Depression While in College? Be Careful: It can end in Addiction

Almost 22% of college students in the U.S are suffering from depression. Suicide is among the leading death causes among college students. The important developmental transition that comes with relocation to college is filled with challenges. 
Upon arrival at the college, the incoming freshmen are maladjusted while establishing their social support system. They also have to meet the high academic expectations set by parents and educators, as well as, live in a new environment. 
Students with a history of depressive symptoms are at a higher risk. Several consequences like attrition, poor GPA, poor coping skills, and unsatisfying relationship are associated with depressive symptoms. Studies have revealed that most psychological problems appear during the first college years. That’s when most students typically report the highest distress levels. 

Depression and Addiction among College Students

Higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as, depression show a high comorbidity rate between these two issues. Students with high depressive symptoms have increased alcohol and drug abuse. It’s not surprising that such students end up searching for phrases like ‘drug rehab near me’ online when they realize that they need assistance. Essentially, alcohol and drug abuse lead to an addiction that can’t be resolved without professional assistance. 
Research has not established differences in drinking rates between non-depressed and depressed college students. However, some experts have suggested that students that experience depression and other problems have higher chances of engaging in alcohol and drug abuse to stabilize their mood. 

Why Depression Can Lead to Drug Abuse and Addiction

College is a major transition for young people. It’s often accompanied by unprecedented stress levels for most students. To ensure that college students don’t end up searching for phrases like ‘rehab near me’ on realizing that they need help, friends, parents, faculty, and counselors should step in upon suspecting that a learner is depressed or abusing alcohol and drugs. 
Most students are reluctant to get help when struggling with depression and drug addiction. That’s because of the social stigma that surrounds depression. The best treatments may require students to make minor adjustments like exercising more, relaxing, and meditating. However, they may not help every student. 
But, students at serious risk should get help. So, if a student that’s depressed and abusing drugs starts searching for ‘drug counseling near me’ online, they should get assistance immediately. That’s because they need a good program to help them overcome alcohol and drug abuse, as well as, depression. 

Self-Medicating for Depression with Alcohol and Drugs

Drug addiction and alcoholism do not just appear in the life of a person. They usually have a cause. Even in college students, drug addiction and alcoholism have underlying issues or causes. These are issues that trigger a person to start abusing drugs. Mental health issues like depression can be the issue that triggers a person to start abusing drugs. 
Research has shown that alcohol consumption among college students is a problematic and widespread phenomenon. That’s because alcohol misuse prevalence rates are very high. Drinking has even become a prominent aspect of the college culture in America. 
But, some students that engage in excessive alcohol consumption have reasons for doing it. For instance, most young people binge drink or consume excessive alcohol because they get solace or an opportunity to forget from doing it. 
Almost 30% of all people suffering from clinical depression have an addiction or substance abuse problem. Individuals with unipolar depression are between 10 and 15% more likely to engage in substance abuse. Similarly, individuals with bipolar depression are 25% more likely to abuse drugs. 
Substance abuse represents the most common way of self-medicating for depressed individuals. 20% of university students have admitted to binge-drinking regularly. 25% of all college students have met the ‘heavy drinker’ criteria. Over the last decade, alcohol expenses among students have increased by more than 20%. Similarly, the percentages of college students that drink until they are intoxicated have increased to more than 20%.  

Why Depressed College Students Should Seek Assistance

It’s for a reason that a student struggling with alcohol and drug abuse may search for ‘drug rehab centers near me’ online. Research has shown that one in every five alcoholics attempts to commit suicide once in their lifetime. An alcoholic has a suicide risk that is 100 times higher than that of members of the general population. 
Alcohol is involved in 25% of all U.S suicides. 30% and 20% of males and females respectively report that their suicide attempts were heavily influenced by alcohol. Thus, alcohol can lead to a suicide attempt if students fail to seek assistance.

The Bottom Line

With such alcohol abuse rates, college students are undoubtedly putting themselves at high suicide risk. So, in addition to searching for phrases like ‘drug rehabs near me’ online, students should talk to friends, relatives, and faculty. This can mark the beginning of their recovery journey. They should also seek help with mental issues like depression, bipolar, and unipolar disorders. 

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