According to Casa Columbia, nearly half of all full-time college students (nearly 3.8 million people) binge drink and abuse prescription and/or illegal drugs; furthermore, a staggering one in four of the nation’s college students meet the medical criteria for either substance abuse or dependence. With addiction being rampant in colleges, even the most obedient and responsible students may have trouble avoiding this issue, so students may quickly find themselves fighting urges to use drugs due to peer pressure, stress with grades or to help themselves concentrate more in class or on assignments.
College, especially during the first year, is a time where people typically adjust from living at home in stable environments to making their own rules and learning to live on their own, which means addiction can turn even obedient students into rebellious drug users.
How Can Addiction Change an Obedient College Student?
Despite one’s motivation, obligations and drive to succeed, addiction can find its way into even the most successful student’s life. Because addiction does not discriminate, many people find themselves, especially in college, struggling with drug use or having a relationship with someone who is.
Although college is often a rewarding time, it is also an opportunity for people to meet others or to visit places that they may never have experienced. With new experiences comes change, which can sometimes include addiction
Included in the following are some reasons why even the most obedient college students abuse drugs:
- Course load
- Peer pressure
The transition from home to college can be overwhelming and stressful to some people, especially during the first few months. Leaving a secure home where one is comfortable with her peers and has established a social life can leave her feeling insecure and alone when she first attends college. This stress could cause even the most driven college student to look for an escape, however brief, to relax and enjoy her new life. This stress may not only come from the college students themselves, but also from the high standards that their loved ones set for them. Having high expectations is important, but, when someone feels a tremendous amount of pressure, she often seeks any opportunity to escape—unfortunately for many college students, this escape can easily include both drug use and abuse.
Today’s society is about getting where you need to be as fast as you can, and this fact is especially true for college students. Many of them believe that the more courses they or the more difficult ones they have at a time show how driven they are, and it also might decrease the amount of time that they are in college. Often times, these individuals find their course loads extremely time consuming, so it leaves little to no time for them to have social lives or to enjoy other college activities.
In response to these results, more students than ever are taking stimulants such as Adderall to improve their concentration, because this drug can help people stay awake for longer and to complete assignments in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, and all too often, this prescription drug is obtained without a legitimate prescription, so this kind of drug use is abuse, regardless of why the student uses the substance.
When college students are constantly surrounded by people who experiment with recreational drugs and performance-enhancing substances, they are more likely to follow suit. Maybe the individual had a difficult time fitting in or finding himself while he was at home, so he may think that, by abusing drugs, he is more likely to fit into a social group. Additionally, having drug use and paraphernalia in one’s immediate surroundings on a constant basis can cause him to accept those who use drugs along with their behaviors while under the influence.
College students are often exploring their identities along with many new aspects of their lives both on a personal and professional level. During this time, it is fairly common for people to direct that self-discovery toward drug use and abuse: this case is also common for people who have lived extremely sheltered lives and now find themselves in charge of their own rules at college. This sudden freedom can be an exciting and thrilling time, but it can also cause her to experiment with and engage in behaviors she once deemed inappropriate. In other words, she may have been rebellious, but the desire to try new experiences can lead to rebellious drug abuse.