We discourage the use of recreational drugs in our community, but sometimes we find evidence of such activity. This appears to increase during the summer months, when school is out.
We are committed to providing a safe environment for all residents, which is why we are bringing this to your attention.
This behaviour can by extension lead to other inappropriate conduct. Parents should be aware that their children may find themselves compromised if they keep the wrong kind of company.
Our Security personnel are duty bound to report any illegal activity to the police. We recommend that parents take preventative measures to protect their children.
While alcohol abuse and binge drinking still top the list of substance abuse problems among students, the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is a growing and serious problem
Some people misuse stimulants (Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin) to “get in the zone” or pull all night study sessions—a habit that is most likely to begin at college age. Full-time college students are twice as likely to use a prescription stimulant for non-medical reasons compared to those who aren’t in college or are only part-time.
College-age students are also misusing pain relievers (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin), tranquilizers and sedatives (Valium, Xanax) recreationally to get high or to help them cope with the academic stress and social pressures of college life.
These students are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors like binge drinking and experimenting with marijuana, cocaine and other prescription drugs.
Mixing prescription medications with alcohol or other drugs or crushing or snorting pills to maximize their effects - which some college students do - can lead to permanent organ damage, a stroke, heart attack, overdose and even death.
Regardless of the reasons, taking these medications without a prescription or medical oversight of the risks or using them in a manner or at a dose not advised by a health care provider to amplify their effects puts students’ health and safety at risk.
Unfortunately, when confronted with the issue of substance abuse, many parents are quick to say “not my child.” But once away from home, students are subject to the temptations and demands of college life without parental supervision and support. Even the best and brightest can feel the pressure to fit in socially and excel academically. Studies consistently show that teens and college-age kids think prescription medications are a safer alternative to illicit street drugs like cocaine or heroin. Many may not even know that they are doing anything wrong when they pop a friend’s Percocet to relieve a headache or take Adderall to cram for exams all night. But doing so is not only dangerous, it is also illegal to take someone else’s controlled prescription medicine.
There are some simple things you can do to help protect your child.
Stay Engaged with Your Child
Find ways to talk regularly with your child about his/her emotional wellbeing and adjustment to college life. This can go a long way to help buoy their confidence to “do the best they can” when juggling academic and social demands. Suggest healthy ways to handle stress.
If you or someone else in the family takes one of these types of prescription medications for legitimate medical reasons:
Keep your medications in a safe place, preferably locked up and out of sight.
Pick a few times each year to properly dispose of any unneeded or expired medications; don’t save them for a rainy day. For instructions on how to best get rid of these medications, talk with your pharmacist or follow any specific disposal information on the patient information sheet that accompanies your medication.
If you notice that pills or bottles are missing, take the necessary steps to talk with your child and provide supportive counsel.
Know What to Look For
Because college students are frequently exposed to opportunities to experiment with, misuse and abuse so many different types of prescriptions drugs - from stimulants and pain relievers to anti-depressants and tranquilizers - it can be difficult to know what signs to watch for. Each medication has different effects, and mixing these drugs with alcohol and other drugs is very dangerous and can lead to permanent organ damage and even death.
Know the signs that might signal prescription drug abuse.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
Depending on the drug misused or abused you may notice the following.
Stimulants are prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy; these medications, which include Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin speed up brain activity causing increased alertness, attention, and energy that comes with elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate and breathing.
Hyperactivity Shaking Sweating Dilated pupils
Fast or irregular heart beat
Elevated body temperature
Seizures Paranoia/nervousness Repetitive behaviors
Loss of appetite or sudden and unexplained weight loss
Sedatives/depressants are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders; these medications (Valium, Xanax, Ambien are examples) slow down or “depress” the functions of the brain and central nervous system.
Loss of coordination Slurred speech
Respiratory depression Coma
Opioid analgesics like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet are prescribed to treat moderate-to-severe pain; these medications can block pain messages from reaching the brain; they can also give someone a feeling of euphoria.
Sleep deprivation or “nodding” Pinpoint/constricted pupils, watery or droopy eyes
Nausea, vomiting, constipation
Slow slurred speech
Dry skin, itching, skin infections
Constant flu-like symptoms
Track marks (bruised skin around injection site)
Behavior changes may also include:
Sudden mood changes, including irritability, negative attitude, personality change
Extreme changes in groups of friends or hangout locations
Forgetfulness or clumsiness
Lying or being deceitful, skipping classes, avoiding eye contact
Losing interest in personal appearance, extracurricular activities or sports
”Munchies” or sudden changes in appetite
Unusually poor performance in school, on the field, in debate club or other activities
Borrowing money or having extra cash
Acting especially angry or abusive, or engaging in reckless behavior
If you suspect your child - or a friend of your child - is abusing prescription medicines, seek professional help.
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