Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Getting the “High” Out of Higher Education

posted by Linda Mintle

partyI love watching college football. You all know Michigan is my team! But what I don’t love is watching the number of college kids getting totally trashed at games. It’s like a right of passage that doesn’t end well.

An article in the Wall Street Journal 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.

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).

5) Movies about college glorify drinking and partying as if these are a right of passage (Think 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.

 

 



Previous Posts

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon
I'll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, "No one will play with 'Sandy' because she doesn't do what they say!" I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle. Would you be

posted 7:00:24am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Look Before You Lock: Leaving Kids in Hot Cars
It's August. It's hot! You just need to run into the store for a few minutes to grab a few groceries. Your six-month-old is sleeping soundly and he really needs a nap. Should you leave him be and run in to the store? With all the news about children dying in hot cars, the Dr. Linda Mintle radio sh

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

More Bad News for Pot Smokers
As the legalization of marijuana gains momentum, more data pours in that is NOT good news. Here are some of the findings: Sometimes, marijuana is addictive. If you begin as a teen, you have a higher chance of developing an addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Use, about 9% who

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Robin Williams: Laughter and Sadness
The news that Robin Williams had died, hit me hard. This incredible funny man was introduced to me as an alien on Mork and Mindy. Immediately, one could see the quick wit of a comedian destined for stardom. He made us laugh! Then he broadened his stage to movies and made us cry, cheer and feel i

posted 6:19:47am Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

And the Winner for the Highest Calorie Meal in a Restaurant Goes To...
Are you on the go and too busy to cook? Before you pull in to that chain restaurant for a quick meal, consider the calorie count of some of the meals. You might be a little sticker shocked when it comes to the high count. One group hands out awards for those meals that go over the top in terms of

posted 7:00:46am Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.