A 2019 study reported that around 50% of college students aged 18-22 had drunk alcohol in the month before the survey. Of those, 33% reported binge drinking.
Another study among college-aged individuals showed a steady increase in marijuana use among college students in recent years. The good news is that opioid misuse has dropped since 2013, but 2.7% of college students still responded that they misuse them. Adderall misuse is yet another problem.
Addressing the Problem is the First Step
Professional counselors and therapists frequently state that communication is the first step to helping prevent your loved ones from developing a substance use disorder. Don’t shield your kids from the facts. Let them know how destructive and deadly addiction can be. You can even take it a step further and make sure they are educated on what they can do if one of their friends becomes addicted.
New Resources for College Students
The DEA has come up with some great resources to enable college kids to help fight drugs and alcohol abuse in their campus communities. Among these is “The Student Center.”
Some highlights from this informative website include:
- An article from Campus Drug Prevention has warning signs of addiction and suggestions on how a concerned friends can prepare themselves for a tough conversation about addiction.
- The list of resources for campus prevention professionals is called “Prevention with a Purpose.”
- Educational pamphlets can be emailed with information about the dangers of opiates or marijuana, for instance.
- Links to resources that help visitors sort facts from fiction when searching the internet for information on drugs.
Help for Parents
It can be overwhelming to contemplate addressing your college-aged son or daughter about their drug use. The good news is that there is a ton of help available. Addiction and alcoholism are legitimate medical illnesses, and interestingly, people behave in familiar patterns when they are becoming chemically dependent. Therefore, professional counselors and interventionists are very well prepared to answer your questions and recommend a course of action to help your child.
A great place to start is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA ) website. That site has a searchable database that will put you in touch with addiction professionals in your area.