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Substance Abuse in College Students

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

Addiction is a condition that affects an individual when they become obsessed with a certain activity or substance. This obsession can have serious negative consequences in the long-term, often requiring medical intervention and rehabilitation to overcome. In this article we will explore what addiction is, different types of addiction, its causes, the impact on the sufferer, and how to recover from addiction.

What are the different types of Addictions?

Addiction can be broken down into two different types: substance addiction and process addiction.

  • Substance addiction: This is an addiction to a specific substance. This can be anything from caffeine to illegal substances. Substance addiction can be extremely difficult to treat and requires a holistic treatment approach that will address the root causes.
  • Process addiction: This is an addiction to an activity that is not inherently dangerous or harmful in itself. This type of addiction can generally be treated with a shorter treatment program that focuses on the individual instead of the substance itself.

What is Alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction refers to a psychological dependence on alcohol. People who are alcohol-dependent generally drink heavily on a regular basis and cannot go for long periods without consuming alcohol. Alcohol addiction is a serious condition that can have a devastating impact on the lives of the addict and those around them. There are many different types of alcohol addiction:

  • Binge drinking: This is where people consume a large amount of alcohol in a very short amount of time. This can lead to serious health problems.
  • Chronic alcohol use: This is where people consume alcohol regularly. This can lead to serious health problems.
  • Alcohol dependence: This is where people have an intense urge to consume alcohol that they are unable to control. This can lead to serious health problems.
  • Alcohol abuse: This is where people consume alcohol regularly and may be under the influence of alcohol at work or school. This can lead to serious health problems.
  • Alcohol withdrawal: This is a serious medical complication that can occur when people attempt to stop consuming alcohol suddenly. It can lead to life-threatening medical complications.

What is substance addiction?

Substance addiction is a term that refers to an addiction to a specific substance. This can be anything from caffeine to illegal substances. Substance addiction can be extremely difficult to treat and requires a holistic treatment approach that will address the root causes. Some of the most common substance addictions are alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, cocaine addiction, and nicotine addiction.

What is prescription drug addiction?

Prescription drug addiction is a substance use disorder that occurs with a specific prescription drug that is legally available to purchase. There are many different types of prescription drug addictions, but they all have one thing in common: they have harmful effects on an addict’s life as well as the life of a family member. Some of the most common prescription drug addictions are as follows:

  • Painkiller addiction: This refers to an addiction to a painkiller, including prescription opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone.
  • Stimulant addiction: This is an addiction to a stimulant drug prescribed to treat ADHD. These drugs include Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin.
  • Benzodiazepine addiction: This is an addiction to a benzodiazepine such as Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan.
  • Methadone addiction: This is an addiction to a drug that is used as a substitute for illicit opioids like heroin. While methadone can be helpful for people in treatment programs when it is used in conjunction with other treatment approaches, high doses and substance misuse can reinforce addictive behaviors.

How is alcohol addiction different from Drug/substance addiction?

Alcohol addiction and substance addiction are the most common types of addiction. While they are both very serious conditions, they do differ in some ways. First of all, alcohol is a legal substance that is readily available and regulated by the government. Any forms of illegal drugs are illegal and regulated by criminal law. Secondly, alcohol is a legal substance that is widely accepted in society and can be easily purchased as long as you are of legal age. Illegal drugs are not regulated and are illegal in all circumstances. While alcohol addiction and drug addiction are both very serious conditions, alcohol addiction is the most common type of addiction. Both types of substance addictions are chronic diseases that can be treated with counseling, support groups, and self-help groups.

What biological factors increase the risk of addiction?

Due to the social stigma associated with addiction, addiction research is often overlooked. As a result, there is very little known about how and why people become addicted to drugs or alcohol. In fact, researchers do not know why some people become addicted and others do not. Scientists have found, however, that certain biological factors may increase the risk of addiction. Genetics plays an important role, but it does not determine the course of a person’s life. An individual’s life experiences play a role that is just as big.

