National report finds half of college students binge drink and/or abuse prescription and illegal drugs
March 23, 2007
Forty-nine percent (3.8 million) of full time college students binge drink and/or abuse prescription and illegal drugs, according to Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America's Colleges and Universities, a new report released March 15 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
The report is the result of more than four years of research, surveys, interviews and focus groups, and is one of the most comprehensive examinations of substance abuse on the nation's college campuses.
- 1.8 million full-time college students (22.9 percent) meet the medical criteria for substance abuse and dependence - two and one half times the 8.5 percent of the general population who meet these same criteria.
- Between 1993 and 2001 the proportion of students who binge drink frequently is up 16 percent.
- Between 1993 and 2005 the proportion of students abusing drugs increased (343 percent of opioids like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin; 450 percent for tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium)
- Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of student who use marijuana daily has more than doubled to 310,000
Consequences of Substance Abuse
- 1,717 deaths from unintentional alcohol-related injuries in 2001, up six percent from 1998
- 97,000 students were victims of alcohol-related rape or sexual assaults in 2001
- 696,000 students were assaulted by a student who had been binge drinking in 2001
- 38 percent increase from 1993 to 2001 in the proportion of student injured as a result of their own drinking
- 21 percent increase from 2001 to 2005 in the average number of alcohol-related arrests per campus. In 2005, alcohol-related arrests constituted 83 percent of campus arrests