Recently, I was scrolling through my personal Instagram account and came across a post from Barstool Plymouth, a page most students at Plymouth State University are familiar with. The post I am referring to basically depicted a man throwing fuel into a raging fire. The fuel was labeled as “attending Plymouth State University” and the fire was labeled as “my underlying substance abuse issues.”
Numerous students resonated with this post, replying in the comments and reposing the “meme” to their Instagram stories. Plymouth State University is not alone in it’s reputation of drug and alcohol use, but the reality is that reputations are sometimes in place for a reason. Colleges house thousands of young adults in their late teens and early twenties, many of who have never lived away from home, and allow them to get their first taste of freedom in a dorm with hundreds of other kids their age who idealize college as the time to binge drink and snort Adderall in place of sleep.
Now, this not true for many students. Many students drink a regular amount, or not at all, and focus on their studies, clubs and activities. But addiction does become the reality for many students on college campuses. It’s difficult to see, but some will come in without the intent to have a problem, because who ever intends to have a problem? And then discover that they really, really like a certain drug, or the feeling of being drunk, and over time and exposure, develop an issue. Some people are just more susceptible than others, and don’t know it until they’re in too deep.
So, this brings me to the point of my post. Plymouth State University does not cause drug addiction and reckless behaviors, sometimes that is just the reality of a college campus, or just life in general. However, it does need to be acknowledged that students are finding themselves reliant on substances more than they would like. And so, I believe PSU should have more programs, and support, in place to help both students who are already struggling with substance abuse, and those who are not yet to become educated on the reality of addiction, and how easy it can happen to them without even realizing it.