School is in full swing, and many students are enjoying the socialization and activities. College is a time of exploration and self-discovery. On the other hand, students are exposed to peer pressure and other external factors. Parents might nervously anticipate what the new academic year will bring.

Typical concerns involve late-night partying and drunk driving. But according to a new Colorado Health Institute report, there’s another trend to look out for.

Last year, more Coloradans died from drug overdoses than any other year in history. In addition, it’s predicted that drug overdoses killed more people than car crashes. This tragedy is due to how the opioid epidemic is transforming.

With opioid deaths at an all-time high in Colorado, it’s important to be aware of all the drugs that are doing heavy damage, such as:

  • Opioid painkillers
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin

Hospitals and doctor’s offices are cracking down on prescribing. However, addictive drugs still filter through the black market and can end up anywhere, in anyone’s hands.

College students more susceptible to drug addiction

According to Beach House Center for Recovery, full-time college students are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those not in school. There are many reasons for these high rates, which includes:

  • Peer pressure
  • Course load
  • Curiosity
  • Stress

Parents should contact their student’s college counseling center if they have questions about responding to substance abuse or addiction. It’s important to have open conversations with students about the consequences of drug addiction, both personally and professionally.