By Inviolata Wesonga.
High school students make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers in the country. Did I say high school? I meant Colleges and university students are huge consumers of drugs. That is between the age brackets of 18-24 years, most of them are in rehab as a result of addiction.
This highly affects their academic performance which later graduates to drop out of school and even death.
However, more of full-time college program students are highly affected than those on evening classes or school based programs. This is because of the much free time; a lot of money, peer pressure and availability of drugs. Moreover, college students are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as those who don’t attend college.
First time in university creates anxiety and students overwhelmingly get the temptation to drink alcohol and socialize easier. Most of them begin during freshers’ night and other social events organized by the university entertainment crew, birthday celebrations, university ethnic groups among others. Most of them begin by binge drinking and doing drugs but later have more fun leads many students toward addiction.
I remember when I was in fourth year of at university; I sat next to a dude who has been having retakes for the last three years. He has been in rehab and the parents are comfortable with him there than at home. I decided to check on his back life and I learnt that he was never into alcohol and he used to a humble and loving boy. He got initiated into drugs when he joined student politics where he began drinking with his supporters. He didn’t miss birthday parties where drinking was order of the day. This later graduated to addiction and later spoiling his academic life.
What one must understand is, first years joining university are tasked with new responsibilities and expectations that are overwhelming as they go through separation, transition and incorporation stages of college life. Thus institutions have adopted programs designed to provide a ‘rite of passage’ in which students are welcomed, supported, celebrated, and eventually assimilated into the campus.
It’s at this incorporation stage that students achieve full membership into the social and academic communities of the institution. Therefore, parental obligation in different ways is chief and one must guard student privacy as they seek information. Some institutions have parent newsletters that detail expected student experiences and performance during the first year and proceeding years. Therefore parent obligation never ceases when one joins university.