College Students and Substance Abuse

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Nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse narcotics or undergo alcohol binges at least once a month. This is according to a new study that portrays substance and alcohol abuse as an increasingly urgent problem on campuses across the nation. ALCOHOL REMAINS BY FAR THE FAVORED SUBSTANCE TO CONSUME ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES HOWEVER, THE ABUSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND MARIJUANA HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY SINCE THE MID-1990s. This is according to the study released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, which called on educators to move more aggressively to counter intensifying drug and alcohol use among students. Today’s report, the centers second on the subject, involved a survey of 2,000 students and 400 administrators as well as 6 national studies. The center found that “the situation on America’s campuses has deteriorated” since 1993 when it underwent its first study. In the year 2002, approximately sixty-nine percent of college students drank alcohol in the past month compared to sixty percent of their non-enrolled college peers. Five percent of college students drank alcohol daily compared to four percent of their non-enrolled peers. College students are much more likely to engage in binge drinking than non-college students. Annual drinking rates have declined only slightly in the past decade, remaining at or above eighty percent. The rates of binge drinking have barely budged in fact; it has been at the same rate for the past decade, which is around forty-four percent. During the same time, reports of frequent binge drinking increased slightly more so for female college students (from 17.1 percent to 20.9 percent) than for male students (from 22.4 percent to 25.2 percent). Frequent binge drinkers account for 68 percent of the alcohol consumed on college campuses, although they make up only

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