Despite the fact that most of college students avoid unsafe use of drugs, they have high likelihood to be affected by the consequences of the high-risk conducts of their peers (Borsari, and Carey, 2001). Students engaging in substance abuse do not just harm themselves but also their peers, and not just occasionally, but with a frequency that is truly disturbing. If the college campus management and the students become informed about prevention of substance abuse, potential college students can increase the chances that they will avoid problems related with substance abuse and their college expectations and dreams will be achieved.
Studies have confirmed that college campuses have continued to experience considerable problems linked to student substance abuse. Despite most the college students being under the drinking age of 21, alcohol has remained the most abuse drug and that which has contributed to a variety of problems. A survey conducted in 2006 on Monitoring the Future Survey, undertaken at colleges and universities in various parts of the United States, established that 40% of all the college students had engaged in high-risk drinking. Additionally, 33.3% of the students had used marijuana, 2.9% ecstasy, 6.7% amphetamines, 5% hallucinogens, 5.7% cocaine, 1.7% methamphetamine, and 6.4% tranquilizers. Such use of illegal drugs has contributed to most of the adverse consequences, like overdose hospitalizations and other even succumb to these drugs.
In a report published by National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2005, suggested that there was a significant relationship between substance abuse and varied negative consequences amongst students. The report estimated that 1,700 college students die annually from unintentional injuries related to substance abuse, which include crashes by motor vehicle. Additionally, it further approximates that alcohol is involved in 97,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape, 696,000 assaults, and 599,000 unintentional injuries (U.S. Department of Education, 2008).
Substance abuse as well leads to academic problems in about 25% of college students, like missing classes, performing poorly on exams or papers, earning poor grades and falling behind. In accordance to NIAAA, approximately 400,000 students engaged in unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs and about 100,000 were very intoxicated such that they could not determine whether they consented to sexual activities. Over 140,000 students were faced with health problems as a result of substance abuse and between 1.3 and 1.5% of the students attempted to commit suicide as a result of substance abuse. Lastly the report noted that 11% of students damaged property while 2.12 million students drove while drug.
It is not just those engaging in high risk drinking or other substance abuse who suffer adverse effects from student alcohol use. Students who abstain or those legally drinking and doing it fairly, habitually are faced with secondary effects from other student’s behavior engaging in extreme drinking. Despite the fact that the most of students are not high risk substance abusers, 20% abstain from all drugs use, more than 75% of the students who live in fraternities, residence halls, or sororities report that they have experienced at least one secondary consequence due to substance abuse (Rimsza & Moses, 2005).
A World Health Organization reported named Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence, gave many individual and environmental factors which contribute to substance abuse. Genetics was among these factors and it contributes to increased chances that a person will engage in substance abuse and the level to which they will engage in the drugs. Some individual risk factors comprise of personality disorder, being a child abuse victim, interfamily dependence problems, extreme family situation changes, poor academic performance, academic stress, social deprivation, suicidal behavior and depression. Some environmental risk factors comprise of drug availability, social changes, poverty, employment status, peer influences, cultural attitudes and occupation type. The report also notes that are disparities in susceptibility to substance as a result of environmental and genetic factors. Regarding independence, it is crucial to note that in someone’s lifespan, different people experiment with a variety of substances which have the potential to be dependence producing; however, most do not become dependent. Additionally, there are individual distinctions in susceptibility to dependence on substance depending with genetic and environmental factors (Gruenewald, Johnson, Light et al. 2003). The decisions of a college student are influenced by varied factors which comprise of biological mental duress, academic performance pressures, separation from friends and family, and peer pressure.
Borsari, B., and Carey, K. (2001). Peer influences on college drinking: A review of the research. Journal of Substance Abuse 13 p.391–424
Gruenewald, P.J.; Johnson, F.W.; Light, J.M.; et al. (2003). Understanding college drinking: Assessing dose response from survey self-reports. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 64: p. 500– 514.
Harimer, M., and Cronce, J. (2002). Identification, prevention and treatment: A review of individual-focused strategies to reduce problematic alcohol consumption by college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Suppl. 14):148–163.
Rimsza, M.E. & Moses, K.S. (2005). Substance abuse on the college campus, Pediatr Clin North Am. 52(1), p. 307-19
U.S. Department of Education (2008). Alcohol and other drug prevention on college campuses, Retrieved from: http://www.alcoholeducationproject.org/DOEModelPrograms2008.pdf
World Health Organization (WHO) (2004) Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence, Retrieved from: www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/en/Neuroscience.pdf