Editorial: Substance abuse shouldn’t be ignored

Staff Editorial

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Drugs are an issue that affects all college campuses, and it’s a problem college students seem to brush off.

In Friday’s edition of The Daily Eastern News, the article, “Police respond to overdoes in library,” said The University Police and paramedics responded to a man that overdosed on heroin or another opiate.

Substance abuse among college students is a rising trend, and while students may think drug abuse only involves illegal drugs, prescription drugs also fall under this if used outside of its intended use.

But what college students also don’t seem to realize is that alcohol can fall under substance abuse.

Students can laugh it off and say, “it’s college, everybody drinks,” but the fact of the matter is that it can be abused, and it can be harmful.

AddictionCenter.com says that college students who are experiencing drug abuse may show telltale signs that negatively impact a student’s social and professional life.

According to Addiction Center, student may have: decreased interest in classes and other activities; a drop in academic performance; changes in sleeping schedule and weight; acting in a secretive manner; unexplained changes in personality; and uncharacteristic mood swings.

While drug abuse can affect anyone, it impacts college students the most.  The pressures of drugs can come from social pressures and expectations.

USA Today reported in 2007 that half of the 5.4 million college students that year admitted to binge drinking or using other drugs at least once a month.

Friday’s story also cited The National Institute on Drug Abuse, and said that the number of heroin-related deaths increased from 8,000 in 2013 to 11,000 in 2014.

The story should not only make you think of heroin as drug that only substance abusers use.  You should realize that there are students on this campus that may fall under substance abusers, and it should be our obligation as students to look out for one another and look for signs.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and alcoholism reported that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 to 24 die from alcohol related instances.

College students may think they are invincible when they go out on the weekends, but anything can happen at any moment in time.

The big drug that seems to be sweeping college campuses is Adderall or as some students call it, “the study drug.”

DrugWatch.com said students use this prescribed medication outside of its intended use because it gives a heightened sense of motivation and concentration that students find helpful for studying.

Students may think they are helping themselves by taking this drug, but if you are buying this without a medical reason, it can lead to dependence and addiction.

In 2010, the National Survey on Drug and Health reported that 22 percent of college students use adderall outside of the intended use.

Substance abuse is a serious problem, and it is an issue that more students should be concerned about.

The article from Friday’s edition of The News should not be the only reason that students discuss this issue.  The issue should be brought up more among students, and if you notice any of the symptoms among any of your friends, sit down and discuss what is going on.

A problem can persist without anyone knowing, and the problem could reach its end with a negative outcome if action isn’t taken to help.


The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News.