Interesting Facts about College Drug Abuse

Learn these interesting facts about college drug abuse if your son or daughter is enrolled or headed to college

For parents and guardians who have sons and daughters moving on to college, many questions and concerns can come up regarding alcohol and drug use on campus. For some students, college may offer the first opportunity of freedom and time away from parental guidance. It can be time a when students experiment and engage in new behaviors, hobbies and activities. Drugs are readily available on college campuses, just as they are in many high schools, and it is wise to be educated on the facts about college drug abuse.

If your son or daughter is about to head off to college, now is the time to sit down and have an open discussion about addiction and some of the most commonly used drugs by college students. Your child should know he or she can come to you at any time if they are struggling and in need of help. Having an open conversation before college takes place about the dangers of these drugs could decrease the likelihood of your child trying them.

First, let’s take a closer look at drug abuse in college students statistics. These are courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and its 2015 Monitoring the Future survey results:

  1. After falling for 6 years, cocaine use among college students jumped up again in 2014-2015, with approximately 4.3% of full time college students using the drug.
  2. Marijuana use continued to steadily increase with the survey showing 4.6% of full-time college students smoking marijuana daily.
  3. Alcohol use in full-time college students has also increased, with 38.4% of college students stating they have been drunk within the past month, and 31.9% sharing they have taken part in binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) within the past two weeks.

When it comes to prescription drug abuse in college student statistics, the organization DoSomething provides great information for parents and guardians:

  1. Prescription drug abuse means someone is taking the drug as is was not intended, either by using someone else’s prescription, buying the drug off the streets without a prescription, or taking it to get “high” or experience another effect.
  2. Vicodin and OxyContin are two of the most commonly abused prescription drugs on college campuses in the U.S.
  3. Approximately 1/3 of college students will abuse a prescription drug during their college experience.
  4. And, approximately 2 out of 3 college students will be offered a prescription drug at some point by their senior year in college.

Now that you are more familiar with the statistics, you may be wondering what signs to look out for if you believe your son or daughter is using drugs in college. Some ways to tell include a sudden decrease in once loved hobbies or activities, a decrease in academic performance, hygiene changes, a sudden change in circle of friends, being elusive and withdrawing from friends and family, lying or stealing, and depression, being irritable, or exhibiting bizarre behavior.

If you see any of the above-mentioned changes in your child, it is time to seek help. Speak with your son or daughter directly, and if he or she refuses to acknowledge the situation, it may be time to speak to a rehab center to learn more about planning an intervention. A rehabilitation program can help those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol detox, and get them on the road to recovery. Learn more facts about college drug abuse and how a detox and rehab program can help your child at

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment 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 WhiteSands Treatment. 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 WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.