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Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use Among the College Students

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Posted by Dylan Thurston on May 31, 2011 at 7:44 am

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) included 9 categories of illicit drugs and 4 categories of prescription drugs. Illicit drugs are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants and the prescription drugs are pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.

Illicit Drug Use:
The rate of illicit use among the full time college students in 2009 was similar to the rate among part time college students, students in other grades or types of institutions. This rate of use of illicit drugs also increased from 20.2 percent in 2008 to 22.7 percent in 2009 but there was no significant change in the rate of drug use among those not enrolled full time in college.

There was an increase in the rate of current use of marijuana among full time college students aged 18 to 22 from 2008 to 2009. There was also increase in the current non medical use of psycho therapeutic drugs and this percentage increased from 5.2 in 2008 to 6.3 percent in 2009.

Alcohol Use:
Among full time college students in 2009, 63.9 percent were current drinkers, 43.5 percent were binge drinkers, and 16.0 percent were heavy drinkers. This rate is high in adults aged 18 to 22 enrolled full time in college than their friends not enrolled full time. Among those not enrolled full time in college, these rates were 53.5, 37.8, and 11.7 percent, respectively.

Current and binge drinking rates were increased among full time college students from 2008 to 2009 while at the same time rate of heavy drinking among those not enrolled full time in college decreased from 13.0 percent in 2008 to 11.7 percent in 2009. The pattern of higher rates of current alcohol use, binge alcohol use, and heavy alcohol use among full time college students when compared with rates for others aged 18 to 22 has remained consistent since 2002.

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