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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Facts About College Stress and Addiction

It’s not a surprise that drugs and alcohol are intertwined with college life. For many young adults, college is the first time they’re on their own, and the freedom can be, well, intoxicating.

But sometimes addiction sneaks up on college students, not because of the party culture, but due to extreme stress. The same young adults who revel in making their own decisions and dabbling in drugs may find that adulthood is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Whether the worry is about getting a passing grade in a tough class, trying to come up with next semester’s tuition payment, or learning to live with roommates for the first time, sometimes the pressure is just too much to handle. And that’s when self-medicating with drugs or alcohol can become a problem.

What Does the Science Say? 

Research finds that stress and drug abuse are inextricably linked. When faced with stress, the brain releases chemicals to help you cope. Drugs like heroin and morphine act similarly to the stress hormones secreted by the body, but more powerfully and more quickly. Therefore, your brain associates drugs and alcohol with feeling less stressed—so you keep doing more, and the destructive cycle continues.

Also, addiction is more likely in people who have a co-existing condition or dual diagnosis, such as depression or an eating disorder. These conditions are not uncommon in young adulthood.

Trends in College-Age Addiction

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), 80 percent of college students drink alcohol; more than half of this number binge drink on a regular basis.

Getting high on campus is a continuing trend too. Marijuana, cocaine, and prescription stimulant medications are prevalent among 20-somethings.

One-on-one coaching, detoxification, and talk therapy are all part of a multidisciplinary approach to addiction recovery for young adults who recognize their drinking or drug use has gotten out of control. Addiction may be a temporary roadblock in your journey of higher education, but it doesn’t have to permanently derail your plans.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Hope Academy offers a variety of drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs for young adults, including our unique sobriety college program. Our CA rehab programs for adults age 18 to 26 include residential treatment and outpatient programs, and our team is available to help with insurance authorizations, interventions, and more. Call 866.930.4673 to get help for you or a loved one--or to speak to one of our rehab specialists about sobriety college and vocational training during addiction treatment.

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