Better ways to cope : Hit books, not blunts

Natalie Wittman, Healthy Huskies

Oftentimes when we have a bad day at work or found out we did horrible on a test, we say “man, I need a drink or two tonight.” Why is that? Why do we resort to drugs or alcohol when we feel stressed or upset? The answer is widely known, and you may have been taught it in class before. Alcohol and drugs produce a feeling of relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Did you know that using drugs and alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety can eventually lead to more stress and anxiety? The CDC states that using drugs and alcohol when you are stressed may temporarily make you feel better but can create problems which in turn would add to your stress. The CDC also states that long-term alcohol and drug use can lead to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse explains that drugs like cannabis can relieve stress in the moment, but it has negative effects on short term memory and judgement. As a consequence, grades may be affected and you may feel even more stress. The long-term effects of cannabis drastically outweigh the benefits.

While moderately drinking is okay if you are of age, it is important to understand that drinking and using drugs is not the most productive way to handle stressors in your life. There are better ways to cope with stress. Instead of drinking or engaging in drug use you could: go out to dinner with    friends, plan a game night, read a book, go for a run, walk, or play a sport, check out events happening on campus to attend or watch a movie.

We all feel the impact stress has on our lives, but it is important to understand how to cope with it in a healthy way instead of turning to drugs and alcohol, as their effects can backfire.

For more information on drugs and alcohol contact Margarete Hahn, DAWN Coordinator, at [email protected] or Kristi Hammaker, Health Educator, at [email protected]

If you are interested in having the Husky PAWS assistance in teaching your organization, class, club, residence hall, etc. about a health topic, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] to obtain information and giveaways.

Keep an eye out for the Husky PAWS on Wellness Wednesdays each week as they will be in different locations on campus with fun facts and giveaways! Be a Healthy Husky!