Why Do Students Abuse Drugs & Alcohol
It’s often said that youths are impressionable. There’s another common adage that says one rotten apple can spoil the bunch. While these are separate expressions, there’s definitely a correlation in some instances, especially with regard to the college-aged crowd. College offers the time for gaining one’s independence and figuring out who you are, what you want to do with your life, and so on, but this is also a period during which experimentation of various sorts is incredibly common. The college-aged experiment sexually, with different skills or vocations, and oftentimes with mind-altering substances. When it comes to the latter, even just a small number of individuals sampling a dangerous drug can lead to hundreds more college students experimenting with that substance. Such is the risk involved with individuals who are experiencing more freedom and less supervision than ever before.
Unfortunately, time spent experimenting in college is more dangerous than many realize and can quickly spin out of control. What’s more, many have found that administrators of colleges and universities often tend to accept that students participate in frequent and excessive consumption of alcohol and other substances, which has led to a social culture of tolerance when it comes to recreational substance abuse. As a result, more and more college students are developing chemical dependencies that require addiction treatment, otherwise their abuse of alcohol and drugs will continue into their adulthood and all but ensure that years of study go to waste. However, it’s been found that more often than not either individuals who meet the criteria for chemical dependency don’t feel they need treatment or those who feel they need treatment aren’t sure how to get the help they need.
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In order to prevent the college-aged from succumbing to lifelong addiction, it’s important to know how and where college students can find addiction treatments that will allow them to overcome physical and psychological dependency. Consider the following information on how to find treatment for a college student suffering from alcohol or drug addiction.
Assess the Student’s Treatment Needs
It’s been found that there are a number of reasons why college students abuse alcohol or drugs. Perhaps the most common reason is as a means of socializing with others, especially when the individual is a member of Greek organizations such as a fraternity or sorority; however, other reasons for substance abuse include as a means of relieving stress and anxiety, to become less socially anxious or inhibited, to self-medicate for depression or other mental health conditions, and it’s even been found that females often drinks as a result of pressure to have sex with their male classmates as the alcohol makes them less unwilling. When a student progresses from the willful abuse of alcohol or drugs to being chemically dependent, it’s important to consider his or her reasons for abusing mind-altering substances while determining the appropriate route of treatment.
There are also other considerations, such as the length of time spent in active addiction and the substance or substances to which the student has become physically and psychologically dependent. In cases where the student’s addiction is more severe, he or she will require a more intensive form of treatment. More often than more, more intensive forms of addiction treatment will require finding an appropriate treatment facility; while many offer basic interventions in campus health centers or support groups for students, colleges and universities don’t typically offer intensive addiction treatments on campus.
Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Addiction?
Once the particular treatment needs of the addicted college student have been identified, he or she can be directed to the most appropriate type of recovery program. While there are several different types of addiction treatment programs, most of them will fall into one of two classifications: inpatient or outpatient. In the case of inpatient, the college student will relocate to the rehab or treatment center for the duration of treatment, which can be as little as a month up to as much as a year. During this time, the individual will receive individualized care and continuous medical supervision while participating in daily therapies and treatments. Since most addiction treatments as based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the basis of inpatient programs typically consist of individual counseling and psychotherapy alongside group sessions, skills-building and life skills sessions, and any of a variety of holistic and alternative treatments. Upon completion of the inpatient program, the college student will continue recovery will a form of aftercare or outpatient treatments.
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The alternative to an inpatient program is outpatient treatment, which would allow a college student to continue with his or her coursework and remain in college while participating in addiction treatments at a less intensive frequency. While more flexible for those in college, outpatient treatment is seen as being less effective than inpatient treatment and should be reserved for cases in which an individual’s addiction isn’t very severe or he or she would be unable to receive treatment without the flexibility an outpatient program can offer. However, there are other types of outpatient programs that seek to offer the best of both worlds. Intensive outpatient programs have the flexibility of a standard outpatient program, but also offers a more intensive level of treatment. What’s more, partial hospitalization or partial inpatient treatments are more literally a combination of both treatments that often entail a daily treatment schedule without having to reside on-site in the facility.
Support Groups for Addicted College Students
In addition to inpatient and outpatient addiction treatments, support groups are another option available for addicted college students who want to overcome chemical dependency. Support groups are versatile, accessible, and free, allowing college students to incorporate them into their existing schedules and benefit from the ability to develop relationships with individuals who encourage and support sobriety. What’s more, many colleges and universities offer substance abuse support groups for students on campus, making it even easier for students in need of treatment to find and join these helpful recovery fellowships.
If you or someone you love is a college student addicted to alcohol or drugs and would like to learn more about treatment options, Ocean Breeze Recovery can help. We have a team of knowledgeable and understanding recovery specialists available to help match those in need to the addiction treatment programs that will allow them to overcome chemical dependency. Don’t wait—call Ocean Breeze Recovery today.