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College Students and Drug Abuse

While parents may try to shield their teenagers from drugs and alcohol, eventually young people come into contact with these substances either through advertising, their peer group or a social culture that may be more permissive and encouraging of experimentation.

Why Are College Students Using Drugs

It’s common for college students to experience significant pressure to perform academically, while maintaining healthy social and extra-curricular schedules. Some may be looking for an extra edge and find that taking prescription amphetamines such as Adderall helps them perform better, in school or athletics. Others may find drugs such as cocaine or prescription opioids in conjunction with alcohol helps to relax them in social situations. Some students have valid prescriptions for medications like Xanax and may decide to start selling them as a way to make money.

How and Where College Students Use Drugs

Sometimes, parents don’t worry about their children using drugs at college because they assume there is no way they will be able to obtain them. Take a look at virtually any college campus, particularly ones with residential communities, and you will see considerable drug problems. Typically, some students are low-level drug dealers, or they know people who are. Simply consider the widespread usage of prescription drugs these days. Many teenagers are prescribed these drugs for various reasons. However, instead of using them to heal, they use them to get high. To accomplish this, they make cocktails out of these drugs and mix them with other drugs or alcohol — often resulting in a lethal combination.

How Do We Prepare Young Adults For Exposure To Drugs And Alcohol?

Parents should begin talking to their children about the dangers of abusing drugs early, and like any important subject, continue the conversation as they grow older. Different regions see different rates of abuse, and often the substances abused are different as well. Parents should familiarize themselves with the substances that are prevalent where their children are attending school and share that information. Demystifying substance abuse and starting the conversation early ensures the lines of communication between parent and child are open should problems arise while they are away from home.

If issues with abuse do arise, professional substance abuse treatment is an important option to consider. When people go to a reputable rehab facility, their individual needs will be addressed. During treatment, they will learn personalized coping strategies and how to reintegrate back into society without the use of drugs.

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