Thesis statement: Although the main reason students are attracted to drugs and alcohol is the stress they encountered with their academics, other problems include: I. Students using drugs and drinking alcohol due to external influences: A. Due to peer pressures.
B. Due to parental problems.
C. Due to the popular media.
II. Internal influences:
F. Instant gratification.
G. To escape and self-medicate.
III. Students are attracted to drugs and alcohol due to personal problems: A. Lacking confidence.
B. Relieving anxiety of depression.
Why are Students Attracted to Drugs and Alcohol?
Drug and alcohol abuse rates are very high among students attending college in the United States. Often there is more than one explanation for this, and it is worth knowing that the reasons students continue to drink alcohol and use drugs might change the longer they are using it. Students drink alcohol and use drugs for various reasons. Although, the main reason why students are attracted to drugs and alcohol is due to the stress they encountered with their academics, other problems including peer pressure, parental problems, popular media, boredom, instant gratification, misinformation, escape and self-medication, lack of confidence, to rebel, curiosity, and lastly, to relieve anxiety of depression. As an undergraduate psychology student at Baltimore City Community College, I wanted to know why students are attracted to drugs and alcohol. This prompted me to conduct a study to determine if majority of students are attracted to drugs and alcohol. I spent a morning with students at Baltimore City Community College following a psychology lecture. I interviewed more than 10 college students, freshmen through graduate students, many of whom admitted that they use drugs and drink alcohol for various reasons (O. Okuwa, personal interview, March 11, 2010). According to the students I interviewed, most students often use drugs and drink alcohol due to the stress they encounter in their academics. Some sources of stress were change in sleeping habits, vacations/breaks, change in eating habits, increased work load, and new responsibilities (Ross, E. R., et al). Students take drugs and drink alcohol in order to get a break from their daily routine and to de-stress from school or work. In addition to the stress encountered in their academics, students are attracted to drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure. Students begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol because their friends do so. They begin casually at a gathering or a party, and continue on from there. Many times, this leads to addiction. Students see their friends and other adults drinking alcohol, smoking, and, sometimes, abusing other substances. I witnessed this at my cousin’s twenty- first birthday. At the party, I saw that the student social scene often revolves around drinking and smoking pot. Sometimes friends urge one another to try a drink or smoke a cigarette. It is common for students to start using a substance because it is readily available and they see all their friends enjoying it. In their minds, they believe drugs and alcohol use is a part of their normal teenage experience. Students also use drugs and drink alcohol due to parental problems. When students see their parents using drugs, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes, they tend to copy these behaviors. Moreover, students encountered other problems from their parents such as pressures to pursue a particular course or profession, or pressure to complete all household chores. All these demands prompt students to experience drugs and drink alcohol. Students are also attracted to drugs and alcohol due to the popular media. Students are influenced by the...