The Reality Of Substance Abuse
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Health and Wellness

The Reality Of Substance Abuse

It's not worth your life.

The Reality Of Substance Abuse

A few days ago, I learned that an old friend I went to grade school, middle school, and high school with, passed away suddenly. When you hear news like this, your mind has no way to comprehend what has happened. You just can’t believe that someone who was so young and had so much life ahead of them, had their time cut short. You start to think of their close family and friends and imagine how hard this must be for them to go through. A parent should not out live their child, that is not the way life is supposed to go. But in some instances, in a case like this one, unfortunately that’s what happened. What my friend was subjected to, was substance abuse.

Substance abuse occurs when someone uses a drug for something other than what it was originally intended or prescribed for. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of college students fall victim to when they enter life on campus.

Growing up, we never realize the seriousness of drugs. When I was in high school I knew a lot of people who would smoke marijuana. Marijuana is one of the most common illicit drugs used among high school students and we come to know that it is not such a bad thing, until it opens the door to other drugs.

The difference is when we transition from high school to college, some of us are introduced to the more serious drugs. For some, they start by drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, while others start taking Adderall to help improve their concentration. For others, they fall into the use of the more serious drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine. According to the Addiction Center, in 2012, over 600,000 people tried cocaine for the first time and the average age at the first use was 20 years old. That means, the average age of people who have tried this drug, were college age kids. Many people who use cocaine, will do so in an environment where other drugs are available, and are also dependent on other substances such as alcohol or marijuana.

Some of the most commonly used substances among college students include alcohol, Adderall, marijuana, and ecstasy. About 80% of college students consume Alcohol, while 35% use Adderall, 50% Marijuana, and 9% ecstasy.

So, why do college students turn to drugs?

One of the most common reasons is stress. Many students become overwhelmed by their coursework, part-time jobs, internships, social life, etc., and many turn to drugs as a way to cope. Another common reason is their course load. Many students will take stimulants such as Adderall to help them stay awake long enough to study or complete school assignments. These are most likely obtained without a prescription. Curiosity is another reason why many college students will turn to drugs, as well as peer pressure.

What I would like to know is what can we do to help those who fall victim to substance abuse? Why has it become such a common thing on college campuses, causing many young adults’ lives to be cut so short?

The first thing that we should all know is how to notice the signs of substance abuse. Some common signs that you could look for are: the inability to sleep, drowsiness, loss or increase in appetite, cold and sweaty palms, red and watery eyes, enlarged pupils, a change in overall personality, drops in grades at school or performance at work, and chronic dishonesty.

Once we come to know and recognize the signs of substance abuse, we can find ways to help. If you’re reading this and are addicted to any substance, please take this as a warning to stop. Your life is worth so much more than you are making of it by putting these toxins into your body. You have your whole life ahead of you, don’t waste it by putting yourself in harms way.

For the family who lost their son, know that my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. For my old friend who’s time was cut way too short, know that you will be missed greatly by many of your former peers.

For further information on substance abuse, visit the links below:

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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