Substance Abuse Rehab for College Students
Substance abuse rehab centers are treating an increasing number of college students for drug and alcohol addiction. Fortunately, the stigma of rehab is changing and college students have become more aware that they can escape the pressure of college life and that help is readily available. But, how do students become victims of substance abuse in the first place? And how can they protect themselves from ruining what should be the best years of their lives?
Students Experiencing Independence
If students have lived a protected life, college is their opportunity to break free. Released from the watchful eye of their parents and keen to fit into college life, they are vulnerable to harmful situations and peer pressure. The pressure is instantly on to become part of what could be called a substance abuse culture. Alcohol abuse is not only condoned, but encouraged. Students are often keen to participate, as alcohol releases inhibitions and there are parties abound in which to indulge in binge drinking, attending popular spring break parties is encouraged and often are alcohol and drug fueled.
This is a natural and traditional part of college life; many fraternities and student clubs have initiation rites that involve alcohol and drugs. This is no secret, and yet, the problem of abuse and addiction is increasing. Our children die from alcohol related accidents, they are injured and assaulted by others who are under the influence of alcohol, or put themselves into dangerous situations like drinking and driving, some even experience severe alcohol poisoning from an over-indulgent evening. Many young women are date raped and many students have unprotected sex and don’t even recall their actions from a night of revelry.
Pressures of College
College student are under more pressure to perform and suffer a greater risk of abusing drugs and alcohol, balancing social and academic demands, and managing success and failure, they turn to substances for help. A new threat is arising with the advent of the misuse of ADHD drugs, college students are sharing these with friends, taking more than prescribed, or selling it illegally – thinking it will boost their academic performance. The statistics of the dangerous consequences of this kind of substance abuse among students is alarming and the reluctance of college administrators to address the problems is disturbing.
The challenge of parents, rehab facilities, and all those who are responsible for our children, is to release the belief that chemicals and the need to say “yes” to fit in or be accepted into a social scene can enhance our lives. The power we have given to drugs and alcohol to improve the quality of our lives has backfired. These young adults must be taught to rely on their own inner resources to survive and thrive.
Alcohol and drugs are part of our society and the college years are when many young, bright students have the opportunity to experience these without restraint. The line between having loads of fun and ruining your life is a fine one. Taking personal responsibility, knowing there is help when you need it, being aware that you or a friend could benefit from seeking support will make the difference.