College can be a stressful: it’s time in our lives when we’re supposed to setting ourselves up for our future careers and discovering ourselves as fledgling adults. We experience our first true tastes of freedom and responsibility, on top of juggling classes, exams, and for some, employment and financial strife as well.
Considering all of that, it’s no wonder college students struggle with stress, mental health breaks, and other issues. Dealing with all of that at once is enough to make some people quit and choose a different path to gain their goals, while others deal with the insanity in a different way: substance abuse.
With pressures mounting to perform at their best and balance life with school and work, that some students turn to drugs or alcohol to cope isn’t shocking, even if it isn’t advisable. Adding substance abuse to the seemingly never-ending list of problems will do nothing to alleviate your troubles; in fact, you may find your life suddenly going down a path you never expected.
However, understanding substance abuse among students is important to understanding drug abuse trends in the younger populations, which constitutes a large portion of the addicted population.
So, what are the most commonly abused medications among college students? Unsurprisingly, it’s stimulants, such as Adderall or Ritalin. In a search for something to give them an edge when it comes to academic performance or enhance their ability to manage the multi-tasking sometimes necessary to handle college life.
Often, students abusing these powerful medications are not prescribed them; they acquire the pills through other students who have access through their own prescription or those of a close family member.
These illegal operations are disturbingly common on college and university campuses everywhere, and at times can lead to abuse of dangerous street drugs such as the stimulants cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA.
Most colleges and universities provide mental health services for students experiencing mental and emotional distress. These free services help students learn effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stresses and provide referrals for students in need of more extensive treatment. For students experiencing substance abuse disorders, school resources can aid in finding rehabilitation services and support.