All too often, drug dependence begins in college. Since college can be a stressful and eventful stage of life, many students experiment with new substances. Unfortunately, this experimentation can quickly become addiction. Find out some of the key ways that college students can develop a dependency on drugs.
Using Drugs to Enhance Academic Performance
In college, many students are under incredible pressure to perform well academically. They might be struggling to fit in enough study time, cram for exams or meet their personal, family or scholarship expectations. Unfortunately, many college students under academic pressure turn to so-called study drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin.
Doctors prescribe these prescription stimulants to patients with behavioral disorders like ADHD or ADD. However, they are also improperly prescribed as well as sold or given to other college students who use the medications to stay awake longer and focus on their studies. Prescription stimulants are addictive, and in some cases tolerance rises, which means that dosage and corresponding side effects also grow with prolonged abuse.
Oxycodone addiction is another common prescription abuse issue among college students, and it can lead to heroin use when the prescription drug becomes harder to obtain.
Taking Bigger Risks Under the Influence of Alcohol
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 60% of college students drink alcohol. Many of those who consume alcohol binge drink, or drink large quantities in a single occasion. While some individuals justify this as a rite of passage, it’s important to understand the consequences of college drinking.
For many students, drinking alcohol is a way to shed inhibitions and feel more comfortable in new situations. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol also makes students more receptive to trying drugs. College students have some of the highest rates of dual abuse, which is when two or more substances are abused at the same time. Alcohol is a definite factor in explaining why students develop drug dependencies.
Relieve the Stress of College
College can be an incredibly stressful time for many students. Often, this is the first time that students are away from home. In addition, they can experience academic difficulty, particularly if they weren’t challenged extensively in high school. Sports performance, new friends and romantic relationships also contribute to the high stress levels of college students.
All of this stress may be integral for growth and development, but it can also be a catalyst for drug use. If students are offered drugs that can temporarily relieve stress, they are more likely to try them and then use them repeatedly, forming a drug dependence over time.
Why Experimentation Becomes Dependence
Drug use can rapidly become abuse, which can then turn to addiction. There are many reasons for the formation of a dependence on drugs, and they can include the following:
- Cultural factors
- Mental health
- Genetic predisposition
- Family history
For college students who have developed a drug dependence, rehab is the answer. At Pinnacle Peak Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can take back control after your life and thrive in college or any other environment. Call 866-377-4761 for more treatment details and to begin recovery today.