College often represents a major turning point in a young adult’s life. For many individuals, college brings a sense of freedom, and with this newfound freedom comes a willingness to explore new experiences.
More often than not, these experiences involve experimentation with substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and illicit drugs like ecstasy and cocaine. With the easy availability of these substances on campus, though, experimentation can easily turn into drug abuse.
The relevance of college drug abuse statistics is critical to policymakers whose task it is to find realistic solutions to this long-running college education scourge. With data like these, it is easier to formulate solutions that could address this issue.
In this article, we list down the latest, most important drug abuse statistics for current college students. We’ve also compiled some numbers on alcohol abuse as well as the effects of substance abuse on college students today.
While it’s difficult to pin down student crime statistics and the exact percentage of college students who do drugs, drug abuse is widely considered to be an epidemic on US college campuses today. Young adults in college today experience exposure to a wider range of substances. Aside from alcohol and marijuana, prescription pills like Adderall and Ritalin have become popular among college students, too. For instance, studies revealed that many college students report misuse of pain medications, sedatives, and stimulants.
This becomes more unfortunate in the face of mounting debt among college students.
Source: Monitoring the Future
The US accounts for an overwhelming majority of the global marijuana market—90%, to be exact—and there’s a good chance that college students make up a sizable portion of this majority. Despite the dizzying selection of illicit drugs available to college students today, marijuana remains the most commonly abused drug among college students. Experts attribute the continued popularity of marijuana to students who have been using the drug since their high school years.
These numbers may also increase in the coming years as more Generation-Z youth enter college.
More worrying still, a recent study revealed that the age group is poised to become a generation of cannabis consumers.
Source: Morning ConsultDesigned by
Prescription drugs include pain medication such as OxyContin or Vicodin. Adderall, used to treat ADHD, is also a commonly abused drug among college students because of its stimulant effect, which can improve focus. The numbers on prescription drug use may again be exacerbated by the growing population of Generation Z on college campuses, especially as education statistics say that this generation prioritizes achieving a college degree.
Enhance social situations%
Like the way they feel%
Source: Ohio State UniversityDesigned by
Aside from drugs, alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances among college students. Studies reveal that alcoholism remains a major problem for millions of college students each year. Moreover, surveys found that as much as 50% of college students are no stranger to binge drinking.
Alcohol abuse causes a myriad of serious consequences for college students. For instance, the poor academic performance associated with alcohol use may affect a student’s employment prospects. According to surveys, recruiters consider a 4-year degree a competitive edge for entry-level applicants.
Source: Monitoring the FutureDesigned by
Due to rave culture at college campuses, party drugs like cocaine and ecstasy have gained popularity among college students today. Studies say that MDMA use in colleges has quickly increased over the past decade. Many of these drugs are consumed for their perceived effects like improved extroversion, increased confidence, and euphoria.
Source: NCHA 2018
Interestingly, studies have revealed some significant differences between male and female college students’ drinking habits and illicit drug use. This gender disparity appears to hold true for binge drinking, marijuana use, and cigarette use, among other habits.
Source: Monitoring the Future
Despite the widespread abuse of drugs and alcohol on college campuses today, few college students have received treatment for their addictions every year. In fact, the number has been steadily declining since 2010, with only 2.4% of college students receiving treatment in 2019.
However, even with a small percentage of college students seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, colleges and organizations all over the country offer counseling, rehabilitation services, and mental health resources for college students.
FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.