Substance Abuse in College Aged Kids

Do you fear your college aged child is using drugs? Are you worried about their exposure to substance abuse while they're away from home? If so, there is a good bit of information you need to consider.

Below, you'll find a few facts that talk about college students and their tendency to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. CASA reports the following facts and statistics about college students and substance abuse:

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  • Between 1993 and 2001, the proportion of students who
    • Binge drank frequently rose by 16%
    • Drank on 10 or more occasions in a month rose by 25%
    • Got drunk at least 3 times a month rose by 26%
    • Drank to get drunk rose by 21%
  • Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of students who abused prescription drugs increased
    • 343% for opioids like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin
    • 93% for stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall
    • 450% for tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium
    • 225% for sedatives like Nembutal and Seconal
  • Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of students who
    • Used marijuana daily more than doubled
    • Used cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs (except marijuana) rose by 52%
  • USA Today publishes that half of the 5.4 million full time college students in America admit to binge drinking or using drugs at least once a month.
  • According to a survey conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, 47 percent of college students have tried it at least once, with 30 percent admitting to using it in the past year.
  • The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that nine percent of users  become addicted.
  • CASA reports that between 1993 and 2005, illegal drug use including heroin and cocaine increased 52 percent.
  • A Monitoring the Future Study found that 12.7 percent of college students had used Ecstasy at least once in their lives.
  • According to a study in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, 62 percent of a group of students with a valid prescription for ADHD medication were diverting it to students without prescriptions.
  • The CDC reports that 100 people die in the United States daily from drug overdoses, with a majority of them being prescription drug-related.

CASA also states the following:

  • More than 1,700 deaths from unintentional alcohol-related injuries in 2001, up 6% from 1998
  • A 38% increase from 1993 to 2001 in the proportion of students injured as a result of their own drinking
  • A 21% increase from 2001 to 2005 in the average number of alcohol-related arrests per campus

Other key findings:

  • 97,000 students were victims of alcohol-related rape or sexual assault in 2001
  • Also in 2001, 696,000 students were assaulted by a student who had been binge drinking
  • Nearly 38% of college administrators said that the major barrier to more effective prevention was the public perception that substance use by college students was a normal rite of passage
  • Fraternity and sorority members were likelier than nonmembers to drink (89% vs. 67%), binge drink (64% vs. 37%), drink and drive (33% vs. 21%), use marijuana (21% vs. 16%) or cocaine (3% vs. 2%), and smoke (26% vs. 21%)
  • 37% of college students feared social stigma attached to substance abuse, which kept them from seeking help; only 6% of students who met clinical criteria for alcohol or drug abuse or dependence sought help

Below, you'll find the most popular abused substances by college students:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Stimulants
  • Central nervous system depressants
  • Narcotics
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy

Here, you'll find the most common signs of addiction in teens:

  • Agitation
  • Decreased focus
  • Depression
  • Drastic changes in weight
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • High-risk sexual behavior
  • Isolation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor academic performance
  • Skipping classes
  • Traffic accidents
  • Trouble with the law
  • Unidentified pill bottles
  • Violent outbursts
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities

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If you're worried about your college aged son or daughter, use this information to help inform them of the dangers of using drugs or drinking alcohol regularly. It might help them realize that doing is harming their body and also their chances of graduating college with a degree and holding a professional job in the future.

Regardless of how bad your teen’s drug use has become, help is always available. With combined support from family and Legacy Freedom, you are not alone in this, recovery is just around the corner. Help is a phone call or visit away. Contact Legacy Freedom to learn about drug rehab in Charlotte NC that is tailored to fit the needs of your teen so that they're able to learn how to rejoin life, drug-free.

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