Negative impacts of substance abuse on college students

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

The use of illicit drugs by college students in Alabama and around the country is common. Regardless of whether students use stimulants, cannabis or another drug, they are subject to numerous negative outcomes such as impaired academic performance and having difficulty finding employment after graduation.

Why do college students use drugs and alcohol?

Young people tend to see their college years as an opportunity for exploration and self-discovery. However, they simultaneously feel pressure from:

  • Parents
  • Peers
  • Teachers
  • Society
  • Their expectations

Moreover, most students have less structure and supervision than they had in childhood. This combination creates a high-stress environment. Add to these factors things such as peer pressure, social anxiety and the ready availability of drugs and alcohol on campuses, and it’s easy to see a perfect storm of influences. Even choosing to belong to or associate with a fraternity or sorority can increase the risk of the improper use of drugs and alcohol.

How does drug and alcohol use affect students?

Students using illicit substances are more likely to see their academic performance slip. This arises from missed classes, a lower GPA, spending less time studying and being behind on assignments. At the extreme end of the spectrum, the student may be expelled or drop out.

Additionally, students who abuse substances are more likely to engage in dangerous or risky behaviors. Driving under the influence is one of the most common risks, but students also are more vulnerable to being involved in a physical assault or engaging in risky sexual behavior.

Long-term consequences

The student’s overall health and well-being may be negatively impacted by ongoing substance abuse. An impaired immune system and the risk of overdose are real consequences. Many people who rely too heavily on drugs and alcohol also experience ongoing mental health issues.