Going to college is a major transition for many teenagers – one that poses new and often overwhelming challenges. And, while there is no denying that underage drinking is a widespread issue on college campuses, not all parents may be aware of another common form of college-age substance abuse: prescription pills.
This trend has been covered by various news outlets in recent years. According to a 2010 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrations revealed that 22 percent of college students had experimented with illicit drugs in that year.
Yet, despite this substantial figure, not all university administrators seem willing to monitor this form of substance abuse as strictly as on-campus alcohol consumption. Last year, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland, interviewed a local college professor about the prevalence of prescription drug misuse on campus and the steps being taken to address it.
“It’s hard to get people to recognize it as a problem,” University of Maryland professor James Murphy told the news outlet, explaining that illegal substances and alcohol remained the top priorities among campus authorities.
In many instances, Murphy and other professors contributed to the story explained, prescription drug abuse goes under the radar because it is more subtle. In lieu of a boisterous kegger at an off-campus frat house, this can easily take place in the campus library as a means to fuel an all-night study session.
“It’s not the partiers who do it, it’s the academics,” another faculty member – Professor Thomas Morris – said.
If you have a child in college and believe that they’ve developed a substance abuse problem, you may feel powerless to help them – particularly if they are studying far from home. But, with the help of professional interventionists, you can address this problem directly by holding a substance abuse intervention.