Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Getting the “High” Out of Higher Education

There is a huge pile of college gear sitting on my living room floor. In two weeks, my daughter begins her freshman year. College is definitely on my mind which is why my eye caught an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning. The article is entitled Campus Life 101: Staying Sober and addresses the growing problem of substance abuse on college campuses. The focus of the article was on the efforts of a few major universities establishing substance abuse recovery programs.

According to the article, students ages 18-24 are the fastest growing demographic of Americans seeking treatment for substance abuse. The highest use of alcohol (five or more drinks on five or more occasions within a month) are Americans ages 20-22 at college campuses. During the first decade of the millennium, students seeking substance abuse help more than doubled  compared with older Americans (SAMHSA). One consequence of increased substance abuse on campuses is increasing drop out rates due to addiction.

Advertisement

Bottom line, college is a difficult place to stay sober. The idea of a developing a recovery community on campuses is a positive move, but my concern is that colleges are addressing symptoms not causes. To tackle the problem, one has to look at the causes of increased substance abuse and fix those.

Here are 10 underlying issues that come to mind:

1) President Emeritus, Donald Harward, of Bates College in Maine believes that substance abuse is a symptom of students not being engaged in academic or civil life on campus.

2) Surveys indicate that students use substances to relax, deal with stress or escape problems.

3) The college environment promotes drinking behaviors (NIAAA).

4) Many college students believe that their peers drink more than they actually do. The belief that “everyone is doing it” and drinking is acceptable leads to increased use (NIAAA).

Advertisement

5) Movies about college glorify drinking and partying as if these are a right of passage (National Lampoon’s Animal House, Old School, etc).

6) Media, in general, glorifies drinking and escaping through substances.

7) Substance abuse can be prompted by poor coping skills when it comes to handling academic pressure.

8) Students who have difficulty adjusting to transitions, leaving home and balancing social and academic life are at risk for substance abuse.

9) College administrators have given up trying to control their communities and take a “hands off” approach.

10) Students who have untreated mental health issues like depression and anxiety can medicate through substances.

While I applaud the few universities trying to address treatment of substance abuse problems on their campuses, the real need is to address the underlying causes. In order to take the “high” out of higher education, we have to address the social, emotional and spiritual problems that lead a person to escape and avoid through substance abuse.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cx

    Things haven’t changed in over 40 years, now.

    The same issues were a crisis in the 1970s, and the solutions were the same.

    Of course, back then my country had the money to at least try to solve the problem. (Not that we did, or even try very hard.) Now the rich have that money, so I guess that maybe we’ll do something after football season. Just like the last 40 years of the “crisis”.

Previous Posts

I Spend, She Saves: 6 Tips on What To Do About Money
It's a common scenario, one person in a couple is a spender, the other wants to save. Fighting over money puts strain on even the best relationship. So how do you work through what seems like a major difference in approaching life? The key is ...

posted 6:00:31am Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

When Healing Doesn't Seem to Come
I'm often asked on the radio if I believe that God heals. Yes, I do. I've seen God heal in my own life and the lives of my clients. Let's keep in mind that God heals in many ways. Sometimes it is a supernatural touch, other times he uses doctors ...

posted 6:00:59am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

5 Important Points When Dealing With a High Conflict Person
We all have that person in our lives that drives us crazy and personalizes conflict, making it difficult to handle. Here are five points to keep in mind when dealing with a high conflict person. Choose your battles. Since most ...

posted 6:00:25am Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Consequences of Holding a Grudge
A grudge involves holding resentment because of some real or imagined wrong. A grudge develops when you don’t like the way a conflict ended. Nursing a grudge can lead to revenge. Consider the story of John the Baptist in Mark 6 of the ...

posted 6:00:42am Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Angry: 7 Steps to Regain Control
Anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be controlled. If you struggle with anger, consider these steps to regain control. Admit that you are out of control. While anger is a normal emotion and not a sin, anger expression can be sinful. If ...

posted 6:00:25am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.