Many young adults struggle with college stress. This stress fuels the fire of dangerous activity on most college campuses today, with those activities including drinking and doing drugs. Early in a college career, you can find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of substance use. This quickly leads to addiction and even more stress in trying to maintain academic activity for your best future.
Does College Stress Cause Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
University students face many new experiences, responsibilities and risk factors for addiction. Availability of drugs and alcohol on campuses throughout the United States continues to make these substances part of the typical college experience. Many young people feel great pressure to partake in substance use with peers.
But even college stress because of academic pressure, family expectations and being newly independent lead to addiction, with or without party abundance and peer pressure. In fact, more people use drinking and drug use to help them cope with their college stress than to feel like part of a peer group.
Without parental oversight, giving in to temptations is easier than ever before in their lives. So college students easily slip under the radar, when it comes to early substance use signs and symptoms. Being away from home gives plenty of opportunities to drink or get high. But even homesickness can lead to substance use, during this time of many life changes.
Causes of College Stress
College students experience great pressure to reach many goals and succeed as others define their success. Academic performance is very important with today’s university costs, even to maintain scholarships for going to college in the first place. Many students suffer anxiety about passing their courses and making good grades.
Juniors and seniors at college start experiencing immense career stress. They fear not getting a job to support themselves and their hefty student loans. Merely making ends meet while going to school is a major challenge. Together all of these financial fears and problems heighten anxiety and enable the student to justify using drugs or alcohol to relax.
Commonly Abused Substances in College
In college, students frequently abuse certain drugs and alcohol. Of course, frat and sorority parties provide the perfect atmosphere for gaining access to these substances. Most of these parties involve a focus on drinking and getting drunk. College students enjoy playing drinking games like beer pong, with or without a big party atmosphere.
All of this focus on substance use to “relax” builds during the college experience. These behaviors lay the foundation for a serious drug or alcohol addiction problem. If students do not suffer addiction during their school years, they tend to struggle with addiction late in life.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reports that in 2007, about one-quarter of full-time students in U.S. colleges meet clinical criteria for addiction. This is three times the national average for adults, in general.
The most commonly abused substances in college include:
- Prescription drugs
All of these substances provide the potential for deadly consequences. College stress is never an excuse for abusing these substances.
Finding Rehab for Addiction and College Stress
Young adult rehab programs provide focused help for people aged 18 to 30. Among peers in recovery, you can gain the help you or your loved one need. Addiction and mental health therapy for North Carolina college students takes place at Red Oak Recovery in Asheville, NC.
Providing gender-specific rehab for young adults, Red Oak Recovery male clients undergo quality therapies and treatment in Asheville. The women’s campus in about 45 miles away, at The Willows of Red Oak Recovery.
Programs and therapies of Red Oak Recovery include:
- Clinically-focused, trauma-informed treatment
- Hybrid program and eco-therapies
- Psychiatric and clinical evaluations
- Physical and nutritional evaluations
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Outdoor wilderness focus