Drug Abuse

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Drug Abuse among students in American colleges
Drug abuse in American colleges is not a new concept. The trend has been common and
popular since the 1970s. College students have always formed a big percentage proportion of
alcohol and other drug abusers in the American society. Attending college is often the first time
that the students have gained greater autonomy from their parents and often feel the urge to
exploit this new found freedom. Unfortunately, the students often misuse the freedom by seeking
to prove themselves among fellow students and fit in to the already drug abusing society of
students. As a result, drug abuse has been on rampant rise in colleges even as the administrators
contribute to the trend due to their lack of policy to keep the bad practice in check. Drug abuse
has been used synonymously with indiscipline among college students as a result of the influence
it gives to the mental stability of the students.
Commonly abused drug Types
There are several addictive drugs that exist but the majorly abuse once include; illicit
drugs, alcohol, stimulants, benzodiazepines and sleeping peels. Alcohol is the most commonly
abused drug among college students. Excessive drinking of alcohol has effects such as slowed
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reaction time, losing of coordination and slurring of speech. Also, alcohol has the effect of
lowering thinking capacity and impaired judgments (White, Aaron & Ralph Hingson).
Benzodiazepines are the pharmaceutical drugs that are intended for treatment of several mental
disorders such as panic attacks. Consuming benzos over long time periods leads to addiction that
has the consequence of seizures like the Grand Mal on sudden withdrawal. Illicit drugs on the
other hand refer to the illegal and powerfully addictive ones such as meth and heroin. Such drugs
like marijuana have the short-term impact of interference of concentration and slowed
reactionary time. Other illicit drugs abused in colleges include; cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy,
hallucinogens and heroin.
Other types of drugs commonly abused are opiates. The original purpose of opiates is for
the treatment of chronic and acute pain. These types of drugs such as morphine put users in
“dreamlike” states. Withdrawal from the drug is extremely agonizing to its users and can lead to
death. Another category of abused drugs is the sleeping pills. The pills are medical prescriptions
known as sedative-hypnotics. According to Ford, Jason, and Lindsey (58-59) sleeping pills such
as amytal bring about alcohol-like intoxication which motivates users to continue using it. The
last form of drugs is stimulants. Prescribed stimulants include methylphenidates and
amphetamines. Such drugs are made for the treatment of mental problems such as Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Drug addicts who use these substances have the feeling of
intense pleasure.
American college students have varying reasons as to why they abuse drugs in school. Some of
these reasons include; High levels of stress- some college students find it difficult to balance
their part-time job. Time for friends and the coursework all together. This has often pushed them
into using drugs. Additionally, some of the students engage in drug abuse out of peer pressure
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(Ford & Lindsey, 56). When students get into college, they try to fit themselves into the new
system by trying to act as the older students are doing. Furthermore, curiosity has been
considered as another factor that has caused students to abuse drugs. When the new students see
the older students taking some kind of drugs, they become curious to also try the drugs.
Various signs have been associated with students that are engaged in drug abuse in
American colleges. These signs are as follows; lowered interest in extracurricular and class
activities. Once students start abusing drugs, there interest in classes have been observed to
drastically decrease. Also, drug abusing students are associated with drastic changes in academic
performance (Sutfin, 216). Such students usually set little time to study hence often start
lowering their grades. Moreover, drug addiction in colleges is synonymous with indiscipline
among college students as mentioned earlier. Such students are often seen displaying
uncharacteristic depression, mood swings and irritability. The students often start becoming rude
to their fellow students or even the administration.
Based on availability of some drugs, expectations, social pressure, there are
demographics on colleges that are at increasingly higher risks of getting involved with drug
abuse or encountering the practice itself. Such groups include Sorority and fraternity members.
These are students are within the vicinity of the campus community. Campus athletes are also at
a risk of engaging in drug abuse. This is due to the pressure to perform in various sports.
