From hallucinogens and opioids to alcohol and marijuana, the average Arizona college student is exposed to a plethora of opportunities for addictive behaviors. The problem goes far beyond exposure, however. Excessive alcohol and drug abuse is normalized and even given a free pass on many college campuses around the nation. For those between 18 and 24, the above leaves college students at particularly high risk for addiction.
Why Are College Students So At Risk For Addiction?
In an effort to balance the demands of independent studies, deadlines, financial responsibilities, employment, and social life, many college kids turn to highly addictive central nervous system stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, and other amphetamines to boost their energy, concentration, and confidence.
Some people in college face mounting pressure to fit in with their peers and abandon the social inhibitions previously taught during adolescence. In an effort to alleviate social anxiety, students seek out or accept alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and meth.
The push and pull on sleep between studying, working, and partying often leaves college students exhausted. In an attempt to stay alert, stimulants like Adderall, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine is often used.
There’s also a need to feel physically attractive, especially amongst females. This desire can cause them to turn to methamphetamine or cocaine as a way to lose weight or boost confidence.
Do College Students Need Drug Rehab For Addiction?
Few, if any, addicts start their drug and alcohol abuse with the goal of becoming addicted. Instead, most begin drug use because they feel life has become otherwise unmanageable. Eventually, the student is willing to go to any lengths to get their drug of choice, even if that means placing themselves in immediate danger or failing school. Even legal troubles often don’t put a dent in drug dependency.
Such reckless behaviors are a key sign that the drugs have rewired the student’s brain. Drugs work by jumbling up and engorging the brain in chemicals that affect mood, emotion, reason, memory, alertness, and pleasure. The brain becomes reliant on the substance to achieve a desired state of being, and thus it must search it out more and more often to feel well and functioning.
The bottom line is that addiction is something that builds with each use, and many students will even recognize the reliance they’re creating and know they need to quit. Quitting, however, is easier thought than done due to withdrawal symptoms wrecking such havoc in an addict’s life and student’s not having the necessary skill sets to deal with problems in a healthy and productive way.
Drug and alcohol rehab is the best course of action when drugs become a priority and addictive behavior prevents employment, relationships, activities of daily living, self-care, and attending the demands of school. These programs not only help students rectify addiction, but they also help students learn better ways to cope with whatever is behind the addiction.
Keep in mind that attempts to self-manage addiction can be a vicious cycle of negativity. Students may feel ashamed, powerless, and physically and psychologically unwell as they attempt to quit, which in turn causes them to want drugs to escape the drug problem.
How Can Drug Treatment Help College Students?
The best treatment centers tailor their programs to each individual, including:
• A medically supervised environment for the detoxification and withdrawal process. The more types of drugs addicted to, the more complicated the detoxification process.
• Discovering the root cause of drug and alcohol use so that triggers can be identified and avoided in the future.
• Courses in time management so that pressures and workloads can be lessened and better organized.
• Developing the psychological and social skills necessary to maintain sobriety.
• Self-awareness and self-care development so that they have an array of healthy tools, not drugs, to care for themselves and become the person they truly want to be in life.
• If applicable, management of mental health disorders that often accompany addiction, such as eating disorders, anxiety and depression, or bipolar disorder.
How Can Alcohol Treatment Help College Students?
While alcohol addiction treatment typically isn’t as medically complicated as drug addiction treatment, particularly when it comes to detoxification, it’s still not a one-size-fits-all blanket. There are actually several different approaches to alcohol treatment, which include:
• The traditional approach of detoxification and a twelve-step program. This centers around the student acknowledging they have an alcohol problem, admitting that their addiction has caused their life to become unmanageable, and committing to take the necessary steps to stay sober.
• SMART recovery is a scientific recovery method that does not include any spiritual components.
• Holistic recovery centers upon holistic adjustments to diet and lifestyle. It doesn’t use any prescription treatment methods.
• Dual diagnosis recovery establishes and treats a mental health condition(s) such as anxiety or schizophrenia, that may be an underlying reason for the student self-medicating with alcohol. This may include both lifestyle changes and prescription medications.
It’s important to understand that any of these alcohol addiction treatment routes may also include aftercare via group therapy, individual therapy, music or art therapy, or relapse prevention meetings.
In closing, whether the student requires drug or alcohol treatment for addiction, it’s important to take advantage of professional help. This is how we can help at Purpose Healing Center in Scottsdale. By the time addiction becomes apparent to others, it’s highly likely that the student has already missed many opportunities and failed to capitalize on educational investments. The sooner a drug counselor is contacted, the sooner the student can get reinvested in their own future and get the help they need to get their lives back on track.