Substance Abuse in College: A Higher Education

An increase in binge drinking and drug use across college campus’s does not come off as a shock to many.

Assistant professor for the department of community and family addiction and director of the Center for Addiction and Recovery Research, Spencer Bradshaw said he was aware of the party school reputation Texas Tech has prior to working for the college.

“College we know is a time of a lot of different stuff,” Bradshaw said, “a lot of experimentation, binge drinking, experimentation with different drugs,mixing drugs, or a lot of different things.”

According to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, In 2012, nearly half of full time college students in the United States admit to binge drinking or using drugs at least once a month. Bradshaw said It’s important to know the difference between an addiction and experimentation.

“It’s important to say not everybody who uses drugs or drinks alcohol or both, are an addict,” Bradshaw said.

However, reports of mortalities of college students from drug overdoses have been popping up across the nation. Several of these deaths result from various causes.

“Compound drugs are when you take two drugs at the same time and you don’t know how they are interacting chemically,” Bradshaw said, “inside you, inside your blood, as their flowing through your blood and getting into your brain.”

Bradshaw said a frequent combination popular amongst college students is mixing alcohol with cocaine, which many students do not realize, is deadly.

“Their going to create a new chemical compound that can kill somebody, whether your dependent on this stuff or not, whether your just playing around this or not, whether your experimenting with this or not.”

Texas Tech’s Center for Addiction and Recovery Research serves is best known for their collegiate recovery program, where students who have been sober for a year or more enter while they attend college, in order to stay not the right track.

But the center has resources for any Texas Tech student, outside of the program.

“To have a place on campus where students can go to get help and to get support, and to not be sucked up in that stuff and if they are addicted in that stuff get back up on their feet, that’s what this recovery center is all about.”

There are students who continue to experiment with drugs, regardless of the dangers. One, Texas Tech senior said he uses and mixes drugs with alcohol, whenever it is easily available.

“It just depends on how far you take it,” Texas Tech seniors said, “for me I don’t feel like it’s an issue or people who take it as far as I take it but for people who take it further and do a lot more then I do it’s probably an issue.”

Lauren Edwards, human development and family studies major chose to volunteer at the research center, and said she disagrees.

“I think people are very ignorant on how dangerous using different substances can be,” Edwards said, “I think people just think it is a part of college life and it’s just a part of college life and It’s acceptable because they don’t realize the dangers of using and mixing different substances.”

 

 

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