Sober High School and College Campuses

Recent statistics show that there is a general decreasing trend in the number of high school students abusing alcohol and drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs. While this is good news, the same thing cannot be said of college students. As of 2017, there are a growing number of marijuana users among students at the college level with experts saying it is at its all-time high.

Whether it is increasing or decreasing, one cannot deny the existence of a problem especially among the younger members of the population. As such, there is a growing need for more sober high school and college campuses.

But why are teenagers so vulnerable to the perils of addiction?

Psychology and behavioral experts say that it may have something to do with academic stress whereby the increasing demands of various coursework can put significant strain on the abilities of young people to effectively cope. Add to this internships, part-time jobs, and social obligations and you have a cornucopia of factors that can easily deplete an individual’s energy reserves. It is for this reason that many students try drugs that will help them stay awake, perform better in exams and even in physical activities, or even as a means to temporarily forget these stresses in their young lives.

Most youngsters try illicit substances out of curiosity or even peer pressure. The latter can have serious repercussions on the individual’s self-esteem as the inherent need to ‘belong’ is especially strong among adolescents. Many are longing for acceptance in a social group outside the family. Sadly, some of these groups are not necessarily the kind that will say no to an opportunity to use drugs and other psychoactive substances.

High school and college students are also exploring the different aspects of their lives. Some drink alcohol or take drugs to test the waters, the limits of how society will react. It is not uncommon to find some of these kids breaking the law or come into contact with the law.

High school and college campuses, especially those in the student affairs, can help by providing an environment where students can maximize their learning potential without necessarily adding more stress on students. While coursework is an important part of their curriculum, school officials can provide guidelines on the more efficient distribution of course requirements so as not to tax students that much.
The early identification of potentially at-risk students and the institution of more supportive plans of action can also help. Since one of the reasons why young individuals use illicit substances is because of problems in other aspects of their lives, counseling sessions can help provide these teenagers with the means to help them address such concerns. Sometimes, all they ever need is someone to listen to them.

School organizations can also work with local drug rehabilitation programs to educate its population about the perils of such substances.

High school and college campuses have a very important role to play in reducing the rate of substance abuse among the young population of society. After all, they are these young people’s second home.

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