Quick Facts about Mental Illness – Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorders are often started as a way of coping with stress and peer pressures. Students who are away from home and their support network may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with loneliness, stress or other problems or as a way of feeling as if they could ‘fit in’ with the new social scene.

A person with a mental health problem has a higher risk of also having a substance use problem and this is called a concurrent disorder. Sometimes a person with an anxiety disorder may also have an alcohol problem or be addicted to medications. Medical professionals agree that substance use can make mental health problems worse.

Substance use and abuse is prevalent on campus. Substance abuse can have a profound negative impact on academic progress and the general health of a person.

Some of the common symptoms of substance abuse may include:

  • Impaired judgment and attention
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Sleeplessness, nausea
  • Loss of interest in academic pursuits or achievement

Friends, family and teachers will often observe that a person is consuming harmful substances at a rate that may be impacting general health and academic progress.

When a student is suspected of having difficulty with academics, it is important to suggest that they discuss issues with a counsellor or advisor.

For more information about substance use disorder: