College Students and Substance Abuse

College Students and Substance Abuse

College is the beginning of a new era for young adults. Widespread among American and international colleges,  is the problem of students struggling to efficiently manage their newfound freedom without their parents. As students head to school for the first time, they run the inevitable risk of encountering temptation, whether it be through drugs, alcohol, or process addictions. Freshman year of college is never the “make or break” period for habits during college. Substance abuse can develop at any time, during any semester or quarter, to any young person in college. Stress is high, independence from parental regulation is wild, and social pressure is intense. There are, however, certain elements which might make one student more susceptible to substance abuse than others. Thankfully, parents have a wealth of resources at their fingertips when they work with Hired Power to help a college-age student who has developed a substance use problem.

Substance Use In College

In 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released the results of 2016 Monitoring the Future College Students and Young Adults Survey. The findings compared rates of substance use in 2016 to 1996 and 2006. More than 30% of college students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks. More than 40% of college students reported being drunk within the past month. SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that “one-third of full-time college students aged 18 to 22 engaged in binge drinking in the past month” and “about 1 in 5 used an illicit drug in the past month. Further, just under 10% of college students between the ages of 18-22 drank for the very first time within the last year and 6% used illicit drugs for the first time. Outlining the various substances and how many used drugs, nearly 650 used hallucinogens, nearly 560 used prescription-type pain relievers, nearly 450 used cocaine, under 40 used methamphetamine, and 19 used heroin. Every single instance of substance use, first time or not, is a risk for college students to develop a substance use issue, particularly if they are at risk.

What Puts College Students At Risk For Substance Abuse?

Surveys have found that college students rarely know how much alcohol is a “normal” amount or what constitutes binge drinking. Substance abuse can start on a strictly chemical basis, with binge drinking leading to a tolerance and a chemical dependency. Most often, there are underlying elements which contribute to a college student’s substance abuse. Underlying issues, like preexisting mental health issues, which have or have not been confronted are often exacerbated by the high pressure and stress levels associated with a collegiate academic life. Likewise, high stress can cause mental health conditions like depression or anxiety to develop. Students seek solace, relief, and coping, through substance use, and eventually abusing substances to avoid what may be difficult feelings, shame, and stigma, regarding their mental health.

How To Help When Trouble Arises For Your College Student

“Dropping out” of school comes with much social shame and stigma, but in fact, it can be a life-changing as well as life-saving decision. Not all students will be ready, willing, and able to face the truth of their substance abuse issues. Hired Power can help parents plan an intervention, find the right treatment program for their child, and work with school processes to ensure a student’s eventual return to academics. While parents focus on helping their child, the dynamic Hired Power team can take care of all the details by finding treatment, arranging recovery professional assisted travel from campus to treatment, and coordinating an entire program of recovery for a student away at school.

We will discuss all of these ways to help a college student struggling with substance abuse in our next blog.

Hired Power offers recovery services designed to make your family’s journey through the recovery process as seamless as possible. Our dynamic team of experienced recovery professionals strive to bring their personal passion and professional expertise to your every need and concern. Ultimately, our goal is to help you bring recovery home and focus on where healing matters most: family. For information on our services, call us today: 714-559-3919