According to a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, almost 23% of college students in America are medically diagnosed with drug addiction. The statistic is alarmingly high compared with drug addicts in the general public, which is 8.5%. But what is more disturbing is that most students don’t know how to reach out for help to break the cycle of addiction and seek treatment.
Why Are Colleges The Brewing Pot For Drug Addiction?
The amount of pressure an average college student goes through is the perfect catalyst for anxiety and depression. For example, making the most out of the “best years of their life,” juggling between work and studies, student loans, navigating the maze of adulthood, all while preparing for the professional career afterward. But the combination of these factors with easy and immediate access to alcohol, prescription, and recreational drugs is the culprit behind the proliferation of addiction among college students. Moreover, such an environment makes it even harder for someone trying to quit making them feel like a failure. Unfortunately, most of the students end up taking their life.
Here are a few small steps you can take to ensure a speedy and lasting recovery.
Visit The Counselling Center
If you feel like you are losing control of your drug and alcohol consumption, your first course of action is to visit the on-campus counseling centers. Most colleges even have specialists for dealing with substance use disorder who provide you with all the required information and refer you to a support group. Some colleges have set up on-campus recovery houses and started drug abuse recovery programs such as the 12-step recovery plan. Educate yourself with the information using the resources provided by the counselors.
12-Step Recovery Program
Almost every collegiate recovery program incorporates a 12-step model, commonly used for overcoming the issue of drug abuse. Initially, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous started this procedure consisting of 12 steps to help people battling alcohol addiction. Based on spirituality, this program revolves around believing in a higher power that can provide a human with the strength needed to fight this battle. Then the program moves onto the acceptance of past mistakes, making amends, and finally learning the new code of behavior. Nowadays, its scope has expanded to other recovery treatments such as Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and even Codependency Anonymous.
Social Media Detox
Social media has given rise to a toxic achievement culture where everyone highlights their accomplishments and success. But what we all fail to recognize is that these are carefully selected and curated entails of someone’s life. A reality filtered through the lens of social media.
All of this can make you feel like you are missing out on life, letting everyone around you down, or merely failing at life. As a result, you feel miserable and end up in the pit of despair, thus increasing the chance of a relapse. So taking a break from social media and only focusing on your life during the period of treatment can prove very rewarding.
Join A Support Group
What might help during this time is finding a group of people on the same journey as you. Someone you can relate to and learn from their experience. Going to such meetings can make you feel more connected and less alone. These programs occasionally invite individuals who have defeated substance abuse to motivate and inspire you. Furthermore, you can engage in healthy activities with them or adopt healthy habits with them.
College students recovering from substance abuse disorder struggle with escaping the drinking and drug culture of the college. Especially the early phase of sobriety when it is easier to indulge back. So when you leave a rehab facility and join college, follow these tips to avoid relapsing:
- Avoid frat houses, college dorm parties, or any environment with excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
- Cut ties with people who can prompt you to use drugs again.
- Stop consuming media depicting drug consumption.
- Find healthy ways to have fun.
Be vocal about your struggle and don’t be afraid to form personal boundaries.