Students, Addiction Specialists Call for Shift in College Culture
David, a Social Work student at the University of Michigan, tried Vicodin for the first time when he was 17.
“I’ve never felt this good in my life,” David, who requested his last name remain anonymous, said.
His doctor prescribed him the drug in order to alleviate any pain he may feel after undergoing a wisdom tooth surgery. The next year, after a lacrosse injury at the University of Georgia, a doctor prescribed him the drug again. When Vicodin didn’t suffice, his doctors prescribed Percocet. After one month of taking the prescription pain medication, he was addicted.
“I ended up taking it for about a month and tried to stop, (but) it’s pretty addicting,” David said. “Then I started buying (opioids) from the streets from friends, and eventually started writing fake prescriptions so I could get more.”
When David started graduate school at the University, he reached out to the Collegiate Recovery Program, a support service for students who are recovering from alcohol and drug addiction that has branches at universities throughout the country. The University chapter, run single-handedly by Program Manager Matt Statman, seeks to help students in recovery do well in school and enjoy their time at the University without alcohol or drugs.