Understanding Drinking Culture and Substance Abuse Among South Jersey Students

What you will learn

  • Navigating the social challenges presented on college campuses

Colleges such as Camden County College, Rutgers University-Camden, Rowan University, and Stockton University are hubs of academic excellence and social activity. However, it’s no secret that college life often revolves around social events, parties, and nightlife, creating an environment where alcohol and drugs may be readily available and frequently consumed. In South Jersey, where vibrant college communities thrive, it’s essential to address the realities of substance abuse among students and provide support for those navigating these pressures. As parents, sending our children off to college is both exciting and nerve-wracking. We entrust them with freedom, hoping they’ll excel in all aspects. With the way the world is today, our thoughts lead us to ask questions such as, “is my child ready for college?” and “how do I make sure my child stays safe in college?” Although there are no specific answers to these questions, it is important to be informed – and the topic of substance abuse is especially pertinent. Whether you’re a concerned parent or a student seeking guidance, this blog post aims to shed light on the challenges of drinking too much in college and provide helpful resources for those navigating this crucial phase of life.


Impact on Student Health:

Excessive drinking and substance abuse can have detrimental effects on student health and well-being. From alcohol poisoning and accidents to impaired cognitive function and mental health issues, the consequences of substance abuse are far-reaching and can disrupt academic performance and personal development. As college students face mounting academic pressures and social expectations, the allure of alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms may become increasingly tempting.


Understanding the Challenges:

College campuses in South Jersey, including those in Glassboro, Galloway, and Camden, are no strangers to the prevalence of alcohol consumption and substance abuse among students. From fraternity parties to dorm room gatherings, the pressure to fit in and socialize can lead to excessive drinking and experimentation with drugs. College campuses often foster an environment where alcohol consumption is prevalent, with events like tailgates, parties, and fraternity/sorority gatherings creating opportunities for excessive drinking. Additionally, the stress of coursework, social pressures, and newfound independence can contribute to the allure of substance use as a coping mechanism. What may start out as a student innocently taking Adderall from a friend to get an assignment done faster or “trying cocaine in college” can quickly turn into not being able to do anything without it. It’s essential to recognize that excessive drinking and substance abuse can have serious consequences, both academically and personally.


Recognizing the Signs:

As parents, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of substance abuse among college students. Whether it’s binge drinking, frequent hangovers, changes in behavior, or declining academic performance, being vigilant can help identify issues before they escalate. It’s crucial to be aware of warning signs that may indicate a problem with substance abuse to be able to act quickly. These can include changes in behavior, declining academic performance, mood swings, secretive behavior, and a decline in physical health. College students may also find themselves searching for information on topics like “I think my friend is doing drugs – how do I help them?,” “How to tell if I’m drinking too much” or “Do I have a drug problem?”


Resources and Providing Support for College Students:

Initiating open and honest conversations, providing emotional support, and encouraging friends or loved ones to seek help from resources available at their college, such as counseling services or support groups, can make a significant difference in their recovery journey. If you or your child are struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, it’s essential to seek support and resources. Many colleges and universities in South Jersey offer counseling services, support groups, and educational programs aimed at addressing substance abuse issues. Additionally, local organizations and treatment centers provide specialized assistance for those seeking help with addiction that work around their clients’ schedules, to ensure that they do not have to skip work or class to attend. Additionally, organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide safe spaces for students to connect with others facing similar challenges.



As parents and members of the South Jersey community, it’s essential to acknowledge the realities of drinking culture and substance abuse among college students.  Navigating substance use in college can be challenging, but it’s essential for both students and parents to be informed and proactive. By recognizing the warning signs of excessive drinking and substance abuse, seeking support when needed, and implementing prevention strategies, individuals can make healthier choices and thrive during their college years. Reach out to your college’s counseling center or local support groups for assistance. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of South Jersey students. Whether you’re a concerned parent or a student in need of guidance, help is available, and you’re not alone in this journey. 


If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out to Milestone Addiction Treatment at (856) 406-2829 or via email info@matreatment.com for assistance.

Tom Smith

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