Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Did you know that those who are enrolled in a full-time college program are twice as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than those who didn’t attend college? Unfortunately, college and university students make up the largest group of drug abusers throughout the nation and their drug of choice is alcohol.
Alcohol is the most popular as it is often seen as socially-acceptable, so it can be difficult to notice a problem, such as dependency. Binge or high-risk drinking is the most common, costly and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. According to a national survey, 60 percent of college students drank alcohol in the past month and 2 out of 3 engaged in binge drinking during the same time-frame.
Research shows that time spent drinking, and the amount of alcohol consumed, will affect a student’s attendance in class, study time, and academic performance– showing a stronger impact on their GPA than time spending doing other non-academic activities, such as social media.
While alcohol is the most common drug abused on campus, students experiment with many substances, including:
Students experiment with drugs for several reasons, but the Addiction Center attributes the following factors to student substance abuse: stress, course load, curiosity, and peer pressure.
A campus community comprises people of different cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, religious beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities. Different beliefs and values, and the distinct ways we express our individuality, contribute to a rich campus life.
That said, it’s important that all students, faculty, and staff respect the unique qualities each person brings to a campus. When we do this, the entire campus benefits.
A couple areas to focus efforts on and/or review current efforts to increase inclusiveness on campus:
- Implicit Bias
- Sexuality and Gender
Mental Wellness, which is as important as physical wellness, is an often-overlooked topic. PC continues to make strong efforts to provide more resources and combat the growing issue of mental illnesses on campus.
Mental Wellness is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The start of the school year can be an exciting time, but also a stressful time for students. Stress, which affects a student’s mental wellness, can be manifested by coursework, new experiences, social pressures, alcohol and drugs, etc.
Research provided by the American College Health Association underscores the issue that students don’t know how to cope with these stressors:
- 50% felt things were hopeless.
- 60% felt very lonely.
- 80% felt very exhausted, not physically, but overwhelmed by everything to do.
In fact, a report by the National Council on Disability found that students feel that better equipping staff and school officials with the tools and training to identify when a student is having a hard time coping, and subsequently guide them to resources available on campus would make a tremendous difference.
PC understands college is a time for students to define themselves, not to be bogged down by stress – it’s critical to provide students with the tools to be able to do that.
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