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Dealing with Substance Abuse in College

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Dealing with Substance Abuse in College

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College students are among the largest consumers of drugs because of the open attitudes towards drug abuse, the high anxieties brought by the demanding schedules and education, newfound independence, and regular parties (Murray, 2018). Not becoming part of this statistic is not an easy task. As a college student, staying away from drugs depends on how to manage exposure to various people, positive adjustment to the new environment, avoiding misleading sororities and fraternities, and various other aspects of college life that will increase the risk of falling into the substance abuse trap. Substance abuse is not just harmful to the body but also leads to risky actions such as drunk driving and criminal activities to maybe sustain the habit or illogical dares. This is a documentation of strategies for dealing with the pressure of conforming to this substance abuse trend.

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Taking personal responsibility is the beginning of avoiding drug and alcohol abuse. The first of five strategies to deal with the pressure to abuse drugs is dealing with peer pressure effectively. Coping with peer pressure effectively is through finding friends that will not suggest drug abuse. The second thing is learning how to say no. My strategy is to prepare an excuse or plan ahead if there is knowledge of a particular event that might lead to peer pressure. I believe that having an excuse beforehand or having one that one always uses will keep me from succumbing to peer pressure. Finding friends that do not abuse drugs begins with staying away from people in the so-called fraternities and sororities. These groups are known to be the most likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

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Dealing with life pressure is another strategy for avoiding drug and substance abuse. Most of the time, drugs are used as a way to relax from the overwhelming demands of living at this age in time. Finding other ways to reward oneself for handwork is the best strategy for avoiding drug use. These activities must ensure one has the opportunity to unwind and handle the stress. Various ways I am choosing to adopt are exercising, reading a book, taking up volunteer roles, and create something from my imagination. Hanging out in these areas will also ensure I meet people with the same mindset.

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The other strategy is recognizing that I am not immune to mental illness, and since college life will bring new things as time goes, any symptoms of mental unrest warrant help. Talking to the school counselor is one way to ensure that I do not turn to drugs to ease the pain. To avoid stress and mental illness, I am looking to keep a well-balanced life such that when one thing does not work out, I have something else to keep me going.

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Recognizing substance abuse is not easy and leads to feelings of conflict and can be emotionally taxing. When a friend is drunk and wants to engage in an activity as dangerous as driving in that state, the best way to approach the situation is to understand what to and not to do. It requires effective communication of concerns without resulting in a massive blow-out (Treatment Solutions, 2019). This drunk friend is likely to be stubborn and wants to drive despite my caution, so the best way is communicating my feelings instead of focusing on what they should or should not do. Being open and expressing concern delicately and focusing on how their habit affects me will generate a positive response rather than fighting them or trying to stop them physically. The best way to ensure they reach home safely is to drive them myself. There is no better alternative to ensuring they go home safe than taking them there by myself. Because of their stubborn nature as a result of intoxication, passing on the burden to a taxi driver may be inconsiderate, and they may not feel the responsibility to ensure this person gets home, especially when this intoxicated person requests them to do otherwise.

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MidAmerican Nazarene University has numerous resources that help deal with substance abuse. The first one is the policy that disallows the use, possession, and distribution of illegal substances to students. The other resource is education programs and prevention strategies such as “social norming” (MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2017).  Social norming, in particular, is a well-thought approach as it allows free dialogue about the extent of abuse, which is a crucial intervention strategy. The other resource is the availability of various co-curriculum activities that gives no one the excuse of idleness.

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A person with substance abuse problems can seek help from the Avenues of Recovery Pride, a resource center that provides personalized care for every individual. This allows the resource center to meet the client where they are and understand where their problem is coming from, which is a very important element in dealing with an addict. The good thing about this treatment center is its low-cost catering for low-income persons. Another resource center is AppleCare, a nationally recognized institution located in Olathe that offers all types of treatment dealing with severe to brief and mild cases. Preferred Family Health Care Services deals with patients of all ages. This treatment center might be the costliest of the three.

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References

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MidAmerica Nazarene University. (2017). MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY BIENNIAL REPORT OF INSTITUTIONAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS AND CAMPUSES REGULATIONS PERIOD OF REVIEW: JUNE 1, 2017 – MAY 31, 2019. Home page | MidAmerica Nazarene University. https://www.mnu.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/about/campus-safety/Alcohol-and-Drug-Education-Program-Effectiveness-2019.pdfMurray, K. (2018, July 20). College drug abuse. RehabSpot. https://www.rehabspot.com/drugs/who-addiction-affects/college-drug-abuse/Treatment Solutions. (2019, October 7). Top 5 ways to prevent substance abuse. https://www.treatmentsolutions.com/blog/top-5-ways-to-prevent-substance-abuse/

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