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Freshman freedom and risky choices

College is a time of newfound independence, academic exploration and personal growth. But alongside the excitement comes a surge in risky behaviors, with drug and alcohol abuse placing students at a heightened vulnerability for crime. 

While not all college students engage in substance use, the transition to adulthood coincides with a period of peak brain development. This can make these young adults more susceptible to addiction and the negative consequences that follow.

Times away from parents 

College often marks the first time young adults are away from the watchful eye of parents or guardians. This newfound freedom can lead to a sense of invincibility and a willingness to experiment with substances that may have been off-limits before. 

Peer pressure 

Pressure from peers can also play a significant role. The college social scene often revolves around alcohol consumption, with heavy drinking normalized in certain social circles. Students may feel pressured to conform to fit in, jeopardizing their academic performance. 

The consequences of drug and alcohol abuse extend far beyond academic performance. Intoxication impairs judgment, increasing the likelihood of risky sexual behavior, vandalism or even violent crime.

Academic stress 

Academic stress is another major contributor. The demands of college coursework and the pressure to excel can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, some students end up turning to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. This is a risky way to self-medicate anxiety or cope with sleep deprivation. 

Furthermore, the competitive nature of college can lead to the misuse of prescription stimulants like Adderall, with students seeking an unfair advantage without considering the potential for addiction and negative health effects.

Parents with kids in college should keep a watchful eye to help ensure their offspring don’t compromise their future due to a momentary lapse in judgment. With the support of a legal team, guardians can protect young adults from the harsh consequences of alcohol and drug-related crimes.