Why do some people become addicted to drugs while others do not?

Researchers have not been able to identify the biological factors that determine who will become addicted to drugs and who will not. However, some researchers suggest that there are individuals who are more vulnerable to addiction. Research shows that a person’s vulnerability to addiction is derived from the environment they lived in while they were young — as well as any events that affected their developing brain.

Ultimately, however, self control is often the biggest issue. When any individual uses drugs or alcohol, they may become addicted. It is not the drug itself that causes the addiction. It is the way the drug affects the individual. The drug may be the same for two different people, but their reactions may be different. Why this occurs is not exactly understood. Current research suggests that there may be biological or psychological factors that make some people more susceptible to addiction than others.

What are the Signs/symptoms of Addiction?

There are certain signs and symptoms that suggest you might have an addiction. These problems include:

  • You have tried to quit your addiction but keep going back to it.
  • You spend much more time pursuing your addiction than you planned.
  • You experience negative feelings when you are not pursuing your addiction.
  • You are continuing with your addiction even when it is causing serious harm to your life.
  • You are lying or keeping secrets about your addiction.

Causes of Addiction

Addiction can be caused by a number of different factors, including genetics, your environment, and your biology.

  • Genetics – Genetics can play a part in addiction, as a study has shown that individuals with certain genes are more likely to become addicted to opioids and other drugs.
  • Environment – Your environment can also have an impact. If you are surrounded by people who are using substances, or in an area where drugs are common, you are more likely to get addicted to them.
  • Biology – Your biology can also trigger addiction, as certain people may be more likely to become addicted to certain substances.
These three factors are also linked together, as people who have experienced trauma or have an underlying mental health issue are more likely to become addicted than others. These people may have a decreased sensitivity to drugs or alcohol, so they need to use more to achieve the same effects. In most cases, addiction is a treatable condition that can be overcome with the right treatment. You can get help for your addiction by seeking a rehab that makes use of modern addiction medicine.

Risk factors of addiction

Unhealthy relationships – Often, an individual who is experiencing problems with their relationships may turn to drug or alcohol use as a way to cope.
  • Mental health problems – Individuals with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are at a higher risk of substance use and addiction. This is because they are often treated with addictive drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines.
  • Mood disorders – Individuals with mood disorders such- as bipolar disorder and depression- are often treated with addictive drugs. Individuals who have a history of substance abuse in their families are also more likely to develop an addiction.
  • Family environment – Growing up in a family environment that promotes drug use or has a history of substance abuse may increase the risk of developing an addiction.
  • Peer pressure – Peer pressure is a risk factor for drug abuse as well as addiction.
  • Impulsive nature – Individuals who are impulsive are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drug use and addiction.
  • Changes in brain and mental health during addiction

    An individual’s brain is constantly changing. Brain development continues until a person reaches their mid-20s. The rate at which the brain develops is related to the person’s age, their environment, and the type of activities they engage in. The brain’s development occurs in stages. A person’s experiences during certain stages of brain development can have a lasting impact on their health and well-being. The brain is at its most plastic stage when a person is young. This is the ideal time to acquire new skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime. It is also the ideal time to break harmful habits, such as drug and alcohol addiction.

    What are the different treatments available for addiction treatment?

    There are many different treatments available for addiction treatment. The most common types of treatment are counseling, rehabilitation, and self-help groups.

    • Counseling: Counselling is one of the most common types of treatment and can be found in many different forms. It is a type of therapy that is used to help the individual understand their condition and work towards overcoming it.
    • Rehabilitation: This is a more radical form of treatment that is used to treat the most severe cases of addiction. This is where the individual is removed from their environment to an inpatient facility where they can focus on their treatment.
    • Self-help groups: These are 12-step programs where individuals meet regularly to discuss their issues and support each other. They are a great way to overcome addictive behaviors.

