Prevalence of drug abuse in college
Numbers show around 31% of the U.S. college students report alcohol abuse symptoms. More than two in five students reported at least one symptom of dependence or abuse, in one study. Around 80% of students have abused alcohol.
College students use other addictive substances, not just alcohol. For example, 5.2% of them use hallucinogens such as LSD, 5.3% use cocaine, and 3.5% use tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax.
1. Symptoms of drug abuse in college
While drug abuse affects everyone differently, college students usually exhibit the following symptoms:
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2. Causes and risk factors for drug abuse in college
Generally speaking, the causes of drug abuse can be biological, psychological, and environmental. Biological causes involve the brain’s reward system triggered by the release of dopamine when a person uses a drug. This induces feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Psychological causes are comorbid mental health problems. Environmental causes revolve around family life and social life and functioning.
Risk Factors For Drug Abuse In College
3. Common drugs of abuse in college
Factors that influence which drugs are abused among college students include shifts in public perception of drugs, price, legislation changes, and availability of the drug. The most frequently taken substance in colleges is alcohol because it is often socially acceptable.
Students also widely take ecstasy or MDMA and Molly at concerts or parties. They take these drugs to have more fun and distort their reality and senses.
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4. Consequences of drug abuse in college
As the problem continues, its consequences may escalate. Drug abuse can affect both physical and psychological health. Common effects of substance abuse in college include cardiovascular disease, mental illness, liver and kidney disease, organ damage, and poor academic performance and outcomes.
5. Treatment of drug abuse in college
Drug abuse is manageable. Nowadays, there are different screening and intervention tools and programs that educate students about the harms of drug abuse and help them reduce risky behaviors. Good examples are Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) and the College Drinker’s Check-up.
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