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Prescription Drug Abuse in College Students


Published: May 6, 2024

College life is often marked by the pursuit of academic excellence, personal growth, and newfound freedoms. However, it also introduces challenges, including the pressures of maintaining grades, managing time, and navigating social environments. In this context, prescription drug abuse in college students has emerged as a significant issue, often overlooked until it escalates into a serious concern.

What is Prescription Drug Misuse?

Prescription drug misuse involves the use of medication without a prescription, in a way other than prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited. According to Campus Drug Prevention, 11% of college students reported using one or more types of prescription drugs (stimulants, sedatives, opioids) nonmedically within the last three months. 

A survey from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy found:

  • 6.8% of students reported misusing pain medications
  • 7.8% reported misusing sedatives
  • 14.5% reported misusing stimulants

Why Do College Students Misuse Prescription Drugs?

  • Academic Pressure: With the increasing demands for academic success, students may turn to stimulants to enhance focus during studying or to manage heavy course loads.
  • Social Influences: Peer pressure and the prevalence of drug use in social settings can normalize misuse, making it more acceptable to engage in.
  • Mental Health Challenges: Students facing anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues might misuse prescription drugs as a way to cope with their symptoms.

The Impact of Misuse

The misuse of prescription drugs can lead to a variety of adverse effects, including addiction, health complications, and even life-threatening situations. It can also affect academic performance and lead to disciplinary actions, potentially derailing a student’s educational and career goals.

Rockland Treatment Center’s Approach

If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug misuse, Rockland Treatment Center is here to help. Our compassionate team is committed to providing holistic and effective treatment strategies that address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

By fostering a supportive and informative environment, we can help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs and promote a healthier, more fulfilling college experience. Remember, taking the first step toward seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you or your loved one on the journey to recovery.

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