attacker and victim have used alcohol prior to the attack.”
- “About 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.1”
- “About 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking2”
- “About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.”
College Students and Peer Pressure
Many university and college on-campus students are between the ages of 17-20. Older teens and young adults are often surrounded by peer pressure. The pressure of blending in with peers is a problem for new students. New students on university and college campuses fall victim to drinking problems and drug use. Social gatherings on campus may include alcohol, binge drinking, and the use of recreational drugs.
University and college students may not realize these kinds of activities can lead to addiction and rehab. The ostracism and other treatment college students receive from their peers for not engaging in certain social activities such as binge drinking or drug and alcohol use can be stressful. Addiction specialists on university and college campus nationwide understand how stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as drug and alcohol abuse. There are rehab treatment options are available for teens and young adults who are seeking addiction treatment.
Participating in Experimental Activities
It is understandable that new students want to participate in the full college experience. College is not only about academics. This time is also a time when you can experience personal growth and participate in new social circles and activities. Being a young college student on a big campus away from home might be an overwhelming experience for you. Your usual guidance figures are absent and not able to guide you away from dangerous choices and risky decisions.
Addiction rehab specialists on university and college campuses understand that this new world can be exciting for young students. Addiction specialists not only counsel about addiction at rehab centers. They are also educators who want to help students participate in healthy activities while attending college. The college experience does not have to include binge drinking or drug and alcohol abuse.
Achievements and School Academics:
School coursework can be overwhelming for both honor students and the entire student body. You may feel that you might let your parents and loved ones down if you’re not a good student while at college. Getting into and taking advanced college courses is a proud achievement for incoming college freshmen students.
University and college students aspiring to be specialists in their future fields may require long hours of studying and research. The anxieties surrounding program requirements sometimes make drug abuse and drinking an easy and attractive solution for some college students.
But unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse can create more problems for students than they solve, so the students turn to addiction treatment for help. Rehab treatment for drug and drinking problems is the best way to solve addiction.
Such treatment can also help treat mental health issues. It is common for issues of depression, anxiety, and stress to coexist with drug and alcohol addiction. The addiction specialists at rehab treatment centers understand how college students are under a lot of stress due to academic pressures. They can address this stress in addition to their substance abuse conditions.
Brain Enhancement Drugs and Addiction
Nootropics are becoming and more popular. Nootropics are natural or manmade substances that are believed to enhance brain function. Smart drugs is the common term used among college students for some of these manmade substances. They may use these drugs because they believe that they increase their brainpower to stay ahead of the curve at college or work.
Addiction and drug abuse treatment specialists are concerned about the aftereffects of smart drugs, but users swear by them. College students may use drugs that claim to enhance their learning ability and energy, such as Adderall or Ritalin. And sometimes, they may be tempted to use them with the addition of energy drinks, which are caffeine-heavy drinks that increase their energy even more. This is a bad combination. Hospitals have treated many college-age people who have had bad reactions to smart drugs and caffeine.
Unhealthy Eating Habits and Addiction
Our doctors tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That advice makes sense, because nutrition is an important part of daily living. College students often do not follow healthy eating habits.
In addition, your schedule may be unpredictable, which could lead to odd meal times or even no meal times at all. College counselors and specialists advocate healthy nutrition for students across college campuses. A recent scientific study discovered that 32.6% of young college women and 25% young college men3 have had some form of an eating disorder.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the types of eating disorders include binge eating disorder, in which people eat large amounts of food, anorexia nervosa, in which people lose weight and are unable to maintain a healthy weight, and bulimia, a condition where people eat large amounts of food and then purge it from their bodies.
University and college mental health specialists recognize a new trend related to drinking, drunkorexia. In this condition, college students avoid eating in order to drink more. They are trying to compensate for the calories they are consuming in alcohol. But drinking on an empty stomach can intensify the effects of the alcohol and lead to dangerous results.
Binge drinking and alcohol abuse can cause or intensify unhealthy eating habits. They can also cause other problems, which is why treatment for addiction, mental health, and eating disorders are increasing for college students.
To determine if you have a problem or need such treatment, you might want to be mindful of these drug and alcohol abuse signs:
- Paranoia. Abusing some drugs can create a sense of paranoia. Drug users might act on edge and become unnaturally suspicious of people.
- Secrecy. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause feelings of shame. People may be inclined to hide their habits from you and everyone. They might be secretive about their possessions, where they’ve been, and what they’ve been doing.
- Mood changes. Drug and alcohol abuse can create mood changes and produce depression, anxiety, and anger. Addiction specialists encourage college students to seek treatment for any signs of mental health changes, which could indicate that they’re struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.
1Publications | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism | College Drinking. (2017). Pubs.niaaa.nih.gov. Retrieved from https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/collegefactsheet/collegefact.htm
2Publications | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism | College Drinking. (2017). Pubs.niaaa.nih.gov. Retrieved from https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/collegefactsheet/collegefact.htm
3White, S, Reynolds–Malear, J., Cordero, E., “Disordered Eating and the Use of Unhealthy Weight Control Methods in College Students: 1995, 2002 and 2008” Eating Disorders–Journal of Treatment and Prevention: volume 19 Number 4 July-September 2011