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Don't let a college student's first taste of freedom be their last

Going to college is about receiving a higher education. Right? That may be true, but it is also often about the first taste of freedom for many young adults. As a parent, you hope your college student will make the right choices, but that may not always happen. Parties are a part of many students' college experiences, and at least some of those parties may involve alcohol and drugs.

Sadly, under these conditions, there could be significant peer pressure to fit in and engage in behavior that could lead to drug use, but it isn't just for partying that college students use drugs. They may also feel under pressure to perform academically and use drugs they believe will help them stay awake or focus better. Many of these substances are addictive as well. At some point, your child may end up coming into contact with law enforcement because of it.

What illegal drugs most often appear on college campuses?

It may not surprise you to know that alcohol is the number one substance abused on college campuses. The second is marijuana. Thereafter, you could see one or more of the following drugs on campus:

  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Cocaine

These are just some of the drugs law enforcement officials find on college campuses. The possibility of addiction to any of these types of drugs remains a threat to your college student's life and future.

What legal drugs most often appear on college campuses?

In recent years, an increase in college students abusing over-the-counter and prescription drugs has risen sharply. Using these medications outside of their intended purpose could lead to abuse and addiction. For instance, if a student has a prescription for a narcotic pain killer, but continues to take them after the medical need no longer exists, that becomes abuse and potentially criminal.

What does addiction look like?

If you suspect that your child may have a drug problem, look for the following signs:

  • Depression
  • Weight changes
  • Poor academic performance
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social withdrawal
  • Forgetfulness
  • Agitation
  • Isolation
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • High-risk behavior
  • Violent outbursts
  • Car accidents

If your child goes to school in another area, you may not be able to recognize these signs right away. If you live close, you may be able to catch the problem before the addiction goes too far.

The consequences could cost your child's freedom

Many of the behaviors indicative of drug use could end with your child facing criminal charges. The question then becomes whether traditional penalties for convictions such as incarceration would help the situation. In most cases, the answer would be no. Instead, your child may need treatment and other help to break the addiction.

Many Michigan parents are tempted to "teach their child a lesson" by allowing the criminal justice system to do its job. However, that could have serious repercussions for the future. Even a misdemeanor could keep your child from obtaining or keeping scholarships or student loans. The school may even expel your child depending on the circumstances.

Instead, it may be beneficial to come to an agreement with prosecutors that gets your child much needed help and keeps his or her record clean. A former Michigan prosecutor would know what options may be available to our child and can take the appropriate steps to help your child come back from his or her mistake.

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G. M. Gabry Law
1300 West Centre Ave.
Ste. 100
Portage, MI 49024

Phone: 269-389-9113
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