College Drug Abuse

Binge drinking, prescription drug abuse, and recreational drug use are all common problems on college campuses.

College Students and Drug Abuse

College students, ages 18 to 24, make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers nationwide. This age group is at a heightened risk of addiction.

Those who are enrolled in a full-time college program are twice as

likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those who don’t attend college.

Beginning college produces a social anxiety for many students. The urge to drink is strong because college students overwhelming believe drinking making socializing easier. Binge drinking and using drinks doesn’t begin immediately for all college students. But routinely drinking to make things more fun can and does lead many students toward addiction.

Why College Students Turn to Drugs

A number of factors contribute to the high rate of drug abuse among college students. Among the many factors are:

Stress – Students are faced with the high demands of part-time jobs, internships, coursework, developing social relationships to fit in. Many turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope.

Course load – Because of the stress level produced by studying or completing assignments on time, more and more students are taking stimulants such as Adderall to help them stay awake to complete the tasks. Many times these prescription medications are gotten without a legimate prescription.

Curiosity – For the first time, many college students are able to explore new aspects of their lives in both the personal and professional realms. This self-exploration often leads to experimenting with drugs.

Peer pressure – When surrounded by other people who are experimenting with recreational and performance-enhancing drugs, college students are more likely to experiment in order to fit in.

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Drugs of Choice on College Campuses

No drug is free from college experimentation. However, there are substances that are consistently abused by college students. These include:


Alcohol makes up the majority of substance-related problems on college campuses. Recognizing a problem among college students is difficult because of the wide social acceptability of the substance.


Adderall has been dubbed the “study drug” among college students. The use of Adderall has grown in popularity as a means of helping students face the pressure of meeting their academic requirements.


Marijuana is being used by more and more college students due to the legalization of marijuana in many states. On some college campuses, marijuana use exceeds that of alcohol.


Ecstasy was popularized in the 90s and has made resurgence in its purest form. This form is known as MDMA or molly. Many college students fall within the target age range for this “party drug.” MDMA is common at many raves and concerts.

The Effects of Alcohol on College Students

Alcohol is the most popular and dangerous drug on college campuses. Many in society have the belief that drinking is synonymous with the college experience. At house parties, sporting events, and student get-togethers, alcohol is always present. Because of the availability of alcohol during the college years, many students end up drinking more frequently than their peers who did not attend college.

Four out of five college students drink alcohol.

According to a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly half of all students who drink have reported binge drinking. The excessive drinking of alcohol is a major health concern for the long-term future of the student. In the short-term, immediate tragedies such as assault, injury, arrest, and death are at the forefront of concern.

Greek Life and Abuse

The aim of fraternities and sororities is to create a family-like environment for college students. However, drinking and drug abuse in the Greek system is more common than students outside the system.

Students who are part of the Greek system are up to 26 percent more likely to binge drink.

U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center

Fraternity and sorority members are more likely than their non-Greek peers to abuse prescription drugs, including Adderall.

Diet Pills and Eating Disorders at College

College students as a whole are at a high-risk of developing an eating disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, up to 25% of all college students struggle with an eating disorder. This number is increasing at an alarming rate. One study has shown that the number of both men and women are affected by an eating disorder over the past two decades.

Many college students begin turning to diet pill abuse to help them lose weight. This can cause severe health problems up to and sometimes results in death. Find out more about eating disorders and diet pill abuse on college campuses.

Find Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you are a college student struggling with binge drinking, prescription drug abuse, or an eating disorder, you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. Our addiction specialists can get you in touch with caring, experienced counselors to help you through it. Get in touch with us now to take your life back from substance abuse or addiction.