The use of common street drugs for stress reliever or academic enhancer at UIUC and why students should find holistic alternatives

As daunting as the reality of drug use is, we can’t get around the truth that drug abuse is extremely prevalent on our college campus and other campuses across the country. In the past few years, daily marijuana use grew to a whopping 11.8% of college youth in 2015. This striking statistic doesn’t include any use of non-medical prescription drugs, cocaine, synthetic drugs, or hookah either. Even high schoolers in recent years have reported in various surveys that they have easier access to obtaining marijuana and painkillers like Vicodin than just tobacco or alcohol. One of the big factors why drug abuse is still a major issue among college students is because they lack information about its risks, are encouraged by peers in the Greek and party scene, and may feel the need to escape from their academic stress. However, there are much healthier and effective ways to relieve that pressure. Students should pursue a more holistic remedy like mediation, a healthier diet, and a more active lifestyle rather than turning to common street drugs.

Warning signs of common street drug abuse

Often a person who uses drugs on a consistent basis will begin to change in their mental and physical behavior over time. Whether he or she is receiving “street drugs” from a friend or simply just using unprescribed pills from their medical stash at home, the people that they surround themselves with will spot several warning signs. If you suspect that your friend or family member may be relying on addictive substances like drugs, watch for any sudden and unexpected changes in their mood, a more secluded and secretive personality, and unpredictable aggression in conversations or body language, or big changes in appetite throughout the day. Other red flags may be avoiding eye contact when being spoken to, odd patterns of sleep, worse performance in their classes at school, a less put together appearance, or burn like marks on their lips or fingers.

Common street names

There are many common names for drugs that college students may come across at some point in their student career. For study aid drugs like adderal, names like addy, study buddies, dexies, zing, pep pills, or speed is widespread. For marijuana, names like weed, pot, herb, broccoli, green, and many more are used throughout campuses. Other drugs like cocaine and codeine are currently going by blow c, coke, freeze, sizzurp, purple, and lean. It’s important to become aware of these names in order to protect yourself from drug distribution going on near you and avoid people who may try to convince you to take part in their activities. Get a hold of a list of illegal drugs and street name online to use as reference. A street name for illegal drug use is always changing, so it’s best to view that list periodically.

The holistic alternative

Instead of turning to drugs to cope with stress or get by with their academics, I recommend using methods from holistic therapy like meditation, obtaining higher amounts of nutrition, and taking part in more physical activity. The idea behind holistic therapy is that the body, mind, and spirit are all linked together so taking care of all parts will lead to better mental clarity, lower anxiety, and greater energy levels throughout the day. Anyone can start by meditating for a few minutes every morning and doing breathing exercises. Participating in competitive sports or just recreational activity like running, soccer, hockey, baseball, etc. will help get your blood pumping and become more connected to how your body feels like throughout the day. Getting rid of sugar and other junk food and instead consuming whole and fresh foods will ensure that your energy levels are at its peak. As a result, your body will be able to more easily transition from relying on drugs to function to wholesome vitamins and minerals. Lastly, there’s always the option of a drug and alcohol rehab center. You don’t need to be a complete mess to get help with drug and alcohol abuse.

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