College is a time in the lives of many where chaos runs rampant. Though it is also a time for education and personal growth, our college years are often full of stress, peer pressure, and strained relationships. Unfortunately, these three variables tend to get the best of most young people, and substance abuse ensues.
However, college does not have to be a place to acquire a life-long addiction. There are several ways in which a young student can work to avoid falling into the traps of addiction. Take a few minutes and read up on a few helpful hints for avoiding addiction issues in college.
Arm yourself with knowledge.
Armed with knowledge of the epidemic taking over college campuses nationwide, it is easier to maintain sobriety (or some semblance of such). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports these shocking stats:
- Four of every five college students drink, and half binge drink.
- Nearly 2,000 students die every year from alcohol use.
- Close to 100,000 are sexually assaulted or raped while drinking.
- An average 600,000 college kids are injured while intoxicated
Do not underestimate the power of peer pressure.
Peer pressure may seem like an elementary concept, but even the best of us battle the urge to “fit in” with surrounding groups. It is human nature. Social identity theories are key to understanding how peer pressure works. Due to the social nature of humans, we often base our self worth in the hands of those around us. The undeniable urge to be one of the group often drives students to use drugs or alcohol as this is the “cool” thing to do in college.
Stress management is key.
The stress of balancing family, school, and a social life can be overwhelming for young people. College is a hustle and bustle kind of lifestyle and stress management is the key to maintaining a level disposition.
Be meticulous about scheduling time during the week and on weekends. Idle hands do not help to relieve stress caused by mounting papers and projects. Keep busy with constructive activities rather than destructive parties.
Learn how to have fun without drinking or drugging.
It may seem like the only fun to be had in college is to drink excessively, but there are so many other activities in which fun can be found. Learn to have a good time without getting “faded.” Try throwing a sober party with board games, card games, and other alternate forms of entertainment. Dance. Talk. Create. Share college war stories. Believe it or not, alcohol is not the only way to relieve the stress of a long day’s work. So, learn how to have fun in other ways.