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College students have consistently ranked high in the percentage of substance abuse in recent decades. It’s well-known that sports performance-enhancing drugs, illegal drug use, alcohol, and study drugs are persistent issues in college institutions. 

Substance abuse is when an individual uses an illegal or a legal drug in ways other than a professional’s prescription, causing physical, mental, and health challenges.

Every year, the NIDA surveys to identify the latest substance abuse trend in college students and not college students aged 19 to 22. 

Government agencies like NIAAA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) use the results obtained from this survey and include them in their studies to identify significant problems and derive solutions to help keep college students enlightened and safe. 

What are the Causes of Drugs Among Young Students?

Adolescence is a time of vulnerability. It is always difficult to know why an individual experiments with the consumption of illegal drugs or inappropriately uses legal substances. There is no explanation for this experiment, but sometimes several reasons add up or follow one another. Here are some are as listed below:

  • Looking for ways to have fun, relax, and feel good with others, especially during the evenings.
  • Live a different experience: teens are looking for a new, stronger sensation and to go beyond what they can usually feel.
  • To face a problematic situation: taking illegal drugs is considered the only solution to manage one’s mental health issues and suffering. Anxiety, relational problems, past traumas, and the malaise felt are often the origin of these uses.
  • Belonging to a group: the concern for recognition or belonging to a group is very important among college students. Acceptance involves participating in similar activities like taking illegal substances.
  • Improve your performance: the social pressure around success is sometimes difficult for teenagers to manage. Taking a product such as a doping agent or mitigating the effects of stress is sometimes found in younger people.

What are the Stats On the Dangers of Drug Abuse

The stats below are curated from the 2018 survey results (SAMHSA, NIDA, and CDC), and they are:

College Students Alcohol Abuse Statistics

  • 75% confirmed they consume alcoholic drinks.
  • 60% confirmed they’d taken alcohol in the previous month.
  • 38% report having been drunk within the past month.
  • 28% of students still binge drink in college.
  • College students, about 27% of ladies, and about 8% of guys have been sexually assaulted mostly because of alcohol.
  • Dating an alcohol abuser increases the chances of a sexual assault. 

General Statistics

  • There’s a massive reduction in opioid use by college students in 5 years (from 5.4% to 2.7% of college students). 
  • 5.2% of U.S college students confirmed having used hallucinogens.
  • 5.3% of U.S college students confirmed having used cocaine.
  • 4.3% of U.S college students confirmed having used MDMA
  • 3.5% of U.S college students confirmed having used tranquilizers.
  • About 45% of U.S college students have reported having used an illegal substance, and 18% of college students from the studies have said they used other substances aside from Marijuana.

What are the Consequences For their Health?

Drug use causes both short- and long-term harm.

In the short term, the main effects are violence as a victim or perpetrator, unwanted and unprotected sexual intercourse, road accidents, and injuries due to falls or drowning.

In the long term, the consumption of narcotics and alcohol is responsible for irreversible damage to the development of the brain and the occurrence of pathologies such as schizophrenia, depression, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular accidents. 

Tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol increase the risk of developing cancers, pulmonary and cardiovascular pathologies, and, more particularly, cancers of the aerodigestive tract and the lungs.

What are the Symptoms of Drug Use in a College Student?

The uses and consequences of college students‘ drug use vary considerably from subject to subject, the severity of the conduct, and according to the products consumed. The signs of acute consumption can be intoxication (alcoholic or cannabis intoxication, for example), excitement, euphoria, hallucinations, or on the contrary, depression, prostration, etc. 

You must be attentive and vigilant to any change in behavior: fewer outings with friends, withdrawal, sleep disorder, difficulty at school. Later, signs evoking depression or an anxiety disorder may appear.