Dear Auntie, my college friends are always posting about drugs or alcohol. Is this really all that’s going on?
Well, unfortunately, this is pretty common. About 85% of people on social media see references to drugs and alcohol.
There’s definitely a party scene at most schools, but keep in mind that there are a lot of other scenes at colleges too.
For a lot of young people, college is a time to experiment and maybe that’s what your friends are doing. They can be trying out a new image they think puts them into a certain ‘group’ they want to be a part of. It’s important to keep in mind that social media channels tend to be pretty one-sided. If they are serious about earning a degree, then they are probably leaving out all the pics of themselves going to class, studying, and writing papers because let’s face it…it’s not as exciting as the rager last Friday. However, some people may take partying too far and end up having to drop out of school. Remember it is always your decision to control if you drink and how much you drink. Also, keep in mind that the main reason you and everyone else are there is to study and earn a degree.
You can reach out to your friend and private message them, call them or text them. Try saying things like:
•Hey, I care about you, what’s going on?
•How are you doing? If anything is wrong, I got you. Talk to me. I’m here to support you
No matter how you reach out, it’s important to try. Research shows that people who post about getting drunk could have a problem with alcohol use. And if you’re worried about getting in trouble, or your friend being mad at you, remember that getting help for a friend in these situations is more important than any of that. Sometimes you may not know what to say, or you may get frustrated if it doesn’t change what they share. But remember, we are not alone, and there is help available.
Here are a few tips that may help:
- Check out some resources from Facebook facebook.com/help/748040478549007/?helpref=hc_fnav
- Twitter also has some resources that may be helpful: https://about.twitter.com/safety/resources
- Instagram has some safety tips as well: https://help.instagram.com/377830165708421 and be sure to download the “Help a friend in need” guide
- Be there to support them and contact a family member, auntie, uncle, friend, counselor or teacher, or another trusted adult who can help.
Here are some tips you can check out that might help you when you have to make choices about drinking:
- Go to We R Native’s website to learn the real facts about Drugs and Alcohol and even tips for Drinking Smart.
- If you do think your friends are taking it a little too far, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). They are 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can help you to find resources and if needed a treatment facility closest to your friend.
Thanks for the question. I hope this sheds a little light on why people post about drugs or alcohol.
Take care of yourself,