College is supposed to be about self-discovery, creating lifelong friendships, developing independence, and seeing what the world has to offer. Unfortunately, your parents, teachers, and other students may place pressure on you to be the person they want you to be, allowing yourself to give in to drugs or alcohol and potentially develop a mental illness. By getting yourself started with detoxing to support your recovery, you will be physically and mentally ready to handle college.
Hiding What You Feel
It can be a lot of pressure studying, partying, planning the future, and enjoying your college years. You may feel like you are pulled in a bunch of different directions. All of these overwhelming feelings can lead to anxiety and depression. It can be easy to obtain alcohol on-campus when a lot of students are drinking in their dorm rooms. College students tend to use alcohol and drugs to mask their feelings. The depression, the expectations, and the pressure become too much to handle, and it can feel like we are trapped. Research says that suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses. If you are attending a prestigious university, you may feel that you need to put on a facade of being happy all the time as you fear people will not understand why you would feel depressed.
Social Media Pressures
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are staying at home and taking virtual classes instead of being on campus. This can mean spending a lot of time on social media, where people tend to brag about the accomplishments they made in college such as good grades, a new relationship, and other new accomplishments. You may think that if you have not accomplished as much as your friends have, you are not experiencing college life the right way. This will cause feelings of being overwhelmed, insecure, and isolated. This lack of support and constant pressure can lead to suicidal ideation.
When the pressure becomes too much for the student, they tend to lean towards “study drugs” that boost alertness and mental activity for hours. These drugs are typically used when pulling all-nighters during finals week or when a deadline is approaching. Study drugs, though, can be very dangerous to take if they are not prescribed to you, as drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are for people with certain mental health conditions like ADHD. There is a whole study drug culture on college campuses; people sell these pills with the promise of being able to study for long periods of time. Adderall, though, is a controlled substance that can lead to physical and psychological dependence. It can lead to uncontrollable trembling, sleep disorders, episodes of anxiety and depression, nausea, and mood swings. No test or drug is worth ending up in the hospital.
Binge drinking is consuming too much alcohol in a short period of time. For men, it is having five or more drinks within two hours; for women, four or more drinks. As a response to the academic pressure and the need to have fun, college students tend to binge drink to feel better about themselves. According to Forbes, 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die every year from binge drinking. Alcohol poisoning is the cause of death; it impairs automatic breathing functions due to high levels of alcohol.
Taking Advantage of Your School’s Resources
College may be very stressful during this uncertain time, but it does not have to be uncontrollable. The first thing you can do is call your campus health service department to talk about your recovery. You can also find information on the websites of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Many colleges offer free on-campus mental health counseling services online and through the phone.
You can also speak to your school’s disability department to get a proper diagnosis either for substance abuse disorder or a mental illness. You can talk to the department to see if you can get any special accommodations, whether it is needing more time during exams or some time off from school to go to detox. To prevent your schoolwork from stressing you out and turning to drugs or alcohol, contact your school’s online tutoring services through chat or live video. They will work one-on-one with you to make sure you understand your course material and can accommodate you based on any limitations you have with learning the work.
Drug Detox During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The earlier you check into treatment, the more likely you are able to maintain your sobriety long after you graduate college. The first step in recovery is detox where you allow the drugs to leave your system. Medical detox can prevent uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Instead of trying to detox at home, it is best that you receive medical supervision to monitor and manage any complications you may have. This is required especially if you are trying to rid your body of drugs like alcohol, benzodiazepines, Adderall, and ecstasy. You can receive withdrawal medication and online counseling for successful treatment. Checking into detox treatment will give you the control you need to manage your co-occurring disorder while taking college courses.
College can be a stressful time and the COVID-19 pandemic does not make your stress any better. The academic stress and developing perfectionism while at school can cause you to develop anxiety or depression. To mask those negative feelings, students frequently use drugs or alcohol in hopes that they will feel better when unknowingly, they will feel worse. At the Detox Center of Colorado, we understand just how frustrating it is for you to pass your college courses and try to take control of your co-occurring disorder. Detox is the first step towards recovery, and we encourage you to take that first step. Our goal is to restore your health by providing you with a personalized treatment plan. Our staff includes highly trained addiction specialists and medical personnel who will not let you go through this alone. Please take that first step by calling our detox facility at (303) 952-5035.