It is becoming more and more evident that the substance abuse issues at the University levels are continuing to get out of hand. Young adults continue to move on to college with the idea that it is a time for them to ‘cut loose’ and experiment with drugs and alcohol. The rising problem of substance abuse in college has forced many institutions to change policies and offer different programs to keep them from falling victim to addiction. Indiana college students can suffer the same fate of addiction if they treat college as a time for substance use and abuse instead of a time for further education. The rising rates of college dropouts, as a result of substance abuse and addiction, are continuing to grow. First Year Students and the Transition to College Life For many, college is the first time they separate ties with their families. Some move to the next town and others across the country. That first taste of freedom is sweet, and for some, too sweet to enjoy responsibly. First year Indiana college students have a higher risk for substance abuse and addiction because there are so many others with the same goal in mind; drunk. Those students who do not have that mindset might fall victim to dangerous habits as a result of finding new friends or fitting in. Some students see it as a specific time in their lives at which point they have to abuse alcohol or drugs. For those moving from high school to college alcohol is a ‘great’ way to make new friends and find their new place in the world of college. These students could feel anxious about meeting new people and turn to alcohol or drugs to loosen up. This type of behavior is very dangerous. Studies show that those students who do not engage in alcohol at the high school level do so in college and those who have drank in high school look for schools that are more catered to alcohol consumption than others. Party schools are a highly sought after aspect of this secondary education system. The more wild and crazy a school is the more students want to enroll. Although these transitioning students have a higher risk of substance abuse and addiction few schools are prepared with programs to help divert or remedy this behavior. Substance abuse programs should be available at all of these institutions to prepare students for this transition and help them as they move through it. Ways to Stay Sober in a Culture of Partying The first technique to stay sober and happy in Indiana colleges is to find like-minded people. It is much easier than most people would think. There are a number of different activities and programs that Universities provide to keep students from engaging in dangerous substance abuse practices. By engaging in these activities students can find others that are interested in the same fun, sober living. Dorm living is a chaotic way to live life. For some, it is fun to be right in the middle of the action; but for most, the small facilities, constantly sick neighbors, and rowdy hall mates is too much to handle. Living off campus is a wonderful to get the peace and quiet needed for studying and also for living sober. The culture of partying is more prevalent in dorms than anywhere else. By living off campus students put themselves in better positions to combat peer pressure and substance abuse. Sober partying is a great way to relieve the stress of school and still have fun. Make sure you know where the non-alcoholic drinks are and drink conservatively. Keeping your wits about you is the best way to keep from falling into the partying abyss. The last tip for staying sober in the culture of partying is to drink light. It is not necessary to chug every drink that is given to you. It is much easier than people think to drink responsibly. Set a limit for number of drinks, drink/time table and have a specific time to which you must leave. These are the best ways to enjoy college without falling into that dangerous pit of substance abuse. There are a number of different programs and professionals that can help students reduce problematic drinking or partying habits. Get help from a professional if you or someone you know is abusing drugs or alcohol.