The National Institutes of Health mentions that about two-thirds of American teenagers have taken alcohol by their senior year at high school. Craving for substance abuse doesn’t start from nowhere. It is influenced by social/peer pressure, environmental factors, family, and affiliation with those who use it. While its effects on mental and physical health are well known, the impact on academic pursuits is less known.
Substance abuse can be a significant roadblock to academic success. Several studies have attributed drug use amongst students to poor intellectual functioning and a greater chance of dropping out. This leads us to the conclusion that substance abuse and academic performance are bidirectional, like dual diagnosis. This article explains the connection between substance misuse and academic performance and the consequences on educational pursuits.
The Interplay Between Substance Abuse and Academic Performance
The relationship between substance misuse and academic performance is far-reaching. Substance abuse is using drugs and alcohol beyond standard recommendation. When drugs and alcohol are introduced into students’ lives, their educational pursuit suffers. Interestingly, most students think these drugs or alcohol don’t affect them. Instead, they feel they can boost their academic grades, which is untrue.
Alcohol has been attributed to lower academic performance, accounting for about 25% of college dropouts. It’s unsurprising that heavy drinkers and users have low grades and eventually drop out; alcohol impairs memory and concentration.
Drugs and alcohol lead to REM deprivation. REM is a sleep stage associated with memory retention and memory. When one ingests harmful substances, they affect the sleep cycle. The brain stays active in times when it should be resting. As a result, consolidating information is affected, and the attention span gets shorter, leading to decreased efficiency in studying and reading comprehension.
The immediate rewarding effects also influence substance abuse on academics. Drugs and alcohol lead to heightened attention. As such, the individual feels they concentrate more when they use it, but the effect is short-lived. This leads to repeated use, forcing the students to shift their attention to substance use instead of prioritizing their academics.
Effects of Substance Abuse on Academic Performance
The most alarming effect of substance abuse is the increased school dropout rates. It causes students to be less interested in their academic engagements and more motivated to take the substances. Ultimately, students fall behind, miss classes, and become disinterested in furthering their education. The downward spiral results in dropout.
With educational attainment hindered, future career opportunities become limited. Affected individuals may spend the rest of their lives as people with an addiction if they don’t access immediate help. The longer the addiction, the more complicated recovery becomes.
Strategies for Curbing Substance Abuse on Students
Fortunately, there are ways to break substance abuse on academic performance. The first step is addressing substance abuse and its profound effects on school educational pursuits. School interventions can help students dealing with substance abuse and support them to foster recovery.
School interventions start with establishing effective programs and support systems. Schools can ensure they have a supportive space where students can come to seek help for their addiction problems. Programs that can be set up in schools include counseling services, educational programs, and support groups. Schools can also have addiction experts come over on scheduled days to enlighten the students about substance abuse and how they can overcome the pressure of using.
Besides school interventions, family support and integrated therapy can help curb the detrimental effects of addiction. Family is a fundamental unit that plays a vital role in how children are raised. A robust and supportive family will ensure their loved ones don’t slip into addiction. And even if they do, they help them overcome it.
Therapy is often the most deployed form of teen addiction treatment in New Jersey. Students can still pursue their education if they seek help immediately. A therapist will help them understand the root cause of their addiction and develop healthy ways to cope. Many students have recovered from substance abuse and went on to complete their education.
Portum Behavioral Health Can Help Students Overcome Substance Abuse
The relationship between substance abuse and academic performance can’t be overlooked. By understanding how addiction is connected to academic performance connection, proactive steps can be taken to ensure that supported students recover and continue their education. Portum Behavioral Health can assist students in overcoming their addiction through comprehensive treatment plans and strategies. Our experienced healthcare professionals understand teens’ vulnerabilities regarding substance abuse. That puts us in the best position to deal with the effects of substance abuse. We can provide the needed support to regain control of your life. Don’t let your aspirations go down the drain due to substance abuse. Get help by contacting us at (551) 306-4000 or visiting 1465 Rt. 31 S., Annadale, NJ 08801.