Wednesday, August 17, 2016

College Students Drink More Alcohol

alcohol use
One’s adolescent and teenage years can easily be characterized as a time for experiencing new people, places and things. There is a plethora of changes that occur in people’s behaviors and social interactions, all while one is developing both inside and out. Young people often feel the need to fit in with their peers, and some are willing to go to extreme lengths to accomplish the goal of acceptance. It is a trend that often involves the use of drugs and alcohol.

While experimenting with mind altering substances can be viewed as being a part of a young person’s life, for others it can be the start of a dangerous road towards addiction. Sure, for the majority of young people, alcohol and drug use is just a passing phase that will be traversed without a problem, a reality which almost allows older people to be OK with endorsing such behavior. However, in light of the tragedy that befalls many young people every day due to substance use and abuse—it is vital that preventative measures be taken with regard to alcohol use by young adults.

College Drinking

In the United States, there is a common misconception that teenagers who go off to college are less likely to engage in risky behavior, compared to their non-academic peers. There is an idea that those who are keeping up their grades and attending class can have a pass when it comes to weekend use of mind altering substances. As is evident by how pervasive weekend parties are, in and around college campuses. Some people may even think that college students drink and drug less than young adults who are not working to advance their education. It is a line of thinking that is made in error.

In fact, new research suggests that college students actually drink more alcohol than those of the same age who are not attending an institute of higher learning, HealthDay reports. The research showed that college students are also more likely to binge drink than 18- to 22-year-olds who are not in school. Binge drinking is a dangerous behavior commonly defined as having 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women, in a two-hour period. Despite being in college, students often carry on a surreptitious affair with alcohol—a relationship that can result in an alcohol use disorder.

Target Audience

The findings come from a survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), according to the article. The data indicates that 60 percent of full-time college students are current drinkers, compared with 51.5 percent of other adults in the same age group. The survey showed that 38 percent of college students reported having had a binge-drinking episode at least once in the past month, compared with 33.5 percent of their peers not attending university.

Fran Harding, who directs the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), says the findings could help with efforts to tailor college substance use, "so that we can better target prevention programming to young adults from all walks of life with vital information on substance use disorder prevention and treatment."

Alcohol Use Disorder and Recovery

Our Young Adult Program at Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat focuses on the particular needs and sensitivities of the emerging adult. The use of alcohol and drugs during the developmental years can inhibit the necessary skills and abilities necessary to manage emotions, communicate thoughts and feelings, and problem-solve effectively.

At HVRC, we offer a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.

Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center, 866.273.0868 to begin the journey of recovery.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Addiction Stigma: Shifting Cultural Perception

addiction stigma
Ending the American opioid epidemic, arguably, starts with killing the stigma that has long accompanied people living with substance use disorders. For centuries those suffering from addiction we considered to have a moral failing and a weak constitution. And because of which, the few treatments available up until recent decades were both harsh and ineffective.

Even after there were treatment centers available that utilized effective science based methods, acknowledging the disease model of addiction; lawmakers continue to stick to their guns in support of draconian drug laws for punishing illicit substance users.

Today, there scores of studies available which support the disease model of addiction, and much of the American population now views addiction as a sickness rather than a shortcoming. Part of the reason for the paradigm shift in thinking is due to the opioid problem in America, practically every adult has a connection to someone who has or is dependent to opioids. What’s more, this particular epidemic is unprecedented in a number of ways, and unlike the previous drug epidemics we have faced, this one primarily affects:
  • Caucasians
  • All Socioeconomic Tiers
  • Residents of Suburban and Rural America
Keeping that in mind, many lawmakers who were traditionally in favor of locking up addicts for non-violent drug offenses, are now singing a different tune. While the change is welcomed in the addiction community, there is still much work to be done—especially when it comes to stigma. It is a sad truth that many opioid addicts fail to seek help because of fears of being branded a failure by their peers. Naturally, consternation about seeking help can be deadly, as is evident by the 78 opioid overdose deaths in this country everyday.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy met with The Huffington Post’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington to discuss the addiction crisis in America. While Murthy agrees that we need to change prescribing practices and train doctors how to spot addiction with patients so they can get the help they need, he said we need to “change how our country sees addiction.”

“For far too many people living with addiction, they feel that they are living with stigma,” said Murthy. “Many people see addiction, still, as a character flaw or a bad choice. They don’t recognize that addiction is in fact a chronic disease of the brain.” 

Please take a moment to watch a short video below:

If you are having trouble watching the video, please click here.

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we offer a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.

Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 to begin the journey of recovery.