Substance abuse high among students:

Photo by Claire Ekas.

By Stevi Breshears:

It’s no secret that college is a stressful time in one’s life. It isn’t supposed to be easy. For more and more students, however, the pressure becomes too much, and they feel the need to turn to something for relief.

Substance abuse among college students is on the rise. According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2016 binge drinking and amphetamine use were higher among college students than their non-student peers, and daily marijuana use is at the highest rate since the 1980s.

“Drugs are often used as a coping mechanism,” Aden Sharp, a religion major, said.

“What most students don’t actually realize is the fact that their actions will lead to unintended consequences later in life.” While these substances are sometimes seen as a means of escape, that’s not the only way college students can find themselves caught in their trap.

“I know a good handful of people who have turned to drugs as a way to party and ended up getting stuck in a routine of doing, buying and even selling drugs to the point their academic life suffered, or they even stopped caring all together,” John Rich, a business major said.

Students who are struggling with substance abuse can seek help from the Amarillo College Counseling Center. “Substance abuse is a common issue for college students.  Often it is co-occurring with another mental health issue such as depression or anxiety,” Dr. Alan Kee, counseling center director and psychology professor said.

“The AC Counseling Center can help students with substance abuse issues that are not too severe.  If the issue is severe, then they would need supervised medical care in an inpatient setting.  We can also refer them to specialty substance abuse treatment on more of an outpatient basis.”

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