College and Substance Abuse

Starting your first year of college can often be considered one of the most anxiety inducing experiences anyone will have to go through. You are thrown from your family home and into a school where there are thousands of individuals you have never met before. More likely than not, you will probably be living in a dorm alongside another individual or two, or even three roommates. This can be incredibly nerve-wracking to some.


Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are quite easy to acquire at most colleges across the country. What this means is that these readily available substances can often be used in an attempt to reduce anxiety and fit in with an entirely new crowd of students. There are a few reasons why college students may turn to narcotics or alcohol to ease their current pain and stress.



Stress is one of the most common feelings for a college student. Students are facing the extreme demands of coursework, upcoming exams or projects, part-time jobs, an internship, social obligations, and their own personal problems. To fight all of this, students turn to various types of drugs in an attempt to cope with their problems.

Course loads can be one of the main reasons why someone would smoke marijuana or down a few shots of whiskey in their spare time at college. Most students have never handled such a course load like this before and it can feel overwhelming. A lot of students have begun self administering Adderall, a stimulant, to allow them to stay awake for long periods of time to study or complete a project. These prescription drugs are usually acquired without a legitimate prescription from a local doctor, making them highly illegal and nefarious.


Curiosity and Peer Pressure

Another reason why most college students opt to try their first hit of narcotics or take one too many drinks at a local frat party is because of their own curiosity and peer pressure.

When everyone around you is consuming alcohol and smoking narcotics, chances are quite high you, as a new college student, will opt to try something. Students may tell themselves it is just this one time so they can fit in with the new crowd. However, that one time ultimately turns into many more times following the fun fueled weekend of partying.

Curiosity is another major factor for drug use in college. Most students lived with their parents and were focused on their friends and school during their formative teenage years. Upon arriving at school, with no direct supervision from a parent, most students find the opportunity to go wild all too enticing to pass up. When this happens, the slightest provocation could lead to drug use or alcohol abuse on a regular basis.


Popular Options

Unfortunately, college students have no shortage of opportunities to get their hands on narcotics. Some popular choices include:


  • Alcohol – Alcohol makes up the vast majority of substance abuse issues at colleges across the country today. Drinking is often seen as socially acceptable, so more students are willing to start doing so.
  • Adderall – Adderall, known as the “study drug,” has been increasing in popularity recently. Students who feel pressured to meet deadlines and surpass academic expectations find themselves seeking out the help of narcotics to study harder and longer.
  • Marijuana – Marijuana is the most popular drug in the entire world. Students can easily get their hands on a bag in any college town across the nation. It is a way to relax after an exam or long study period for some.
  • Ecstasy – Ecstasy was made popular during the 90s, but has since made a resurgence in the form of pure MDMA or ‘Molly’. College students know it as the “party drug,” and consume the pills for a good time.

Alcohol and drug abuse is a major problem across college campuses. There are programs and organizations dedicated to alleviating such issues for students, though.

If you are a college student or have a loved one who is in college and are looking for help with substance abuse, drug rehab facilities are here to help. Pathways knows that this is a vital time in a young adult’s life but we also know that it can lead years of addiction. Don’t hesitate if you know someone who is suffering with addiction, get help now!

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