‘The abuse of alcohol and recreational drugs is a constant issue’


Kayla Barry

For this week’s Kayla’s Korner, PV senior Kayla Barry, discusses the impacts of alcohol and recreational drugs. She specifically talks about these effects on college students.

Kayla Barry , Assistant Editor in Chief

Editor’s Note: Kayla’s Korner will be a reoccurring column that deals with mental health and teenage issues.

With the fall semester approaching most seniors, the abuse of alcohol and recreational drugs is a constant issue among many colleges and universities.

For some students, these drugs and alcohol can be used for the hopes of relaxation and to make them feel better.  Although sometimes this can happen, most times, drugs and alcohol can actually heighten someone’s mental health.

According to Clearview Treatments, a program located in Los Angeles that has provided treatment for a variety of addictions and mental health disorders, alcohol and drugs can worsen the symptoms of:

  • Fatigue  
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

Alcohol and drugs can lower serotonin (chemical known to help regulate mood). Lowering serotonin can actually make someone struggling with their mental health struggle even more than they are. They can also cut off the effects of stress hormones, again making the symptoms even worse. They can disrupt and sleep and alter the thought processes.

They can also make these symptoms go on for longer periods of time than usual.

If you are taking antidepressants or other mental health related medication, alcohol and drugs can have negative effects mixed with the medication, furthering the symptoms even more.

For those going into college, I would advise you to have fun. I would just make sure that you are aware and careful when it comes to recreational drugs and alcohol.

While at college, if you are really struggling with your mental health, please reach out to your college’s mental health resources or someone you trust.  

Coming next: Kayla’s Korner will be continuing with weekly articles. Next week, Kayla will discuss tips for students with test anxiety.