The teenage and youthful years are the most suitable times for most people to discover themselves, take silly risks and experiment with a bottle of booze or two. Certain young folks, however, tend to go an extra mile – they experiment with drugs. Sometimes their besties might offer it to them, in a dare to prove something. This and many other scenarios depict how students take the ‘baby’ steps to drug addiction.
Drug use in college has increased alarmingly over the years. Most of the users are youths who, for the most of their lives did not get to interact deeply with the outside world. They had just gotten out of their parents’ reach and are willing to experience a lot of things. But most of these things are harmful, drugs inclusive. Drug addiction, for the most part, is a chronic disease working in the background. You never realize it’s a problem until you are in the terminal stage. This is why so many addicts have it very tough whenever they try to quit.
Common Risks That Can Predispose Students to Addiction
Broken homes: A lot of teenagers who witness their parents separate sometimes experience a downward emotional spiral. Even if they might not realize it then, a kind of bitterness builds up in them and pushes them to find relief. This can occur especially if the parent-child relationship is strained. A child who’s scared to voice out his feelings will turn into something else to calm them down.
Lack of love: Again, parents must understand that unlike them, their children see love differently. You’re there, cheering them on bad days or just spending time chatting with them – they take it to heart more than you enrolling them in the best school. Teenagers who hardly see their parents around may develop a thought that their parents value their jobs more than them. This leads to the foremost tidbits of depression, and they would turn to anything that would make them feel great about themselves.
Low self-esteem: Just like the lack of love, hurtful words from guardians in a bid to rectify wrongdoings can go wrong. Teenagers who get talked down or bullied can develop a low perception of themselves. This makes them turn to alcohol and drugs, two things that would never talk them down.
The consequences attached to drug addiction can be life-threatening. The drugs virtually control their lives so that older adults can take advantage of them. From simple requests like “rewrite my essay for me please” to more sordid and demeaning requests, these students risk it all – for one or two chemical substances. Taking into account college drug use stats, some of these drugs eventually lead to depression. Youths get distracted, grades drop, some even have nervous breakdowns. Lives and future careers are delayed, relationships are lost, even whole families get scattered to pieces.
Possible Ways Out
The issue of college students and drugs is one that should never be taken lightly. One of the ways we can help these students is approaching them with love. Many times we come at them with insults and hurtful words. These only serve to drive them deeper into their addictions. We must understand that addictions are not developed in a day. This means they cannot be dealt with in a day.
Another helpful tip is working with the student to help him realize he has a problem. This is very challenging because most addicts don’t think they have anything wrong with them. They simply feel you don’t want them to be happy, or you don’t understand them. To help an addict, you must first gain his trust. And don’t judge! This is very crucial.
You can also encourage them to drop the drug addiction one step at a time. More than anything, an addict needs love and support. And it gets more effective if these things are from his closest family members or friends. We must understand that in every addict lives a good-hearted person who somehow ended up in this ‘mess’. Many things could trigger a drug addiction. Let them be assured that you are with them on this; encourage them constantly.
If they need to check into a rehab facility, do not ostracize them. Again, love and support exert a very durable influence. Of course, a large part of the process depends on them, but you should do your part as well.
Living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also a great solution. Apart from its amazing physical results, it helps an addict get in touch with himself more. He gets to feel amazing, and seeing himself looking different might be the trigger he needs.
Always keep this to heart – college drug addicts are people like us. They could be our sons, daughters, siblings – anyone. Do well not to judge, and if you ever see a college student on the verge of ‘drowning’ do not hesitate to be of any help, you can find.