“How to get drugs? Oh, it’s pretty easy.” When the majority of college goers start saying this, one is sure that the drug crisis in the country is galloping toward the worse. A recent study of 1,082 college students from University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, etc. revealed distressing details about the use, sale and distribution of drugs. Only a measly 5 percent students found it difficult to buy drugs, while an unbelievable 75 percent confessed that its “easy” or “very easy” to buy drugs.
As college is a life-changing phase, students go through immense pressure to succeed and perform. The pressure to perform well in class, integrate with the social fabric, make friends, etc. often leads to depression and other mental health issues. Inevitably, a large number of students turn toward drugs to combat the mounting pressure.
However, with a large number of students easily buying and selling drugs, the problem has become too precarious to control. Even more disturbing is the fact that more than half of them claim to have purchased the illegal drugs on the campus. With the country reeling under the drug epidemic, such statistics cause serious concern.
Increased drug spending and risky sexual behaviour rampant on campuses
The science of economics teaches us that the increase in demand for a commodity heightens the supply to meet the demand. Similarly, vulnerable students with impressionable minds often perceive high-risk behaviours like procuring, using or selling drugs as forms of entertainment. Such a misconception leads to a rise in the demand for drugs and subsequently a proportional increase in the supply of drugs.
From artificial drugs to prescription drugs, their easy availability is a reason for distress to the college administration and legal authorities. On asking the students how they were able to access illegal drugs so easily, it is not necessary that they will point out to a “drug dealer” standing in a shady corner of the street. The truth is that these drugs can be found anywhere—a medicine cabinet at home, online, from a friend, on campus or at parties.
Like a number of surveys, even the above study deemed prescription pills to be the form of drugs that are easiest to obtain. However, the above statement is not entirely true due to the limited approach of the study. The study revealed that drugs that are easy to assess include cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mushrooms, Xanax, OxyContin and methamphetamines.
Moreover, marijuana was excluded from the survey, considering the variations in legality across different states. From 1991 to 2011, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by the American pharmacies increased by almost three times —from 76 million to 219 million prescriptions. The number of opioid-related deaths witnessed similar increase over the same time period.
Some of the other eye-opening revelations of the study have emerged as a wake-up call for the policymakers and medical fraternity. The findings suggest that college students spend a substantial amount of their pocket money on drugs. While the highest average spending was around $290 at the Florida State University, other universities were also almost neck and neck in this race.
Due to stringent drug and alcohol policy on the campus, the lowest average spending on drugs was reported by the students of the University of Georgia. They also run the risk of sexual assault as many admitted of sleeping with drug dealers for drugs. Around 43 percent students slept with the dealer for cocaine, another 17 percent for opioids and about 7 percent for ecstasy and Xanax. Students whose parents paid their fees indulged in cocaine and those who paid out of their pockets abused opiates.
Road to recovery
The long-term use of drugs causes adverse effects on the brain by inflicting functional and structural changes, particularly among adolescents going to school or college. It might also lead to an impaired sense of judgment. As drugs become the top-most priority, everything else takes a backseat for them. Such students are more likely to bunk classes, oversleep, feel uneasy at times and perform badly in academics. Apart from these consequences, there are serious repercussions on both mental and physical health.
It is possible to recover from drug or alcohol addiction provided one is willing to seek help. If you or someone you know is looking for treatment for drug addiction in Arizona, contact the Arizona Drug Addiction Helpline. Call at our 24/7 addiction treatment helpline 866-576-4147 or chat online with one of our experts to know more about drug addiction and associated treatment programs.