I chose this topic because it highlights the issue of drug culture in higher learning institutions. Numerous studies have shown that negative effects of drug use lead to behavioral and emotional instability, disturbing cognitive functions.
Substance abuse on college and university campuses has proven to have detrimental results, so steps must be taken in controlling and preventing the use of illegal drugs by students.
Research has shown that drugs are used most commonly, in social settings and so, become very accessible. College and university students often get drugs from their peers, fellow students and share their own drugs with others (Rozenbroek and Rothstein 358).
This makes illegal substances extremely accessible and allows for further spreading among student. Also, this sort of behavior leads to an intake of several different substances, which creates a mix of drugs and this is even more dangerous.
Marijuana is the most accessible and often used drug among college students. The effects that it produces are immediate and are relatively long lasting.
The damage that is done to health and mental capacities of a person are not directly observed or noticed by the users and this makes the drug even more popular.
The opportunity to be used almost at any location and a chance to control the effects, make it possible to use in many social settings and with different people.
It has been shown that cannabis and other drugs lead to an increase in social behavior, students being less motivated and experiencing memory and concentration loss.
In some cases, it has alienated people who developed anti-social tendencies where people become isolated and engage in drug use. This majorly impacts the work and studies at educational institutions, as students get low grades on tests and cannot retain the information.
Use of drugs is mostly caused by social cues, easy access and peer influence. Students have been shown to crave and use marijuana and other illicit drugs in groups and settings where their friends are already involved in the usage.
As marijuana is the most commonly used drug in colleges or universities, the effects have been illustrated to fall within a great range. Those who use marijuana socially, exhibit tendencies to get involved in more risk taking behavior and relations with people who are not well known.
It has also led to promiscuity and irresponsible behavior among groups of marijuana users. Social use has a direct linkage to mental instability that the drug produces. People have experienced irritative behavior, emotional lack of control and mental instability.
Some studies have displayed that while using marijuana, the brain develops in a different way and thus, leads to diversion from norms in the uptake and comprehension of information. There is also a higher chance of developing mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
In turn, this can cause alcohol abuse and students are more susceptible to develop a higher dependency level (Buckner and Ecker 827). In relation to education and drug effects, students have been shown to be significantly impaired by substance abuse.
As motivation lowers, students are late to class, oversleep and their academic performance suffers considerably. Use of marijuana in particular, decreases energy levels and so, students tend to spend time sitting around with friends without getting any homework done.
The usage becomes a cycle where each aspect of social, personal and emotional instability causes and affects another. A person starts losing self-esteem, might develop paranoia and social exclusion.
Unfortunately, there is very little data that can justifiably state which mental disorders are specifically linked with marijuana use and so, further research is required.
The reasons and causes as to why students use marijuana and other illicit drugs are numerous. Some are dependant mentally and physically and so, continue the use.
Another reasons suggest that people want to avoid the negative symptoms of withdrawal and thus, are somewhat forced to engage in drug use (Shrier and Blood 822).
The stress and pressure that come from a new setting of an educational institution or inability to control the circumstances make people more inclined to use drugs. Also, self control theories have been proposed to explain the usage.
Students lack the ability to force themselves to refuse the drugs and because of this, engage in substance abuse. This might be caused by problems in the family, developmental problems or social settings (Ford and Blumstein 6).
Another theory is that the increase in the drug use comes merely from the increase in people’s awareness and the number of people enrolled in educational institutions. The amounts are much greater than before and people’s views are becoming more liberal.
As a greater population of students is involved in substance abuse, peer pressure has increased. The influence of friends and fellow students does not have to be forceful or physical, it happens on a subconscious level when a person believes that they must engage in similar behavior to be accepted.
Often, this is not the case but the message is clear that the more people use drugs, the more influence there is on those who are in close proximity to people and drugs themselves. In contrast, it has been shown the developmental and psychological disorders lead to higher drug abuse.
People with high anxiety and depression were more likely to use marijuana and abuse prescription medication (Schmidt and Buckner 1482).
There is still much research that must be produced in order to have conclusive results, proving the connections between personal mental states and drug abuse.
Before, it was mentioned, a lower self control and proximity to a large amount of drugs or people with an already developed dependence increases the chances of use and distribution. An alarming fact is that prescription medication is greatly used in the illicit ways.
People, who have a prescription, will sometimes share or sell their drugs to their friends and peers. This leads to a dangerous mix of several drugs that have proven to be extremely harmful for the person.
An addition of alcohol is another factor that increases the health risks of a person who has a drug abuse problem (Rozenbroek and Rothstein 359). The easy access and the absence of the need to produce the drugs, makes it efficient to distribute among students.
Many young adults get involved in the dealing of drugs, as it is a relatively safe and fast way to make money. Because of a high percentage of people using marijuana or other illicit drugs, especially on campus, a person can very effectively stay in one place and the demand will be rather high.
Social media and culture itself are part of the inclination to become involved in the sharing and usage of drugs. It is evident that drug use and the spread over the population is a growing problem and must be addressed with special attention.
As has been shown, people resort to drugs for many reasons but the absence of significant immediate effects and the large number of people involved in the usage are some of the major determinants.
As not a lot of studies have produced reliable results, people tend to think that the effects are not significant, as already a vast amount of individuals is using drugs. In reality, marijuana and other drug usage can be seen on a very personal basis.
For some people, it helps to concentrate and achieve better results, as has been seen with prescription drugs (Rozenbroek and Rothstein 361).
For those with various psychological and cognitive, as well as physical disorders, marijuana has been shown to have positive effects, by calming the person down and allowing for higher levels of concentration.
Even though cannabis and other drugs are illegal in the United States, a great portion of the population is involved in the use and thus, it is a growing problem.
Generally, recreational drug use, as well as prescription medication and marijuana have been around for a long time. The modern times have seen an increase in the usage by the student population.
This leads to believe that people are more acclimated with the drugs and there has been an increase in the access to the said substances. Sharing prescription drugs occurs frequently among friends and this creates even more issues.
College students, who consume illegal substances, have poor academic records, health illness and mental problems which in turn worsen the behavioral and mental conditions of a person.
Drug use and distribution must be strictly regulated and controlled by law in order to prevent any harmful consequences.
Buckner, Julia and Anthony Ecker. “Mental health problems and interest in marijuana treatment among marijuana-using college students”. Addictive Behaviors 35 (2010): 826-833. Print.
Ford, Jason and Lindsey Blumstein. “Self-Control and Substance Use Among College Students”. Journal of Drug Issues 43.1 (2013): 56-68. Print.
Rozenbroek, Katelyn and William Rothstein. “Medical and Nonmedical Users of Prescription Drugs Among College Students”. Journal Of American College Health 59.5 (2011): 358-364. Print.
Schmidt, Norman and Julia Buckner. “Marijuana effect expectancies: Relations to social anxiety and marijuana use problems”. Addictive Behaviors 33 (2008): 1477–1483. Print.
Shrier, Lydia and Emily Blood. “The Context of Desire to Use Marijuana: Momentary Assessment of Young People Who Frequently Use Marijuana”. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 26.4 (2012): 821-829. Print.