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College Culture and Substance Abuse

How College Culture is Encouraging Substance Abuse

College is a new starting point in a lot of young people’s lives. It is a time when teenagers transition into adults, and they finally get a taste of what it is like to live away from their parents. This new found independence, brought about by college life, can be fun and exciting. Many students will not even know how to fully manage this independence which will undoubtedly lead them into potentially troubling situations. Aside from the academic studies, there are a lot of parties and extra-curricular activities. Often, whether a person means to be confronted with drugs and alcohol or not, such substances can be found at many of these events. In fact, students are encouraged to imbibe. This is how many college students get started with forming an addiction through drug abuse and how others get hurt in significant ways by the drugs they use: willingly or not.

Sex, Drugs and Alcohol

The often overlooked agenda of college culture is that it is steeped in experimentation. Young adults are experimenting sexually, and this is typically a gateway to looking for even more intense sexual experiences. In the search for these highly intense sexual escapades, students will mingle their sexual encounters with drugs and alcohol to push their erotic fantasies to new limits. Of course, this type of drug abuse rarely ends well. Not only does this type of activity distract students from their academic pursuits, but it will bring a lot of students face-to-face with drug abuse-related addictive behaviors that they may not have intended becoming a victim to in their attempt to have a little fun on campus. Before they know it, many of these students find themselves in rehab over a drug addiction problem that has gotten way out of control. Yet, in the mind of the student using drugs, they will swear they have everything under control. Fortunately, a lot of these students can be convinced that they are not as in control as they had once imagined they were.

Drugs and Date Rape

The link between drug abuse and sexual encounters on college campuses does not end with mere erotic fantasies. Some students are using drugs on campus to entice young, inexperienced women into vulnerable situations. Once the victim is drugged, then the act of rape becomes an inevitability more often than not. Given the prevalence of this problem on college campuses, being entrenched in college culture, it is actually surprising that more is not done to stop it. Gone are the days when a guy would simply get a woman drunk in order to take advantage of her. The drugs employed these days work in conjunction with alcohol to give the sexual predator a much greater advantage over their victims than in the past. In many cases, the victim of rape will not even be able to clearly recall the experience, because the drug employed affects how the victim’s memory of the ordeal is remembered. Sometimes the victim is not even certain they were victimized; however, they usually know that something is wrong. This is an example where a student is introduced to drugs against their will. It exposes how important it is for female students to be aware of the dangers of drugs like Rohypnol that can be easily slipped into their drink when they are not looking.

Boosting Academic Performance

While it is common to think of drug addiction as a phenomenon attached to too much partying at night and on the weekends, there is another side of college-related drug addiction that is a little more competitive in nature. Yes, some students actually take drugs to compete for high honors. By taking various stimulants and mind enhancing drugs, these students seek to push their brain to the limits of academic performance. At first, when these students get started down this path, it seems like the drugs are doing the trick. The stimulating effects of these drugs seem to provide the kick and awareness the student needs to get ahead. Before they know it, their tolerance has kicked in. they now need more of the drug to get the same mental stimulation they formerly experienced. This sort of drug abuse can have tragic endings. While many of these stimulants can give a student the push they desire, the end result can sometimes be significant neurological damage that may not be fixed by simply going through drug rehab. Sometimes, even if addressed early, the medical prognosis will be that significant damage has already been done. This is why it is best to leave drugs alone, and experiment rather with safer supplements designed to improve brain function with less of a risk for personal harm.

Easing the Pain

Another popular use of drugs on campus comes as a result of relationships gone south. For a lot of young students, college is the first time they have been involved in an adult relationship. It is also the first time they experience a major loss due to a horrible break up. For many students, the answer seems to be to turn to drugs and alcohol to take the edge off the pain. This remedy also seems to be used in the case of students who are shy too. As students try to cope with the awkwardness and discomfort of these socially painful experiences, they sometimes end up getting themselves stuck in addictive behaviors that they are unable to control. Instead of using drugs to make up for these deficiencies, these students should look for more constructive methods to addressing these types of social issues.

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