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How to Avoid Alcohol and Drug Abuse in College

a person refuses a drink

When you enter a college, there’s an overwhelming sense of freedom that you get for the first time in your life. 

With that freedom comes great responsibility. There are drug and alcohol temptations that you may never have dealt with before when you’re in college. In the worst-case scenarios, they can start to dictate your life – ultimately, you could end up in alcohol rehabilitation.

What may start out as a way to meet people or deal with stress can quickly become an addiction. According to a survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 33% of participating college students binge drank in the previous month.

No kid goes to college with the intention of ending up in rehab, but with drugs and alcohol available, the potential is there. In this post, we’re going to give you a few key tips for avoiding drug and alcohol abuse in college. Keep reading and you’ll keep yourself out of trouble and on the path to success in school.

How Substance Abuse Impacts College Students

College-aged kids usually get involved in drugs and alcohol for two reasons: partying, stress, or both. While college does offer you personal freedoms that you don’t have as a high school student, there’s also a lot of pressure to do well in classes and fit in with new crowds.

The simple fact of the matter is that substances are available to you as a college student. It’s up to you to be able to either abstain completely or, in the case of alcohol, use in moderation. 

Alcohol is the predominant substance that college students use at parties, but marijuana, cocaine, and MDMA are popular as well. When a student feels overwhelmed by their course load, they may start using things like Adderall or other stimulants to stay up and finish more work. These are prescription drugs, but drugs that can be abused like any other.

Addiction can have a massive impact on a student’s ability to keep up with their coursework. Once you start falling behind in school, it can be extremely difficult to catch up. Thus, drug and alcohol abuse in college can actually compromise your future. 

So, how do you stay away from these addictive substances?

Focus on Your Studies

You’re in college because you’re starting on the path to a career, not to party. If you’re finding that the temptations are too much for you, then it’s time to put all of your focus on your studies.

There’s always room to work harder in college. Even if you’re a straight-A student, you can set higher and higher goals for yourself to keep you on the right track. As soon as you disregard your studies, you’re leaving yourself a lot of room to partake in other activities – i.e. drugs and alcohol.

Balance Your Schedule

An unbalanced courseload can make college life a lot harder. If your schedule is too busy and stressing you out, don’t turn to stimulants to keep you focused. What you really need is to meet with an advisor to create a schedule that helps you succeed.

Keep the schedule balanced. Too much stress puts you at risk for substance abuse, but so does a schedule that gives you too much free time.

Get Involved in Extra-Curricular Activities

If you find your courseload too easy and you’ve got extra time on your hands, one great way to avoid bad influences is by partaking in extra-curricular activities. In college, this could mean anything – joining a rec sports league, starting a band, or getting a part-time job.

College is all about spreading your wings and finding who you are. Doing things outside of class hours is a great way to meet like-minded people without subjecting yourself to illicit substances.

Turn the Other Cheek at Parties

Partying is a part of the college experience, but that’s where all of the temptations manifest. Undoubtedly, you’re going to be exposed to drinking and drugs at college parties, but you never have to partake just because they’re there.

Turn the other cheek at parties. If someone offers you something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t let yourself get pressured into trying it. The feeling of acceptance you may get in the moment isn’t worth the potential for a drug problem or alcohol abuse down the road.

Surround Yourself With Positive Influences

Often, college is an opportunity to come into your own as a young person. You meet loads of new people with all sorts of different backgrounds, which is an exhilarating experience.

There are going to be good and bad influences among all of these new faces. To avoid drugs in college, one of the best things to do is surround yourself with positive influences. If you hang out with kids that party non-stop, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll end up doing that as well – but, the reverse is also true.

Stay in Touch With Your Friends and Family

It’s important to stay in touch with the people who know you best. Yes, college is a time to meet new people and discover yourself, but staying close with family and your old friends will help to keep you grounded as well.

A lot of college kids start drinking or taking drugs simply because they feel alone in a new place. It can be overwhelming leaving your old life behind and trying to meet new people, but your family will always be there.

If you’re feeling like you’re headed down the wrong path, it can be really helpful to phone home just to talk. No one knows you better than the people that raised you, so let them help you stay out of trouble.

Tennessee Alcohol Rehabilitation Is Here

Use these tips to keep drugs and alcohol out of your life while you’re transitioning into college. There’s nothing easy about growing up, but college is an important period that can have a lasting impact on your adult life.

Not everyone makes it out unscathed, which is why it’s important to recognize when you’ve got an issue. If drugs and alcohol abuse have become a part of your life as a college student, there’s no shame in seeking out a Tennessee Alcohol Rehabilitation Center to help you.

At Apex Recovery, we offer detox and rehab programs for all kinds of substance abuse. Visit our site to learn more about us, our staff, and the facility. When you’re ready to get help for your addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call Our Toll-Free Hotline 24/7 at 877.881.2689