Since 1993, the amount of college students who drink and binge drink has stayed about the same, but the intensity of excessive drinking and rates of drug abuse have jumped severely, according to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City. Is the drinking and drug using a phase or a problem? It can be hard to know the difference between the two when you’re in college; most students will say they are just having fun, using cause of stress, celebrating good grades or even drinking due to bad grades. But when does it turn into an issue?
College Drinking and Drug Use: How to determine if it’s a phase or a problem – Are a lot of students doing it and what drugs are they taking?
Nearly half of the college students in the United States are abusing drugs or binge drinking at least once a month. Alcohol is still is the greatest used substance of abuse at colleges and all the numbers for drug abuse in college have gone up. Drug addiction in college is common considering the fact that alcohol or drug addiction has higher rates in college students than in the general public. 22.9% of college students meet the medical definition for drug addiction compared with 8.5% of the general public. Prescription drugs have become a problem and a growing one, on campuses all over the US. The most common medication used by 90% of college students is Adderall which is used to help with ADHD and narcolepsy. Adderall is highly addictive, I should know seeing as I used it myself. About 1 in 4 people ages 18-20 in college reported using medications not as prescribed and the research shows that college students who take prescription drugs for non-medical purposes are 5 times more likely to develop a drug addiction than those who don’t. Now with all of this being said, you could just as easily become addicted to these drugs and alcohol if you aren’t in college, but studies did find that college students are ahead on marijuana and alcohol use.
College Drinking and Drug Use: How to determine if it’s a phase or a problem – The Social Alcoholic or Drug user
Let’s identify what a social drinker or drug user looks like. The social alcoholic, who is commonly referred to as an “almost alcoholic” either can barely qualify as an almost alcoholic or it can be someone who’s drinking borders around actual alcohol abuse. The same can be said for a social drug user. A social alcoholic usually starts out drinking normally but then moves into the social alcoholic zone. Signs that you are a social alcoholic or drug user can be using to relieve stress, using for boredom, looking forward to drinking or drugging, only using to get a buzz, may use alone and you work performance can start to decrease. In college it can still be difficult to pick out the social alcoholics from the real deal alcoholic and addicts because sometimes people just haven’t crossed that line yet. There is a line that every alcoholic and addict crosses when they realize that there is no return to normal drinking or drugging.
College Drinking and Drug Use: How to determine if it’s a phase or a problem – Signs you are an alcoholic or drug addict
Honestly, I can think back to when I first started partying and using drugs and drinking and know that I was an alcoholic and addict from the start. For me, right away I felt such relief and like my life was meant to be doing drugs and drinking (by the way that isn’t normal). For other people, they didn’t know they were alcoholics or addicts until it was too late. Some signs that you may have a problem with your drinking and drug use is: you are unable to control how much you consume once you have started, you don’t know when you will stop, you obsess about alcohol or drugs, you use on a daily basis, behave in ways completely out of character for you when under the influence, keep doing the same things over and over thinking it will be different, you live a double life or life without drugs and alcohol seems unimaginable. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.