Oct. 10, 2021 – The layout of Tallahassee and the many different demographics present contribute to the high rate of drug use. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, people use drugs for many different reasons. However, one of the biggest reasons people turn to substance use is stress related to family, school troubles, social issues and work. Tallahassee is a high-stress environment, especially for college students. Science Daily, a medical publication on mental health and stress, reports that 2021 has been a particularly stressful year for college students. Anxiety, depression, high stress levels and loneliness have been increasing due to several factors. The COVID-19 pandemic, a return to in-person classes and heavy workloads are all catalysts to increase stress levels and potential drug use.

Dakota Klapper is a second-year criminology student at Florida State. She shared her perspective on college stress and the particular challenges of 2021.

“Overall the biggest stressor has been financial difficulty, especially as an out-of-state student,” said Klapper.  “I have not received my scholarship yet and I had to pay my tuition all on my own. Also, returning to in-person learning has been a particular challenge. Socializing, attending lectures and commuting have been stressors I have not faced ever since I joined FSU during the pandemic. These events feel overwhelming and harm my mental health.”


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