Why College and University Students Become Addicts

addicted college studentAddiction is an epidemic that is spreading through university campuses and college dorm rooms in the form of substance abuse, promiscuity, eating disorders and more. Addiction hits college age people through environmental influences, peer pressure and stress. Some cases of addiction are brought about because of mental disorders while other cases of addiction spawn mental disorders. This age group is particularly susceptible to bad decision making because it is the first time in their lives that they are on their own.

The environmental influences that surround college students are things that many of them are encountering for the first time, such as drugs, alcohol and offers of sex. Often times, people do not know themselves until they are put into life situations that they have never experienced before, and many college age people discover weaknesses they have for pleasurable substances and acts that they were not previously aware of.

Sometimes, it is peer pressure that leads college students to addiction. This is just as real during college years as it is in high school and grade school years. Many people who are introverted or lack confidence feel labeled as “lame” or “a downer” if they do not party and be experimental, so they allow substances and sex to be pushed on them. One way a person might discover they have addictive tendencies is when they are unable to give up something that someone else pushed on them.

And lastly, stress is a major cause of addiction among university and college students. Stress is a primary cause of addiction in any demographic, but college age people are particularly prone to stress for a number of reasons. One is that college is legitimately difficult and stressful. Expectations are high and course loads are heavy. Another reason is that college is the age range when many people discover addictive tendencies and mental disorders they did not previously know were there. This can cause a total breakdown of the person’s coping abilities.

The Life of a College Student

college student lifeThe world is changing ever faster, and each up and coming generation has to adapt to change with more and more agility. This world is proven to have a rate of change that is constantly speeding up rather than slowing down. This reality is not an easy one to adjust to, and young people bare a heavy burden in making sense of the world they live in. College students in particular face some of the most difficult life changes today. Not only are they absorbing an incredible amount of information as students, but they are also in what is statistically the most volatile years of a person’s life.

Individuals in their early to mid twenties are more likely to have mental breaks than any other age group. Psychologists have determined that this is the age range most likely to reveal mental disorders, mental illnesses and addictive tendencies. This is due to the fact that this age group is right in the middle of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. For some, this transition occurs sooner or later than early to mid twenties, but on the whole, people tend to become financially, emotionally and psychologically independent from their parents and their rearing. Some people are well prepared for this moment and take the growing pains in stride while others suffer immensely from their lack of preparedness or stability. Sadly, the stress of these years is what has lead to numerous school shootings, suicides and other violent incidences.

This is not to say that these years are not full of great reward as well. Many people call college the best time of their life. It is a time of immense liberation, enlightenment and opportunity. Many people find who they are meant to be in college and firm up an admirable identity through their education and exposure to global matters. However, it is very hard to predict who will come out of college stronger than they were when they started and who will come out of college shaken to their core by the weight of the world. The best thing you can do for a college student you care about is encourage them and remind them that they are cared about.