BY JANE HURST
For any number of reasons, substance abuse is at an all-time high on college campuses. Often, it is simply the freedom of being away from your parents for the first time, and you really want to try out as many new experiences as possible. For some students, there is so much pressure to get good grades (either from themselves or from their families) that they turn to substances to cope. Whatever the reason, there are always alternative to substance abuse. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can avoid substance abuse while in college.
- Reject Peer Pressure You may think that this is something to worry about more when you are younger, but anyone can be affected by peer pressure, and at any age. You may want to impress your new friends by showing them how much you can drink and party. After a while, you are going to get into some habits that can be extremely difficult to break. If your friends are pressuring you to abuse substances, maybe it is time to look for a new group of friends.
- Have Fun without Substances You can go to a club or a party without drinking or taking drugs, and still have a terrific time. There are all kinds of ways that you can have fun without alcohol or drugs. Throw substance-free parties with like-minded friends, explore new places, go to restaurants and coffee shops with friends, and attend substance-free events. You should be able to find all kinds of things to do on campus bulletin boards and social media pages.
- Learn to Deal with Stress According to specialists from “Phoenix” addiction rehabilitation center one of the biggest reasons why a lot of college students abuse various substances is that they are trying to find ways to deal with stress. Yes, you are under a lot of pressure as a student. But, there are many other ways to cope with the pressure instead of succumbing to substance abuse. Find other outlets, whether it be exercise, spending time with friends, or even just taking a walk by yourself to relax and clear your mind.
- Enjoy Your Hobbies If you have hobbies that you enjoy, continue doing them. Even if you are busy, try to make time for these hobbies. The more things that you are doing that don’t involve alcohol or drugs, the better. When you have free time, do the things you really enjoy rather than going to a bar or a party just because you have nothing better to do. When you have hobbies, you always have an alternative option.
- Get a Job or Volunteer Another way to avoid taking drugs or drink is to have a part-time job or do some volunteer work. When you have responsibilities, and know how to properly deal with any stress that comes with working and going to school, you will be too busy to even think about partying, getting high, or getting drunk. Of course, you need to be very capable of handling stress, so you don’t end up doing these things to deal with the stress of working and being a student.
- Get More Exercise One way to avoid getting into the drug scene is to start taking better care of your physical health. Start exercising every day, even if it is just walking to and from classes or using the stairs instead of the elevator (as long as it is not an unsafe situation). The better you look and feel, the less likely you are going to be to want to take substances that could ruin all that you have worked so hard to achieve.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.