    Support groups for Addiction treatment

    There are many support groups available for addiction treatment that can help individuals overcome their addiction. Some of the most common support groups are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These are 12-step programs where individuals meet regularly to discuss their issues and support each other. They are a great way to overcome addictive behaviors. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, we encourage you to seek treatment. Addiction can be overcome with the right treatment program and support system in place. Explore different treatment options and choose the one that is best for you. Recovering from addiction is possible, you just need to find the help that is best for you.

    Frequently Asked Questions on Addiction

    When you have an addiction, your life changes. If you have an alcohol or drug problem, your recovery can be challenging in many ways. It’s important to get the right kind of support and information so that you can move forward with your life. These FAQs on addiction are designed to provide answers to some of the most common questions people ask when they are dealing with a significant challenge like substance abuse. Addiction specialists and rehab professionals answer these questions as honestly as possible in order to help those who need it most.

    What is defined as an addiction?

    An addiction is a compulsive need to engage in a particular behavior despite the harmful effects it can have on your emotional, physical and mental well-being. These kinds of behaviors are often described as ‘self-medicating’ and are generally done to either numb emotional pain or to feel more ‘normal’. Addictions can be defined as unhealthy relationships with substances and behaviors.

    What are the three types of addiction?

    Substance use disorders – Substance abuse is the excessive use of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications and is commonly referred to as an addiction. Risky/impulsive behaviors – These kinds of behaviors include compulsive gambling, compulsive shopping, compulsive sex, and compulsive eating. Behavioural addictions – These include things like workaholism, internet addiction, compulsive nail biting, compulsive hair pulling, and compulsive hoarding.

    What are the main causes of addiction?

    • Genetics – Some people may have a genetic predisposition to addiction. People whose family members engaged in drug abuse, regularly abuse alcohol, or suffer from mental illness are more likely to develop problems with alcohol and other drugs.
    • Environment – The people and places you spend your time and the things you experience can all have an impact on your development and risk of addiction.
    • Biology – Dopamine and other chemicals in your brain, as well as the way they interact with the world around you, can also influence your risk of addiction.

    What are examples of addictions?

    Some of the most common types of addiction are as follows:

    • Alcohol addiction: This refers to a psychological dependence on alcohol. People who are alcohol-dependent generally misuse alcohol on a regular basis and cannot go for long periods without consuming alcohol. Quitting alcohol without the supervision of a medical professional can cause harmful consequences, such as debilitating withdrawal symptoms.
    • Drug addiction: This is another type of substance addiction that involves drug abuse as well as drug misuse. Drug addiction involves both a physical and a psychological dependence on a drug. Compulsive drug seeking can occur with both legal drugs prescribed by health care providers as well as illicit drugs.
    • Sex addiction: This is a type of process addiction where the individual becomes obsessed with the act of sex to the extent that they are unable to control their sexual urges.
    • Shopping addiction: This is a type of process addiction where the individual becomes obsessed with spending money and buying items that they do not need.
    • Gaming/internet addiction: This is a type of process addiction where the individual becomes obsessed with computer games or social media to the extent that they cannot stop themselves.

    What are the different options for addiction treatment?

    What are the different options for addiction treatment? The best option for you will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of addiction you have, its severity, the resources available to you, and the impact it is having on your life. There are several options for treatment, including the following:

    • Inpatient treatment – Inpatient treatment is an addiction treatment that takes place in a medical facility where you live and get all of your care. This type of treatment is best for people with severe addictions who need a lot of support and help.
    • Outpatient treatment – Outpatient treatment can be offered individually or in a group setting. This form of treatment allows clients to live at home while attending treatment sessions in their free time. This is best for people who have moderate addictions and need some support with their recovery.
    • Self-help groups – These are groups that you attend on a regular basis where you can talk with others who are going through a similar situation. They are a great way to get support and help with your recovery. Most people use self-help groups in conjunction with formal drug addiction treatment programs.
    • Traditional therapy – This type of therapy focuses on the root causes of addiction, such as childhood issues or trauma.
    • Medication – You may also be prescribed medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms of your addiction.

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