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Drug Rehab for College Students

When teens leave home to begin college, it is a time of self-discovery and growth. Many are spreading their wings for the first time and looking to experience all of the fun and excitement of being “their own” person. Unfortunately, for thousands of students, the weight of college obligations often pulls them in different directions. They struggle with parental expectations, academic expectations, the desire to party, hang with friends, plan for the future, and the need to just enjoy what the world has to offer. All of these often create an overwhelming and perfect storm of mental health challenges, temptation, and sometimes, poor decisions. On most college campuses, alcohol is easy to come by, and drugs (both recreational and prescription) are exchanged with little regard for the consequences. As mental health struggles amplify, some students turn to alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products as a way to escape from stress, boost academic performance, or conform to peer expectations. All of the above increase their risk for developing an addiction.

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Look past casual partying

How to Know if a College Student Needs Help with Addiction

With all of the changes you are likely to see in your teen as they explore college and become a young adult, it can be challenging to know which differences may signal a serious concern, such as substance abuse. A few things you can watch for that may indicate a college student is experimenting with drugs or alcohol include:

  • Sudden withdrawal from usual activities
  • Increased voluntary isolation
  • A significant change in their social circles
  • Changes in mood or frequent mood swings
  • Being too excitable or too tired -often for no discernable reason
  • Financial struggles such as draining savings accounts, asking to borrow money, or stealing money from friends and family
  • Sudden decline in academic performance 
  • Unexplained absences from school, work, or other activities
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The Difference Between Drinking Socially and Addiction

Social drinkers are individuals who consume alcohol in reasonable portions and do not display a risk or pattern of problem drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a “low risk” pattern of drinking means consuming no more than seven drinks per week for females and no more than fourteen per week for males. If drinks are consumed in one sitting, such as at a social gathering or over dinner, females should consume no more than three drinks and males no more than four. When considering total drink consumption, it is important to note that “one drink” as served may contain more alcohol than what is defined as a single serving of alcohol. For example, a mixed drink at dinner contains multiple kinds of liquor and is likely in excess of a standard serving. Drink totals should be counted based on the amount of alcohol by volume they contain. This will be different depending on the type of alcohol. One 12-ounce beer is generally considered one drink, whereas one 1.5 ounce serving of liquor is regarded as one serving. 

A problem drinker or is someone who binge drinks or drinks too much frequently. However, when a problem drinker decides to quit or tries to cut back on their use, they are often able to. Problem drinking is a challenge among college students. Someone who has developed an addiction may try to quit but will be unable to without support and addiction treatment. Although they may be able to control their consumption for a brief time, they will eventually revert back to drinking in excess. 

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The facts

The Statistics of College Students and Addiction

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 55% of full-time college students between ages eighteen and twenty-two drank alcohol in the past month and almost forty-percent report binge drinking in the last month. Binge drinking is defined by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health as drinking more than four drinks in one sitting (approximately two hours) for women and five drinks in one sitting for men. Another ten percent of college students reported heavy drinking (drinking on five or more days) in the last month. The most recent data provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show drinking by college students (between ages eighteen and twenty-four) contributes to approximately fifteen hundred student deaths each year and hundreds of thousands of reported physical and sexual assault cases. 

Drug use and addiction are also a challenge faced by many college students. A 2018 study conducted by the Campus Drug Prevention Program as part of Ohio State University indicated difficulties with drug use and addiction continue to rise on college campuses. Students from twenty-six institutions participated in the study, which showed that within the last year:

  • Approximately ten percent reported misusing pain medications, stimulants, and sedatives
  • Thirty-five percent report using illicit drugs in place of prescription drugs (93 percent report using marijuana as a replacement, 39 percent report using cocaine, 37 percent report using hallucinogens, and 28 percent report using MDMA)
  • College students face challenges with inhalants, methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl as well
  • One in 17 college students report daily use of marijuana
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How to Find a Drug Rehab for College Students

Some college campuses provide on-campus counseling and treatment for students seeking help with substance addiction. Depending on the campus, this may be free of charge, or they may provide assistance billing insurance to reduce the out-of-pocket cost extended to students and family members. If you are concerned your college-age student may struggle with addiction, and you want to get them help, reach out to our addiction help hotline today. Our skilled team of professionals can help you find a rehab for your college student where they can begin the journey to recovery. Addiction to drugs or alcohol affects each person in different ways.

For this reason, it is essential to find a rehab that treats your college student’s specific needs. It is also important to ensure the treatment program addresses any co-occurring mental or physical health challenges that may have led to using substances as a coping mechanism. There are thousands of rehabs across the nation. At My Recovery Source, we understand that finding the right one may seem overwhelming. Let our team help you find the best inpatient rehab today. 

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If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can: browse top-rated listings, visit our homepage, or visit www.samhsa.gov, or by calling 800-662-HELP.