An alarming amount of college students are abusing drugs and alcohol. According to a 2016 report, more than one-third of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 engaged in binge drinking in the past month and about 1 in 5 used an illicit drug in the past month.1 College-age students may use drugs for a number of reasons, including:

  • To feel good and get high
  • As a study aid to increase alertness and improve academic performance
  • To fit in with social standards and expectations
  • To reduce social anxiety or stress
  • To maintain or lose weight

Our luxury drug detox facility near Austin, Texas provides individualized detox programs for many of the commonly abused drugs on college campuses listed below. If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction or physical dependence on one of these drugs, contact us today to learn more about our detox center and treatment programs.

Alcohol

In 2016, 1.2 million full-time college students drank alcohol on an average day during the previous year. Full-time students who drank alcohol within the past month consumed an average of 4.1 drinks per day on the days they did drink.1 Clearly, alcohol is a popular substance among college students, but the risks remain high.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4,358 people under the age of 21 die in alcohol-related car crashes, poisonings, falls, burns, drownings, and suicides.2 Alcohol is a depressant, inhibiting the ability to move and think clearly, resulting in reckless behavior that could cause injury or death. Alcohol’s effects on the body are very harmful and long-lasting, so even alcohol detox can even be deadly if it’s not completed under the supervision of a doctor.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

  • Impaired coordination and reaction time
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired vision and hearing
  • Mood swings
  • Unconsciousness
  • Blackouts
  • Vomiting

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Bone loss
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stroke
  • Vision problems
  • Ulcers
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts/behaviors

Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as weed or pot, is a mixture of the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The main ingredient in marijuana that causes mind-altering effects is THC, but the cannabis plant also contains more than 500 chemicals and compounds called cannabinoids, which are chemically related to THC.3

In 2016, 703,759 full-time college students used marijuana on an average day during the previous year.1 Although the laws are changing and there is currently a great deal of conflicting information out there, the National Institute on Drug Addiction states that 30 percent of individuals who use marijuana may develop some degree of marijuana use disorder, including addiction.4

Marijuana studies suggest that usage can cause cognitive impairment, but the degree to which a person’s mental capabilities are impaired may be related to how often they use marijuana, how much they used, and how old they were when they first started using it.5

Short-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse

  • Impaired coordination and judgment
  • Impaired memory
  • Feelings of relaxation and euphoria
  • Feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic
  • Altered senses
  • Hallucinations
  • Lung irritation
  • Increased heart rate

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse

  • Impaired brain development
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts/actions
  • Frequent chest illness
  • Increased risk of chest/lung infections

Adderall

Adderall, also called the study drug or the smart drug, is frequently abused by college students due to its ability to increase wakefulness. Many students use Adderall to lose weight or to pull all-nighters so they can study for longer periods of time. There are rumors that this drug also increases cognitive abilities and improve a person’s ability to learn, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research has not found this to be true.7

When combined with alcohol, stimulant drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin will mask the depressant effects of alcoholic beverages, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning. Adderall also decreases sleep and appetite, resulting in malnutrition and related problems.

Short-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse

  • Suppressed appetite and sleep
  • Increased alertness
  • Euphoria
  • Stroke
  • Paranoia and hostility

Long-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse

  • Malnutrition
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures

Cocaine

Cocaine, also known as coke, snow, and blow, is a stimulant drug commonly abused by students. In fact, in 2016, 11,338 full-time students used cocaine on an average day during the previous year.1 Cocaine is an extremely powerful drug and individuals may become addicted after just one use.

Students typically use cocaine to get high, as it quickly provides a euphoric effect, but continued regular use can cause severe health problems and even death. Drug detox can help students break their addiction and overcome the unpleasant physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal in a safe environment.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

  • Bursts of energy
  • Increased alertness
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Increased body temperature and blood pressure

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

  • Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis C
  • Malnutrition
  • Hallucinations/paranoid psychosis
  • Insomnia
  • Bowel decay
  • Loss of smell and frequent nosebleeds
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory failure

Ecstasy

On college campuses, ecstasy (MDMA) is considered a party drug and is abused by students because of the high it creates. Otherwise referred to as molly, the love drug, or X, ecstasy is a synthetic drug that produces the same effects of stimulants and hallucinogens, distorting a person’s senses and perception of time and increasing heart rate and blood pressure.9 In 2016, 9,809 full-time college students used hallucinogenic drugs on an average day during the previous year.1

Although college students may be misinformed that ecstasy is less dangerous than other stimulant and hallucinogenic drugs, this is a false. Ecstasy can be very dangerous when several small doses are taken in a short amount of time or when a large dose is taken all at once.10 Additionally, research has shown that ecstasy abuse increases long-term memory and learning problems and increases the risk of unsafe sexual behaviors due to an increase in hormones that affect sexual arousal and trust.9

Short-Term Effects of Ecstasy Abuse

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Extreme confusion/anxiety
  • Nausea

Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy Abuse

  • Impaired memory and learning
  • Hyperthermia
  • Liver, kidney, and heart failure
  • Increased risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Prescription Drugs

Students also commonly abuse prescription drugs especially central nervous system depressants, like benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium), which are used to treat anxiety and panic attacks, and sleep medications like Ambien and Lunesta.11 Although students may have initially received these medications from a doctor, limited adult supervision provides ample opportunity for abuse and sharing of prescription drugs.

When combined with alcohol or over-the-counter drugs, depressants can be very harmful to students’ health, lowering brain activity, heartbeat, and respiration to dangerous levels.11 Additionally, students who decide to suddenly cease the use of these drugs after abusing them for some time can experience deadly withdrawal symptoms including seizures. The only safe way to stop all abuse of prescription depressant drugs is with medically assisted drug detox.

Short-Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever

Long-Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Seizures
  • Death
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing problems
  • Insomnia

An alcohol or drug detox program can help students safely stop all use of addictive substances such as the ones listed above. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction while in college, it’s not too late to get help. Contact our trusted detox center today.

 

References:

  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2361/ShortReport-2361.html
  2. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/underagedrinking/Underage_Fact.pdf
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
  5. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana/what-are-marijuanas-long-term-effects-brain
  6. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body
  7. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/stimulant-adhd-medications-methylphenidate-amphetamines
  8. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
  9. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly
  10. http://abovetheinfluence.com/drugs/mdma/#facts
  11. http://abovetheinfluence.com/drugs/prescription/#facts
  12. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/depressants.html
  13. http://www.monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-vol2_2016.pdf
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