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College Students Coming Home with Addictions

a person stands still pondering the link between college students and addiction while others move quickly past

During college, many young adults experience true independence for the first time. They often learn the basics of a budget and how to manage time but also have their first run-ins with drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, so many of these initial experiences can have adverse effects for the rest of their lives. The link between college students and addiction may be strong because of first-time experiences like these.

At Northpoint Recovery, we know that overcoming addiction and substance abuse as soon as possible is critical to a successful recovery. That’s why we offer various detox and inpatient services that support our young adult drug rehab program. Call 888.296.8976 or contact us online today to get started.

The Opioid Epidemic Affecting Young Adults

Every year, thousands of Americans will die from opioid abuse. Addiction to these drugs in the U.S. affects everyone; this includes young adults. Opioid painkillers are short-term solutions to help patients with pain. Unfortunately, these prescriptions continue to be mismanaged by doctors.

Why Would Young Adults Abuse Prescription Opioids?

Opioids can cause euphoric feelings, which contribute to psychological dependence. When young adults take higher doses than suggested, it can slow down their breathing and heart rate—which can ultimately lead to death. Some college students mix opioids with alcohol, combining two nervous system depressants.

When alcohol and opioids are mixed, it can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. If you or someone you know is abusing opioids, it’s crucial to get help as soon as possible.

The Link Between Mental Health and Addiction in Teens and Young Adults

There is a strong link between substance abuse and mental health issues in young adults. When both are present simultaneously, this is known as having co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. College students may often start using drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. But there are instances when addiction can cause mental health issues, too.

Some of the most common mental health conditions that influence substance abuse include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders

With many co-occurring disorders, using drugs and alcohol is a way to self-medicate. The individual may get some much-needed relief from their symptoms this way. But the effects never last for very long due to ever-increasing tolerance levels. This can lead young adults to start abusing harder drugs, increase how much they use, or mix substances.

Symptoms of Addiction in College Students

Young adults will make some significant changes when they go to college. This is normal and even happens if they stay sober throughout college. It becomes an area of concern when the changes are destructive and ruin their lives. These are signs of addiction to look for:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Overly small or large pupils
  • Nosebleeds
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unexplained bruises or scapes
  • Shaking
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Unexplained personality changes
  • Mood swings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation

While it’s not always easy to recognize the connection between college students and addiction, it is critical to spot some signs. By doing so, you can help get a loved one the treatment they need to get sober.

Overdose Prevention on College Campuses

Schools are concerned about keeping their students safe and take several measures to prevent the young adults on their campuses from unintentionally overdosing.

Some of these measures include:

  • Awareness and prevention programs – During freshman orientation, students will be told about the dangers of opioids and how to know if someone’s overdosing.
  • Naloxone training – They introduce students to Naloxone and explain how to use it in an emergency. Many schools across the U.S. have made Naloxone available through health services and the police on campus. Some campuses even have Naloxone readily available in many areas around the college.
  • Group support – Some colleges offer support groups to help students deal with mental health and addiction. These confidential groups allow college students to discuss their experiences openly.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Young Adult Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Recovery

Northpoint Recovery is a leading provider of young adult addiction treatment. We offer a variety of programs and services to help our patients heal from their addiction and prepare for a sober future. Call 888.296.8976 or contact us online to find out how you can get on the road to recovery.