Popular culture and the slow transformation of society have created a monster: the college party scene. Many college campuses go above and beyond the image of a party school, making the movie Animal House look like a walk in the park. College students see the party scene as a rite of passage. In many professionals’ eyes, students no longer pay for an education, rather they pay for an experience. Unfortunately, the substances these students are abusing have addictive traits and can lead to serious dependency issues. Several campuses in Indiana are suffering the same fate as schools across the country. College party culture is hiding a drug abuse problem. Drug Abuse Drug abuse affects millions of Americans every year, so much so that the United States pays nearly $600 million in substance use related issues. Millions of teenagers are experimenting with drugs while they are still in high school. There inhibitions are increased when they are let loose by their parents and left to make their own decisions at college. Since the inception of addiction and substance abuse, scientists, researchers, and professionals alike have been looking for the cause of addiction. There has yet to be a concrete cause or problem that links an individual to drug or alcohol addiction. What they have agreed upon is a serious of events and pre-aligned issues that can lead to addiction. Children that come from homes where addictive behaviors persist are at a higher risk to develop dependency issues. Families with a history of addiction can pass a trait along to their future generations that make them more susceptible to addiction. Increased levels of stress, depression, and isolation can also lead to substance abuse, as a coping mechanism. College Life College is a time of growth and increased education for young adults seeking to better themselves and prepare for a career in the real world. It is also the first time, for some, to be on their own. Thousands of teenagers finally set free from the grip of their parents free to do what they want when they want, but at the same time, are given immense increases in responsibility and stress. The increase for the need of well-qualified professionals and competition has led schools to increase the difficult and strenuousness of their curriculum. These increased standards cause students enormous amounts of stress. Several hours a day students are required to go to class, study, research, write, and work. These escalated responsibilities and expectations cause them considerable stress. When the weekend comes around, they are ready to let loose. College students do so by engaging in binge drink, illegal substances, and prescription medications. They are engaging in dangerous activities, which could have long-term problems. The substances they are abusing can lead to serious dependency issues, especially with the rate and style to which they consume them. Progression to Abuse Addiction is not a spontaneous event; rather, it is a progression that takes place over time. By the time these students get to college, most have already progressed past the experimental stage of addiction and moved on to occasional use. Due to the stress of school and work, depression from falling grades or homesickness, and isolation that comes with being in a new place, students consume high amounts of substances. These substances have high addiction qualities that change the way the brain and body function. What seems as normal college student release of stress is actually the development of an addiction over the course of a college career. When everyone takes part in the binge drinking and drug abuse, it does not seem as an individual has substance abuse, but that is not the case. On campuses across Indiana, weekend bingeing has turned college students into drug and alcohol addicts. The college culture that has been created can easily lead to drug abuse. Drug abuse is being disguised as normal college behavior. If you or someone you know is abusing drugs it is essential to speak with someone about getting help.