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Why Do College Students Abuse Drugs and Alcohol?

Last updated: Thursday, 15, September 2022

There are several contributing factors to why college students abuse drugs and alcohol. When you first transition into college, there is stress. Most college students leave home for the first time, venturing independently and taking responsibility for their lives. While attending school, students face high demands, such as heavy course loads, part-time jobs, internships, social obligations, deadlines, exams, and projects, to graduate from college or university. Drugs such as alcohol and marijuana are used to cope with this stress. Binge drinking is often an excuse to deal with stress and unwind. However, binge drinking is dangerous and results in injury and alcohol poisoning. Drugs such as marijuana are used as study drugs because there is a misconception that it helps students focus and perform better on tests. Heavy course loads in school also force many students to abuse Adderall and Ritalin. These are prescription stimulants, and students abuse them to stay awake to study longer and meet deadlines.

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Much of college is about experimenting or trying new things; for many students, this involves drugs and alcohol. Experimentation started with peer pressure and surrounded by other students who may be drinking heavily or using drugs. Many students abuse drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure and feel obligated to partake in excessive drinking. Whichever the reason may be, there is help available. College students in Canada can access local treatment resources and programs for addiction treatment. The average college and university campus provides counseling services and student-health programs for any student who needs help. Reaching out for help is essential and not allowing addiction to quickly spiral out of control.


Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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