New Drug Epidemic on College Campus

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English 162
October 4,2012

New Drug Epidemic on College Campuses

Prescription drug abuse among college students is a growing trend on most campuses. Students are using these drugs inappropriately to not only “get high”, but to help with concentration when cramming for papers or tests, to self-medicate for anxiety or depression, and even to enhance their stamina when playing sports. Many people have stereotypes of what an alcoholic or addict is, and most people don't associate that image with young students. Although drug education has been mandatory in the US throughout grade school drug use continues to rise in college students. College is known as a time for experimentation, but for some students experimentation can turn into addiction. Being young and in college doesn't protect you from addiction. Responsible behavior does.

Alcohol and drug use among students is a serious problem. Campus environments are often seen as encouraging not only use but abuse. Binge-drinking (drinking to get drunk, usually considered at least four drinks on any occasion) is one form of substance abuse that is very common among students. Alcohol and drugs pose special problems for students. The average student who has one drink a day earns a GPA at only a C-level, and

grades plummet with higher consumption. Women need to drink only half what male students do to cause the same effect on their grades. Almost half of academic problems come from abusing alcohol. It's also a factor in about a third of drop-outs. In an environment where binge-drinking is common, so are substance-related legal offences and injuries. Illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol and drunk driving can costs fines and jail time. Fights, sexual assault, and injuries are more likely to happen when one has been drinking or doing drugs. Half of campus injuries are alcohol-related. One third of people who die in drunken driving crashes are under 25 years old. It's the leading cause of death for young people. In 2010, an estimated 22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 8.9 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer).This is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in the use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug. [www.oasamhas.gov/]

Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. There's a reason that prescription drugs are intended to be taken under the direction of a doctor: if used improperly they can be dangerous. Teens are making the decision to abuse prescription medicines based on misinformation. In fact, many people think that abusing prescription drugs is safer than abusing illicit drugs. Some people take other people's drugs for their intended purposes (to relieve pain, to stay awake, or to fall asleep). Others take them to get high, often at larger doses than prescribed, or by a

different route of administration. Most prescription drugs come in pill or capsule form. Sometimes, people who abuse prescription drugs break or crush the pill or capsule, then swallow the drug, sniff it, or "cook" it—turn it to liquid—and then inject it. What’s wrong with Abusing Prescription Drugs? Taking a drug for another purpose than prescribed. As the facts will tell you, prescription drugs can have dangerous short- and long-term health consequences when used incorrectly or by someone other than for whom they were intended.

All of the drug types soon mentioned can produce pleasurable effects at sufficient quantities, so taking them for the purpose of getting high is one of the main reasons people abuse them. ADHD drugs like Adderall are also often abused by students for their effects in promoting alertness and concentration. When abused, prescription drugs may be...
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