When young adults go away to college, they develop new friendships, experience a higher degree of freedom, and face the pressures of meeting their increased academic responsibilities. All of these factors work together to increase the likelihood that some students will fall prey to addiction in some form or another. For most students, this means succumbing to alcohol abuse through binge drinking.
Other students may not drink, but they may turn to stimulants, such as cocaine, to help them stay competitive as they take on even more demanding schedules. In the past, colleges and universities were unaware that these problems were significant, so they took little action to help their students. As the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction on college campuses became more widely known, most schools have created a system of support to help students. College administrators have incorporated a variety of programs to help their students avoid the hazards of addiction, but it’s up to students to seek out these resources.
Colleges Recognize the High Pressures Students Face
A large focus on college campuses is on preventing alcohol abuse, which can later lead to addiction and alcoholism. Schools around the country participate in federally sponsored programs, such as those offered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In particular, NIAAA seeks to educate college students about the dangers of frequent drinking and binge drinking. By raising awareness among college students, they help to reduce the number of students who engage in this type of high risk behavior.
There are also counselors available on college campuses that provide students with therapy and other mental health resources. By seeking the advice of a therapist, students can avoid falling into a cycle of drug abuse as a means of coping with academic pressure. They can learn healthier coping skills, or the counselor can help them recognize when they’re just taking on too much. Campus counselors can also help students deal with depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. In cases where there are significant mental health problems, counselors can refer students to professionals who are better equipped to treat those conditions.
Join Self-Help Groups on Campus
College campuses use bulletin boards and other resources to ensure students are aware of the options they have for dealing with substance abuse problems,. This includes giving them practical advice for reducing the use of drugs and alcohol, so they can make safer choices. They also post local DUI laws in simple terms to help students avoid making a bad situation that much worse. Students are also made aware of public transportation options to further help them get around when they are intoxicated. In general, however, the use of drugs and alcohol is discouraged on college campuses with the administration providing sober activities that students can enjoy instead. When students are faced with substance abuse problems, they may want to seek some type of help. This type of help and support can be found in group meetings for students who want to stay clean and sober. Just as a community church might offer group counseling for recovering addicts, many colleges host similar self-help groups. Attending group meetings allow students to meet sober friends, gain insight into their substance abuse problems, and help others stay clean.
Look For Outpatient Recovery Options
In some situations, it may be better for a student with a substance abuse problem to seek help off campus. Students can feel embarrassed by the idea that their friends and other students will find out about their problem, or they may be worried about their academic standing. For these students, finding out about treatment programs in their community may be beneficial. Often, colleges will post information about local rehab facilities on their bulletin boards or websites. Seeking addiction treatment doesn’t always require taking a semester off from school. Any student with a substance abuse problem may qualify for an outpatient program. If they can meet the requirements for outpatient drug treatment, students can create a schedule that works around their college courses and other obligations.
As long as the student can stay clean and make it to meetings and counseling sessions on time, there’s no reason they can’t seek addiction treatment as they continue pursuing their education. If you are a student with a substance abuse problem, call our counselors at 844-639-8371. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and help you get the treatment you need to stay clean and sober.