Statistically speaking, drug use among college adults is significantly higher than those not in college. Many factors cause these statistics. For example, less authoritative supervision, dormitories, and fraternities/sororities are variables that correlate with higher rates of substance use and misuse.
For instance, a study in 2018 saw drug trends among college-aged adults. According to the National Institutes of Health study, the drugs in the survery were:
All of the substances, except opioids, rank college adults at a higher percentage rate of consumption. Also, marijuana is at a historic high for both college and non-college adults. According to the study, college students had “approximately a 7% increase over five-years”. This puts yearly marijuana use by college students to be at 43%, which is the highest these statistics have been in the past 35 years.
Furthermore, vaping, which is an electronic cigarette, doubled for college-aged students. According to the study, “between 2017 and 2018, nicotine vaping increased in college students from 6.1% to 15.5%. Adderall misuse varied on gender, with rates in men being 14.6% and women at 8.8%”.
However, the “overall Adderall misuse is higher among college students at 11.1% than their non-college peers at 8.1%”. Fortunately, opioids are the outlier, with the misuse of prescription dropping “from 5.4% to 2.7%” in college students.
Another study in the early 2000s by Ph.D.’s Mary E. Larimer, Jessica M. Cronce, Christine M. Lee, and Jason R. Kilmer was “Brief Intervention in College Settings.” In this scholarly article, they pool together multiple studies and statistics from previous experiments and they conduct their own also. According to the report, the survey determines how many college students involve themselves in alcohol. Specifically, how much they consume and in what time frame.
Moreover, according to the study, “the pattern of alcohol use among college students is a serious cause for concern because many engage in heavy episodic, or binge drinking, traditionally defined as having five or more drinks in a row. Approximately 39 to 44 percent of college students reported binge drinking at least once in the two weeks before filling out the survey”.
In addition, Excessive alcohol consumption is hazardous. Furthermore, binge drinking is when an individual drinks five or more drinks in two hours. Specifically, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, for example, a standard drink can be:
- 12 ounces of a regular beer at 5% alcohol
- About 9 ounces of malt liquor at 7% alcohol
- 5 ounces of unfortified wine at 12% alcohol
- And 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor at 40% alcohol
Binge drinking any of these forms of alcohol can lead to severe consequences. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years”. Beginning to binge drink at age 18 in college can form unhealthy habits that can severely harm you over time. Colleges should offer Alcohol prevention programs for college students to educate them on the effects and consequences of alcohol.