Alcohol And Drug Abuse On College Campuses Essay

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Alcohol and Drug Abuse on College Campuses
Janet Keightley
Alcohol and Drug Abuse is becoming more common on college campuses and is also creating a huge public health crisis. Being a college student and seeing alcohol and drugs being used all around my own campus makes this topic very interesting. College is definitely a time to enjoy yourself but not to a dangerous extent. There are multiple reasons on why students choose to abuse substances. Students don’t really know the harmful risks behind abuse. The availability of substances are harmful to academic, health, and social consequences. USA today states that nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month. The study shows substance and alcohol abuse as an increasingly critical issue on campuses across the nation. Alcohol still is the most chosen substance but prescription drugs and marijuana are also on the rise. Among adults ages 18-25, abuse of prescription drugs is second only to abuse of marijuana, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that college students have higher rates of alcohol or drug addiction than the general public. The numbers are 22.9% of students meet the medical definition for alcohol or drug abuse of dependence- a compulsive use of a substance with negative consequences- compared with 8.5% of all people twelve and older. The interesting statistic that I also read is that white students are more likely to abuse than minority students and students at historically black colleges have much lower rates of substance abuse than other students. It is hard to stop this on campuses because a lot of it is done behind closed doors or college presidents don’t make it their priority. College presidents should change that and realize they have an obligation to protect the health and safety of the students on their campus as much as they can. The president of Bates College in Maine says that drinking and drug abuse are symptoms of students’ disengagement from academic and civil life on campus. He thinks that a lot of presidents are aware of the issue but struggle to come to grips with it. More education and programs about substance abuse on campuses could be one solution to this issue. CASA did a survey and nearly half of the students claimed they drank or used drugs to relax, reduce stress, or forget about problems. Campuses should increase options available such as more counseling or fun activities available to help students with stresses. Students who said they abused pain killers during the past month increased from less than 1% of students in 1993 to 3.1% in 2005. That percentage continues to