Drugs Commonly Abused by College Students


Drugs commonly abused by college students can lead to more than just weekend fun, making the need for addiction education crucial on campus.

Drugs Commonly Abused by College StudentsDrug abuse among college students, aged 18 to 24 years old, is prevalent on most U.S. campuses. College students are one of the largest groups to abuse drugs and alcohol, and drug abuse is twice as prevalent among college students as compared to their peers who don’t attend college after high school.  They also like to abuse prescription drugs and binge drink while they are out partying with their friends.

Socializing and stress among college students

Socializing is a big part of the college scene and students want to participate, make new friends and enjoy themselves. Some students may be socially inhibited, but using drugs helps to remove the anxiety that socializing presents. After a busy week of schoolwork, exams and studying, college students like to go out, socialize and let loose. Students are under a lot of stress with studying, doing homework, family and social obligations, part-time jobs, internships, extra-curricular school activities and more. If they are away at college they also have to do laundry, prepare meals or eat out, clean their apartment or dorm room, and shop for essentials. Their time schedule can be tight and they may have to juggle many balls. Getting high on drugs is a way for them to relax and take the pressure off for a while, a common reason why drug use in college students is so prevelant.

Most commonly abused drugs among college students

Alcohol heads the list of the most commonly abused substances on college campuses and many students drink to excess. Marijuana comes in a big second on the list and is a very popular drug. Next are stimulants like Adderall that students use to help them focus, concentrate and stay awake longer so they can prepare assignments on time and cram for exams.  College students are also notorious for abusing party drugs like Ecstasy, and date rape drugs are not uncommon. Other drugs that they abuse are heroin, depressants, LSD and prescription medications.

Freedom and college students

College students want to enjoy their new-found freedom now that they are away from the watchful eyes of their parents. Many school officials ignore the use of alcohol and drugs, thinking of it as a part of normal college life. But sometimes this new freedom is taken too far and dangerous consequences take place. Drug abuse among students sometimes causes accidents, altercations, unsafe sex, risky behavior and death by overdose. Because over-indulgence is not safe, drug abuse should be a topic of discussion on college campuses.

The dangers of drug abuse are many, and college students are surrounded by them. Ecstasy is a popular club drug that is a hallucinogenic and stimulant. It alters a person’s mood and increases sensations, making it a popular drug for partying and sex. Cocaine is highly addictive and can lead to many physical and mental problems, such as bizarre behavior, violent mood swings, panic, paranoia, seizures, stroke, coma and death. Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled narcotic in the U.S. and abuse of this drug can cause serious mental and physical health problems including seizures, aggression and psychosis. Withdrawal from Adderall can be severe and may require professional help.

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate that can cause a depressed heart rate and respiratory system, plus liver and kidney disease, endocarditis, coma and death. Alcohol causes changes to take place in the brain, affecting a person’s ability to make sound judgments and decisions. It can also cause hallucinations, psychosis, stroke, heart attack, seizures, coma and death. When two or more drugs are taken together or mixed with alcohol, you have a ticking time bomb. The body will be affected physically and psychologically and may create toxicity, which can cause death by overdose.

College students and drug abuse are a dangerous combination. Many students don’t have a clear idea of boundaries and when their drug abuse has gone far beyond its limit. Parents and educators should try to put the issue of drug abuse into perspective with educational literature and prevention programs for college students to realize what they are playing with. Offering healthy socializing and alternatives to stress may also help to win some youth back from these drugs commonly abused by college students.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of White Sands Treatment Center. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.