Substance use for coping can lead to mental health issues

Before Charles Miller got into the car he quickly popped a small tab of 25i — fake acid. It seemed that during the first eight holes of golf everything would be normal, but it wasn’t until after the ninth hole that yardsticks started moving out of nowhere and the fairway turned into a waving ocean. This was an uncomfortable high for Miller that led him to experience severe anxiety for months after, and he coped by drinking alcohol and popping Xanax for a year of his college life.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” Miller, using a pseudonym to protect his identity, said.

The use of alcohol and illicit drugs is more common among young adults than any other age group, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Illicit drugs originally focused on the use of marijuana among college students, but has recently incorporated the use and misuse of prescription, over-the-counter drugs and harder drugs such as LSD. The administration found that 1 in 17 full-time college students aged 18-22 met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2015.  more

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