After Treatment for Hard Drugs, Is It Okay for my Teen to Use Alcohol and Smoke Pot in College?
Some parents have witnessed the horror of their young adolescent or teen addicted to hard drugs like pills, opiates, cocaine, and more. These life threatening drugs took over their child’s life and drove them down a dark path. Addiction to hard drugs is a daily threat with potentially fatal consequences. Other parents have seen their children become lost in alcohol, which can also be life threatening. Many parents witness their adolescents and teens lose their motivation when they become addicted to marijuana.
Expecting adolescents and teens to stay completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives after going to residential treatment is indeed a tall order. At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we see the potential for success in long term abstinence for all of our clients. Many teens decide they are completely done abusing hard drugs and never want to experience what hard drugs have to offer again. Going back into their social environments and putting prospects toward higher education, they desire mainstream social normalcy for the “college experience” which can include drinking, using marijuana, and potentially experimenting with other drugs. It is possible for teens to experience a “bad phase” of drug abuse in their life without becoming fully chemically dependent. Most professionals believe that full chemical dependency creates a condition which lasts a lifetime, meaning, there is always risk for relapse into the harder drugs again. Returning to the use of alcohol and marijuana in college could prove to be harmless, compared to the effects of other substances. New research proves, however, that the use of marijuana and alcohol damages academic performance, resulting in lower GPAs.
For two years, a group of over 1,100 college freshmen between the ages of 18-23 were surveyed monthly and had data regarding their academic performance analyzed. The students’ data was separated into three groups determined by substance use: medium/high use of marijuana and alcohol, medium/high use of alcohol but zero/low use of marijuana, and zero/low use of both marijuana and alcohol. Students who used higher quantities of alcohol but lower quantities of marijuana had lower GPAs than students who didn’t use or used very little of both substances. Students who were medium/high users of alcohol and marijuana also had lower GPAs.
Addiction and alcoholism are unpredictable. There is no way of telling when recreational use of substances like alcohol and marijuana could become problematic again. After enduring the hardships of hard drug addiction and going through residential treatment, teens and adolescents deserve to thrive in life. We emphasize a lifestyle of abstinence in recovery, encouraging our patients to develop a lifestyle which negates the need for mind altering substances in any context. Our comprehensive and customized treatment plans work with each child individually, assessing their needs academically as well as clinically. For information, call us today: 662-598-4214.