This period you’re in, just starting college, or mid way through your program, or even graduating soon with thoughts about the future, is significant and exciting as you’re experimenting, taking risks and exploring various aspects of your life. This includes the use of substances like tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.
You may use these substances for many reasons, it could be to unwind, to fit in, have fun, celebrate, deal with a bad day, calm down, or even escape. Most people do not do it with the intention of getting addicted; they try it a few times and enjoy how they feel.
“Is it my imagination
Or have I finally found something worth living for?
I was looking for some action
But all I found was cigarettes and alcohol” – Oasis
In most colleges there is a ‘party culture’ and binge drinking is quite common. Binge drinking is when you drink lots of alcohol in a short space of time, or drinking to get drunk. Heavy alcohol users are considered to be those who binge drink five or more times during a month. Binge drinking, leads to drunk driving, accidents, alcohol poisoning, injuries and alcohol related sexual assault.
Addictions aren’t limited to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs; they include internet surfing, gaming, gambling, shopping, and sex, among others.
Most of the time, addicts believe they’re in control and spend a lot of time explaining this to their friends or romantic partners, they claim they can quit whenever they want, but they’re just not ready yet. It slowly eats into their day-to-day life, and causes distress to them and the people around them. It starts impacting their performance at work or college and the only way they know how to enjoy themselves and have a good time is when they’re engaging their addiction. This is because when they engage in their addiction it activates the brain’s reward system, and extended use can even change the way the brain is wired and functions.
If you are concerned about someone’s addiction or are dealing with an addiction, remember to take time to find what is right for you, talk to someone to understand it better, and to treat an underlying mental health condition if required.
Read if you want to know the way out of addiction.