Students that are experiencing health problems are also most likely to abuse drugs due to their
thinking instability (Sutfin, 220). Finally, students that face intense amounts of stress are often
more likely to engage in drug abuse than students with less stress. This is because such students
seek to find a way of relieving the excess stress by using the drugs.
Statistics on drug abuse among American college students
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There are shockingly disappointing statistics that show how deeply rooted the drug abuse
menace is taking shape in American colleges. It is reported that close to 31 percent of all
American college students have reported alcohol abuse symptoms. This is especially serious
owing to the impact that alcohol has on wasting away human brains. The otherwise would be
bright and productive society members to be face a risk of being meaningless addicts. According
to Johnston et. al (30), it is approximated that almost 80 percent of American college goers have
in one time abused alcohol. Furthermore more, police records show that 110,000 students
between ages 18-24 years old are estimated as arrested on alcohol-related law violations like
Treatment options for drug addition
College students need to seek professional treatment to enable them to overcome the drug
addiction problem. Some of these treatment methods available include; thorough support groups,
outpatient rehab, inpatient rehab and several types of therapies. It is widely accepted that the first
means of achieving recovery is by the addict accepting that they are addicted to the drug.
Afterwards, a suitable treatment form that best serves the level of addiction is sort. John et. al
(35) says that inpatient rehab form of treatment, structured programs are offered that address
every facet of the person’s addiction. In this form of treatment, the patient resides in the
substance-free place receiving continuous therapeutic support and medical care. This form of
treatment is ideal for hardcore addicts of given drugs.
Another form of treatment for drug abuse is outpatient rehab. In this form of treatment,
therapies and Medicare closely resemble inpatient form only that the patient live in their own
homes along the process of recovery. Outpatient treatment allows the patients to continue with
their normal daily routines and responsibilities even as they undergo treatment (“Facts and
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Statistics of College Drug Abuse - Drug Trends and Findings”). This form treatment however
has the risk of allowing the patient to use the drug again due to possible encounter with the drugs
in their daily activities. The treatment is suitable for mild addictions.
Also, alcohol and Drug Detox is an important form of treatment of addiction problems.
This treatment aims at safely withdrawing addicts from their problem until the drug or alcohol
gets out of their systems. Medication is usually reduced along the treatment period until a point
when the patient is no longer physically dependent on the addictive substance. Finally, treatment
of drug addiction can be done in a sober living home (“Facts and Statistics of College Drug
Abuse - Drug Trends and Findings”). The kind of home acts as a bridge linking the original
home an inpatient treatment center. In this treatment, patients are able to live a normal
comfortable life away from their homes where they may fall vulnerable to drug use again until
they are no longer addicted to the drug.
Drug abuse is evidently a major problem that is happening in American colleges. Given
the long period of time that the practice has existed among college students, it is evident that
there is lack of responsibility among the members of the college administration in helping to
mitigate the impacts brought about by the menace. With common knowledge of drug in colleges,
it is time for the government to move in and help students stop the habit and also set up seminars
against the practice. Additionally, affected students should be encouraged to seek appropriate
medical help that will help them overcome the addictions. The American society should also
stand up against alcohol and drug addiction since it is wasting a source of bright brains in
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Works Cited
Johnston, Lloyd D., et al. "Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2015:
Volume II, college students and adults ages 19-55." (2016).
White, Aaron, and Ralph Hingson. "The burden of alcohol use: excessive alcohol consumption
and related consequences among college students." Alcohol research: current reviews
Sutfin, Erin L., et al. "Electronic cigarette use by college students." Drug & Alcohol Dependence
131.3 (2013): 214-221.
Ford, Jason A., and Lindsey Blumenstein. "Self-control and substance use among college
students." Journal of drug issues 43.1 (2013): 56-68.
"Facts And Statistics Of College Drug Abuse - Drug Trends And Findings". Addictioncenter,
2018, https://www.addictioncenter.com/college/facts-statistics-college-drug-abuse/.
Accessed 21 Mar 2018.

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