Understanding Drug Abuse And Addiction
Whenever someone takes a drug for reasons other than its intended use, it is considered substance abuse.
Taking prescription drugs, such as Concerta or Xanax, without a proper prescription is also considered abuse. Use of a prescribed drug in a manner other than how it was prescribed counts as abuse. For example, people who crush up and snort or inject their prescribed OxyContin are abusing the drug. This kind of abuse can subject the user to potential health risks, legal punishment, and college or university-sanctioned consequences.
Common Questions About Rehab
Defining Alcohol Abuse
Because alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable substance, defining alcohol abuse is a little different than defining abuse for other drugs.
[Alcohol abuse] is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work.
If alcohol is coming between a college student and their capacity to meet academic, professional, or social obligations, it is abuse.
When Abuse Turns Into Addiction
Continued abuse of some drugs, including Benzodiazepines and Painkillers, almost invariably leads to an addiction. There are 11 criteria for diagnosing a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Some of these include:
- Wanting to quit but being unable to
- Prioritizing drug use over responsibilities
- Having relationship difficulties as a result of drug use
- Continuing to use drugs despite known consequences
- Developing a tolerance
- Not wanting to quit for fear of withdrawal symptoms
Drinking and drug abuse among college students can be downplayed or dismissed as part of the college experience. However, it is during this critical phase of a young person’s life that they may become dependent on these substances rather than grow out of use. If you think someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, reach out to a treatment provider today.
Growing Up And Out Of Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
The most prevalent drug among college students has always been alcohol. Research suggests that 4 out of 5 students drink, and as many as 2 out of 5 binge drink. Despite these high numbers, many of these students graduate and stop drinking as much. Drugs such as Marijuana and Adderall often lose their appeal once a student moves on and gets a job, starts a family, and feels the responsibilities of adulthood set in. Changes in schedule, location, relationship status, health, and age can all limit how much someone is willing to drink or use drugs.
Although some people grow out of excessive drinking patterns, hundreds if not thousands of college students establish dangerous habits that continue long after graduation. Alcoholism affects millions of people nationwide. Looking the other way when a student has a serious problem, or writing it off as simply part of the college experience, can have dire consequences.
Break free from addiction.
You have options. Talk about them with a treatment provider today.
College Drug Abuse Statistics
23% of college students surveyed in 2017 reported using an illicit drug in the past month.
12.1% of people aged 18 to 25 reported using Adderall or a similar prescription Amphetamine product during 2017.
31.9% of college students reported binge drinking within the past 2 weeks.
Looking for a place to start?
Reach out to a treatment provider for free today.
Getting Help For Abuse And Addiction
Any college student struggling with the pressures of academia is at risk for substance abuse and addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, prescription drugs, Stimulants, or illicit substances, help is out there. Get in touch with a treatment provider today rehab-related help.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- More from Jeffrey Juergens
- American Psychiatric Association (1994). <em>Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,</em> Fourth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
- Frances, R. J., & Miller, S.I. (1998) <em>Clinical Textbook of Addictive Disorders</em>, Second Edition. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
- Centers for Disease Control. (2013). Alcohol and Public Health - Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved on August 7, 2014, from: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
Certified Addiction Professional
David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.
- More from David Hampton
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.