Some remember their teenage years as their best years of their lives. Some others, remember quite vividly all the struggles and frustrations that grew into adulthood may have brought. Whichever is your case, I’m sure we can both agree that there were some difficult times. Of course, life itself is full of waves of good and bad times, but dealing with all these problems while you’re trying to find yourself and discover how things really work can be a bit too much sometimes.
When I was in college, like any other student, I had doubts and insecurities that I thought would never go away. Never being one of the popular ones, I always looked up to those who were always bragging about their parties and how much fun it was to just let loose and go crazy every weekend.
When I first started partying, I remember I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I thought I should have. The taste of alcohol was something that puzzled me to my core because I didn’t understand how people could drink to the point of passing out or throwing up. That didn’t last as long as you may imagine.
Party after party, I started to lose my perception of reality and dived into a dark abyss of denial, and I started neglecting all of my responsibilities, which made me have a bad performance overall, it started to affect my grades and eventually led me to fall into an addiction.
This doesn’t mean that having fun with friends every now and then will lead you towards a substance abusive spiral of self-destruction, but you need to know how to overcome these obstacles; because for any teenager, it surely is the same as walking into a barn with a torch. If you’re not careful, everything might burn out of control pretty fast.
Here are 5 reasons to avoid drinking and substance abuse during college:
Problems and more problems
While I was having fun, getting completely wasted and high, everything seemed to be perfect. I had not a single thing to worry about. All my insecurities and problems faded into the smoke of the clubs and spilled on the floor with all those drinks people threw away by stumbling while drunk.
I knew that anyone could become an addict, but since I was completely unaware of how it actually worked, I thought I was always in control of myself; even if I was completely gone. That was a terrible mistake, which because of pure ignorance and misconception about addiction, I ended up paying a high price.
My grades went all down the drain, I was having a very difficult time concentrating in class, I felt as if I wasn’t even there half the time. I started having fights with my family, I wasn’t showing up at home until the next day, and they could obviously notice that something was terribly wrong. Now that I think about it, it was all so unnecessary.
Teenagers and young adults already have a load of stress that can put many on the verge of hysteria. You don’t need to make it more difficult than what it is by taking drugs or abusing alcohol. It might have felt good at the time, but the truth is, after going through it all, I now realize how much easier everything could’ve been if I had stayed away from it.
You push everyone away
By that time I thought I knew perfectly how an addict behaves, sadly I was wrong and I found out the truth too late.
An addict always tries to defend their behavior. This meant that I was making very poor excuses and shutting off completely from my own family. Though I know now that they were trying to help, I was putting such a heavy burden on my on back and theirs, that I started to snap at them more often, causing fights and all sorts of arguments.
I started to lie about everything to be away from home and drink with my “friends”. I began to consume more drugs to escape the nightmare that my life had become, and it became a cycle that I was unable to break. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about anything because I thought nobody would understand, I pushed myself into a corner where nobody could reach and that led me to get depressed, which, as you might have guessed, made me want to be high all the time to avoid having to deal with reality.
Trouble with the law
You’re not only putting yourself in an illegal environment when you abuse alcohol and drugs but also you lose conscious control of your own actions and thoughts. This led me to have problems with the law.
I was once arrested for possession and yet another time for assault. I was having major issues with my temper and obviously abusing substances made it worse. I became a lot more aggressive and reckless.
After dropping out of college, I pushed my parents to the point where they felt they couldn’t deal with me anymore so I went to stay at my “friend’s” house. Needless to say, he was my dealer and that didn’t help the situation at all.
Risk of physical and mental problems
I was lucky that it never got to the point where I had serious mental or physical problems. Now that I’m older I know that something could still show up, but so far I’m grateful that the consequences of my addiction didn’t affect my body or my mind to the extent where I would need further medical assistance other than a rehabilitation program.
However, while I was going through recovery, not only did I learn of the risks you face when abusing any substance; I also got to witness it through other patients. From heart problems and malnourishment to memory loss, constant paranoia, and even seizures due to withdrawal. It broke my heart to see people as young as I was dealing with these problems, and for a while, I felt guilty and shameful that I was getting off so “easy”
My sponsor encouraged me to take on sports and a healthy lifestyle, which up to this day I still maintain. I have no contact with the other members of my recovery group, but based on their experience and my own, I can only wish that no one has to go through something like that in their life.
Abusing substances such as alcohol or drugs will most likely lead to an addiction. Though there’s a difference between them, an abusive behavior can set the path to doom without you even noticing. In fact, 90% of addicts in the U.S reportedly started by abusing drugs and alcohol during school or college.
Addiction is one of the main risks of trying drugs and abusing alcohol. Everything that comes with it makes it only worse. It’s a path that leads to depression, isolation, self-destruction, and in the worst cases, you can lose everything you hold dear.
I had massive problems with my family for a better part of the time I was an addict, but to some extent, they were always there for me. Their love and support were what got me through the hardest times and I will be forever thankful for it.
If you’re in college right now or will be soon, then you should know there are solid reasons why you should avoid abusing alcohol and drugs. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have fun, but I am advising you to be very careful about what you have fun with. If you think or suspect that someone close to you might be abusing drugs or alcohol, make sure you help them get professional help as soon as possible.
Did you find this article helpful? If you have any questions or want to share your experience, leave a comment below.