Wild college parties are what many students look forward to when attending college, but for many they’re the beginning of the end. When I left home for the first time to attend a prestigious University of California school, I had partying on my mind more than academic opportunities. For me and many other new students, going away to college was the first time that the accountability of living in mom and dad’s house disappeared. The glamorous parties from movies like “Animal House”, “Old School”, and “Project X”, make alcohol and drug filled parties look like good, old harmless fun. However, many students try their first hard drugs and pick up the dangerous binging habits that ultimately bring them to their knees at parties like these.
Along with the kegs and 24 packs of Coors, many students are experimenting for the first time with drugs like cocaine, molly, ecstasy, and prescription painkillers at these kinds of parties. Peer pressure isn’t just something that high-school kids being offered weed their first time deal with – the same principle applies to college students who see classmates popping pills with seeming impunity. The drug use appears harmless, and it doesn’t seem as taboo to snort lines of powder when there are pretty girls, jocks and kids that you go to class with doing the same thing. For a lot of students though, the drug use doesn’t stop when the party does.
Without the parents to come home to, when other kids would be calling it a night, I would take the party back to my dorm or apartment, quickly linking up with the other students that wanted to keep going. Often smoking, snorting and drinking through class the next day, our wild college party nights would regularly turn into drug binges that could go on for days. The scenery quickly changed from loud music, laughing and dancing girls to drawn blinds and disheveled, sweaty guys huddled around a table of powder or a glass pipe.
Mixing Drugs and Alcohol
Even when the transition from college student letting loose to isolating addict isn’t this dramatic, there are a lot of dangerous situations that come up at wild college parties. Many students are uneducated when it comes to mixing drugs and alcohol, so deaths and overdoses occur regularly, even among non-addict students, when simultaneously ingesting things like Xanax and alcohol at parties – sometimes unknowingly. This can be due to spiked punch, or drinks being intentionally “roofied” with things like Rohypnol and GHB, which are extremely hard to detect by taste. In fact, the in-experienced drug users are at the greatest risk for situations like this, and the kid passed out on the floor or in the back of the ambulance was almost always a relatively new or otherwise non-drug user, because of their lack of chemical tolerance.
While these wild college parties are part of many young people’s lives, they also have the potential to be extremely dangerous – exposing kids to new drugs, placing them in compromising situations, and promoting a lifestyle that can have much more dire consequences than a simple hangover.