It’s what every parent fears when they send their young adult off to college—that they’ll somehow become addicted to alcohol or get involved with drugs. And, with prescription drug abuse in colleges becoming an epidemic, experts warn it’s only getting worse as the opioid addiction crisis continues to grow. Parents certainly worry with good reason.
But parents aren’t the only ones worrying; college students worry too, knowing how easily drug addiction can take their dreams and hopes for their college success on a very different path. How has prescription drug abuse in colleges gotten to be such a widespread problem, and what options do young adults have to reclaim their lives?
Prescription Drug Abuse Beginnings
It starts ‘innocently’ enough. According to the National Council of Patient Information and Education, one in four college-aged people will use prescription medications in a non-prescribed way at least once in their lives. The non-medical use of pain relievers particularly is on the rise in college students, and that includes the abuse of opioids. Often, college students maintain injuries acquired in high school that require the legitimate use of prescription drugs. Sadly, though, the ease of falling into addiction is even more prevalent as they are already vulnerable to the stressors that being far from home and under increased workloads may bring.
Those workloads also are what entices young college students to look into prescription drugs to help them balance the obligations they are under. Pulling ‘all-nighters’ for study sessions and such becomes a norm, and young adults between the ages of 18- and 22-years-old are twice as likely to turn to prescription stimulants for non-medical reasons when compared to their peers not in college, or only in college part-time. Considering that prescription drugs for conditions like ADD are prescribed in record numbers for today’s college student, it’s easy to see how they are not only simple to access, but a leading cause of prescription drug abuse in colleges today.
The Struggle Is Real
College students also find it easier to have access to prescription medicines because they find themselves with new doctors who are more prone to ‘give a shot’ at prescribing relatively ‘benign’ medicines like those for attention issues or even short courses of pain-killers for ‘temporary’ issues. But that accessibility and the pressures of college to perform in ways not used to from high school days is what college students find makes it so easy to abuse their prescription drugs. One all-nighter leads to another, and increasingly, more and more is needed just to keep up with their body’s demands. Before they know it, they’re caught in a cycle of addiction, which leads them down a path destined for failure and disappointment.
It’s the very path they were trying to avoid in the first place, and which made their susceptibility to abusing the prescription drugs all the stronger.
Options Seem Limited
Because peer pressure even in college is still so driving, college students often feel unable to share their struggles with workloads, being away from home or just life adjustments in general. It’s easier to take a pill to help them ‘push through’ or to ‘numb the pain.’ Telling others seems to be the direction they’d take if they were looking for someone to chastise them or even report them for abuse.
So, they keep their abuse to themselves, but only for so long. Eventually, the stimulant-induced all-nighters lead to irritability and behaviors that push friends away, as well as lowered immune-systems and illnesses. Abused pain-relievers and narcotics become demanding, expensive, and can lead to erratic behaviors that also concern friends and family alike. The house of cards the young student has built begins to wobble with every breath, and that only makes the craving for the drugs even stronger. For many, they just don’t know where to turn or how to dig themselves out of the pit they find themselves in.
Hope Is Available
It’s at times like that where Ocean Hills Recovery steps in, doing what it does best and giving college students who have fallen into the trap of prescription drug abuse their lives back. The compassionate and concerned staff at Ocean Hills Recovery don’t just look to end the abuse of the drugs; they look to support the whole person and teach them valuable life-skills for defeating addiction and succeeding in life.
Ocean Hills Recovery creates individual plans for each person caught in the relentless cycle of prescription drug abuse, and with professionalism and concern, takes a college student out of the bondage abuse and addiction had them in and back onto the path of a bright future. Ocean Hills Recovery calls their evolved, customized approaches to drug treatment ‘Collaborative Recovery,’ because it looks at a person’s history, learning style and most importantly—their individual responses to treatment.
Whether it’s a 30-,60- or 90-day program, clients are shown the skills they need to not only break the chains of drug abuse, but are surrounded by caring clinicians who will help show how good life can be again—despite heavy workloads and obligations.
It’s never too late to get help, and Ocean Hills Recovery wants to be there for you as you’re battling not only the challenges of college, but the harrowing life that is with drug abuse. You deserve to be free of addiction, and free to spend these years developing the career you’ve always wanted so you can live the life you were always meant to live.
If you’re ready to take that first step, you won’t be alone – reach out to Ocean Hills Recovery. They’re ready to hold on to you and help you get your life back!
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.