Alcoholism and Drug Addiction on College Campuses
Did you know that about 40 percent of college students binge drink, or that nearly 23 percent of college students meet criteria for addiction or chemical dependence? Drug and alcohol abuse on college campuses has risen steadily, with painkillers and other prescription drug abuse exploding. Although the drug and alcohol abuse cuts across every demographic, alcoholism and drug addiction among college students is serious and growing.
Facts to Consider
Despite the reputation of the 1960s as a time of wild drug-taking and experimentation, most college students during that time used alcohol, and sometimes, marijuana. Today, high school and college students are far more likely to use marijuana in addition to alcohol. They’re also much more likely to abuse prescription drugs they find at home or get from a friend. In particular, college students who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to:
- Die from drug- or alcohol-related injuries or overdose.
- Become the victim of violence or behave violently toward someone else.
- Perform poorly in school.
- Become addicted to alcohol. A CASA Columbia report suggests that about 19 percent of college students are addicted to alcohol, a number that is significantly higher than the general population.
In an environment where it can seem like “everyone” is getting drunk and high, is it possible to tell who has a problem and who doesn’t? Although the early behaviors of addiction can resemble nearly normal behavior, you can identify someone with a growing addiction by looking for the following:
- Using alcohol or drugs at unusual times, such as early in the morning, or before class.
- Skipping class to sleep or use. Falling grades often accompany this behavior.
- A change in hobbies or a new circle of friends.
- A growing preoccupation with getting drunk or high, and spending more time planning to get drunk or high.
- Depressed or anxious behavior.
- Lying about, or hiding, how much using is going on.
- Worsening hygiene and overall health.
- Relationship problems, especially with long-trusted friends and family members.
- Personal problems, including legal problems or financial problems.
What to Do If a Friend Is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol
If you’re concerned that someone you care about is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s time to step in. Although you may not be successful in your attempt to help your loved one quit using, trying may encourage your friend to seek help on his own. Never confront your friend when he or she is obviously intoxicated. Wait until you can speak privately, calmly and rationally. Express your support and also your desire that the using has to stop. Be prepared to hear angry denials and possibly accusations — especially if you’ve used with him or her before. If the using continues — and it probably will — 12 Keys Rehab can help you plan an intervention.
Call 12 Keys Rehab for More Information
At 12 Keys Rehab, we help people deal with the effects of addiction every day. We know what it’s like to quit using, because we’re former addicts ourselves. We can help you help your friend, and we’re here to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For more information about addiction, call 12 Keys Rehab now.