As college campuses nationwide welcome students back to start a new semester, it’s crucial to address the growing problem of substance abuse among students. This issue affects thousands of students and their families annually and has long-lasting implications for students’ well-being and academic performance. At Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers, we’ve seen firsthand how this issue affects young lives, and we believe it’s essential to shed light on this serious matter.
Substance Use on College Campuses: The Alarming Statistics
Exploration and experimentation characterize the college years for many students. However, this can lead to unhealthy habits, including substance abuse. Here’s a glance at some sobering statistics.
- Alcohol: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, almost 54% of college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month, and approximately 36% engaged in binge drinking in the past two weeks.
- Recreational drugs: Marijuana is prevalent on many college campuses. The American College Health Association reports that about 13% of college students have used marijuana in the past month.
- Study drugs: The misuse of prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin has become a growing problem on campuses. Around 17% of college students admit to using these “study drugs” without a prescription, often in the belief that they will enhance academic performance. However, Adderall is a highly addictive stimulant, and taking someone else’s prescription is against the law.
The Impact on Students’ Well-Being
The effects of college substance use can be long-lasting and severe.
- Physical health: Alcohol and drugs can lead to severe health problems, including organ damage, respiratory issues, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and addiction.
- Mental health: Substance abuse can increase the risk of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
- Academic performance: Substance use often leads to a decline in academic performance due to missed classes, lack of focus, and impaired memory.
- Social implications: Strained relationships with friends and family can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Addressing College Substance Abuse
Education, prevention, and support are crucial to address substance abuse on college campuses.
- Awareness: Colleges must educate students about the risks associated with substance abuse, including prescription drug misuse.
- Counseling: Providing accessible and affordable mental health services for students struggling with substance abuse is essential.
- Peer groups: Encouraging healthy peer-to-peer relationships and mentorship can be an effective preventive measure.
- Parents and families: Open communication between parents and students about the risks and expectations can be a valuable tool.
Quality Care Is Within Your Reach
At Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers, we understand the unique challenges college students face. Our accredited treatment programs in Washington provide solutions to help students and their families navigate these critical years. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions team.