If you look around any college town, you’ll find that there are a variety of bars, liquor stores and restaurants that make it all too easy for young adults to party. While this may seem like a coincidence, it’s not; many businesses strategically place their businesses in these areas because they know about the college drinking and partying culture that takes place. For years, college students have played this out by raging at weekend parties and staying up all night long to try substances – it’s a hard fact to face, but the reality is that our college students are exposed to so much more than we realize.
The Path Towards Addiction
Sources say that each year, thousands of college students battle with alcohol-related accidents and injuries. It’s not uncommon for college students to battle with DUIs and even sexual assault, especially as intoxication can cloud their judgment. This places so many college students at an increased risk for not only getting hurt (or hurting someone) but also to develop a pattern of substance abuse over time.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a very real health concern, and many college students classify as having the symptoms to be diagnosed with this – but when treatment isn’t sought, it’s hard for them to receive the help they need. If it’s seen as “normal” to drink heavily while in college, it makes sense that many college students aren’t seeing anything wrong with it; what they don’t realize, however, is that before they know it, all those times using substances with their friends to relax and have fun could turn into something much more serious.
College students face a lot of internal and external pressures, especially as it relates to making friends, getting good grades, and being part of clubs and organizations that can boost their resume. When immense stress is placed upon them, however, it becomes harder to deal with it – and that’s where substances can, at least temporarily, seem to help college students take their minds off their struggles. Unfortunately, substances can cause a person’s plans to backfire in several ways:
- Poor academic performance through skipping class and difficulty concentrating
- Dropping out of school because they’re no longer invested
- Injuries, whether through in-person or in a car accident
- Criminal activities, such as stealing from people or damaging property
- Health issues such as liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the pancreas and more
With all of these harmful effects that clearly aren’t taken as seriously as they should be in college settings, there are ways that our communities can help this population of students to better prepare and make wiser choices.
Supporting College Students
Before the school year begins, parents can help by talking to their college students about the dangers of substances. Campus policies can ensure greater safety amongst college students and substance abuse – with more preventative measures being taken to educate college students on the dangers and effects of addiction.
Ultimately, it’s about changing the drinking culture in colleges by informing students of the real-life consequences that can literally destroy their lives if things get taken too far. The greater the form of support and genuine care that is provided to these individuals, the more likely they are to take it seriously and seek help – and that’s all we can ask for.
Many young adults in college fail to achieve major milestones once addiction has entered their lives, which makes recovery that much more important. 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have been shown to help even young adults build a stronger foundation for spirituality, particularly as it relates to their self-development, personal growth, and purpose in life. College students can benefit from the following types of treatment options, which are offered at Cumberland Heights specifically:
- Gender-specific treatment, to meet their unique needs
- A healthcare team who truly cares about their health and wellness
- Proper challenges within treatment to push them into changing for the best
- Increased communication for optimized recovery
- Comprehensive education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the mind, body and spirit
- Individual and group therapy
- Family therapy, to help rebalance the family system and promote peace at home
It’s Time to Seek Help
If you’re a college student, friend, or parent who may be noticing signs of addiction, call us today at 833-801-LIVE to learn more about how we can help.