Substance Abuse : A Growing Problem For College Students

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Substance abuse is a growing problem for college students. The effects of this problem are felt by millions of individuals, families, schools, and communities. Substance abuse affects many domains of a person’s life including mental functioning, physical health, psychological well-being, social structure, employment, and academic endeavors. The need for trained professionals who can prevent, identify, and treat problems associated with drug use is also at an all-time high. This paper reveals the growing problem of substance abuse among college students and the implications for the individual and society. Specific risk factors are examined as well as how to implement proper drug screening for professionals working with college…show more content…
If left untreated, it is typically progressive and can result in a variety of negative consequences. Without proper interventions, the use of substances will typically continue (Plessis, 2010). Understanding the risk factors associated with substance abuse in college students is important for helping professionals in order to provide screening, prevention, intervention, and treatment programs. Due to the high numbers of drug fatalities in the United States, being able to identify the indicators of substance abuse is also a critical component of intervention (NIH, 2014). The importance of familiarization with commonly abused substances can assist in the development of an individualized treatment plan for the client. It is also essential for counselors working with college students to have a basic knowledge of available substance abuse treatment programs and interventions (Du Plessis, 2010). This paper addresses the occurrence of substance abuse among college students, the risk factors associated with substance abuse, commonly abused drugs, and prevention and intervention programs. Relevance to the Counseling Profession The subject of substance abuse among college students is extremely relevant because substance abuse is often related to other maladaptive behaviors. Research indicates that individuals who engage in substance abuse are more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as engaging
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