Alcohol and drug abuse is a common issue among the college “party scene” and culture. Many students start experimenting with drugs at a young age recreationally, and access to the drugs becomes easier to obtain without having parental supervision 24-7 like they once had at home. We see time and time again, students’ stress and anxiety levels increase when they experience dramatic lifestyle changes and leaving for college can be one of them. If these issues go unaddressed professionally, students may lean towards poor coping mechanisms such as self-medicating and abusing drugs.
Some college students are hesitant to get help for a drug or alcohol problem because they don’t think their drug and alcohol abuse is a real problem. Another factor that keeps students from getting help is that they think treatment could set them back from graduating on time.
At Banyan Pompano, we encourage people who believe they are struggling with alcohol or drugs to come forward and seek help when they are ready. It’s important to realize that student health is the priority above everything else. Getting addiction treatment and mental health counseling for college students to treat an addiction professionally should be the first thing of importance over coursework, social events, and even graduation. If someone isn’t healthy and on a downward spiral, they won’t be able to enjoy the perks of college graduation and career opportunities that follow.
It’s important for college students to ask themselves, “Am I drinking too much?”, “Have my sleeping and eating patterns changed to unhealthy ones?”, “Am I missing out on classes and failing?”, “Have I stopped engaging in healthy habits like working out?” This is the first step in assessing any potential problems. If one’s addiction becomes unmanageable, then it is time to step back, take a good look at what is going on, and explore what the correct solution is. They could require dual diagnosis treatment to treat mental health issues as well.
In most cases, many students return to school and take a semester off to attend treatment. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself first and putting school on hold. The amount of time spent in addiction and mental health treatment is different for everyone and it could be under 30 days to over 90+ days. The end goal is to make sure you return to school sober and healthy, however long that may take.
Taking medical leave to get your health on track is nothing anyone should ever be ashamed of and it’s encouraged by ethical educators and medical professionals.
Depending on where your school is located and what outpatient programs are available in the area, this is a common schedule. There are intensive outpatient (IOP) programs that offer day and night therapy and they are typically 3-4 hours of group and individual therapy per day, 3-4 days per week.
Alcohol is the most abused substance among college kids. Withdrawal symptoms range from irritability, fatigue, nausea, shaking, sweats, and vomiting.
It’s a stimulant that many college students rely on as a study aid to focus, or even stay up all night and cram for an exam. College kids have become addicted to the drug without even realizing it, creating a higher intake to get the same effect. Withdrawal symptoms include headache, nausea, upset stomach and digestive issues, dry mouth, restlessness, and reduced appetite.
Benzos, commonly known as Valium and Xanax, are some of the most dangerous drugs to quit because the withdrawal symptoms can be deadly. Students with anxiety are likely to abuse benzos to relieve the stress of college life. Heavy benzo use may lead to hallucinations and seizures if students try to quit on their own without supervised medical detoxification.
Though often considered as a non-habit-forming drug, ecstasy is addictive and can cause severe medical issues. Withdrawal creates insomnia and depression as the brain tries to compensate for dealing without the drug and lower dopamine levels. This requires supervised medical detox.
Mental health counselors are located at most colleges and universities across the nation. Nowadays, it’s commonplace for colleges and universities to have their own clinic or rehabilitation center on-site, or affiliated with a local resource. The pressure of college can be a lot to take for many students. Many students have a co-occurring disorder that led to their drug use. Addiction treatment for college students is crucial in their success, and treating underlying mental health problems is key to a successful recovery.