PIP logo

facebook twitter
PIP logo
facebook twitter

Illegal Drugs


illegal drug header

Drug use among college students is prevalent, due to factors such as increased freedom, unstructured free time, and perceived norms of college life.

However, drug use is associated with adverse academic and health outcomes and risks to personal safety, and is a significant public health concern. Compiled here are resources related to drug abuse prevention among college students.

Scope


Quick Links

National Data  |  Missouri Data

National Data

Among college students, rates of illicit drug use in the past year (other than marijuana) are estimated at about 20% .

20%

Nationwide rates of use in the past year among college students are as follows:


Amphetamines

9.8%

Tranquilizers

4.9%

MDMA

4.7%

Cocaine

4.0%

LSD

3.0%
Synthetic Marijuana

1.3%

Heroin

0.2%

Sedatives

2.0%

Methaqualone

0.2%

Inhalants

0.2%

Nationwide rates of use in the past year among college students are as follows:

  1. Of those students who reported drug use, almost half (44%) had driven a car while on drugs, approximately one-third reported preoccupation with drug use or trying to limit or stop use, and one-quarter had taken more drugs than they planned or had used during school or work
  2. On average, males use illicit drugs at higher rates than females
  3. Peak age of illicit drug use among college students is ages 21-22
  4. Prevalence of use for most illicit drugs among college students is lower compared to use among their non-college peers

Missouri Data

In the past year, Missouri college students report rates of use as follows:


Hallucinogens

5.1%

Cocaine

4.0%
Synthetic Marijuana

3.3%

Amphetamines

3.1%

Club Drugs

2.2%

Inhalants

0.9%
Meth-
amphetamines

0.8%

Heroin

0.4%

*2017 MACHB data as certain questions are cycled in and out*

Best Practices


Evidence Based Educational Programming

Effective educational programming includes the following elements:

  1. Increases students’ knowledge regarding the effects and the potential safety, health, social, academic and legal consequences of drug misuse
  2. Increases awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of drug abuse and dependency
  3. Assists students in evaluating their expectations regarding, and motivations for drug use
  4. Provides training in stress management, resistance skills and media literacy
  5. Assists students in exploring alternatives to drug use for socializing, destressing and celebrating
  6. Assists students in knowing how to help a friend in trouble
  7. Corrects misperception regarding norms for drug use at their institution
  8. Provides students with information about campus and community alcohol and other drug prevention, student assistance, and wellness and health promotion resources

Enforcement of Laws and Policies

  1. SAMHSA has a great webinar on the role of law enforcement in preventing substance misuse on college campuses

Detection and Early Intervention of Substance Abuse Disorders

  1. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an early intervention approach that is being used in colleges nationwide
  2. The Community Prevention Initiative has a good guide on effective substance abuse prevention
  3. The SHADE (Self-Help for Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Depression) Computer Delivered Treatment may be a promising intervention to reduce substance use disorders. More information about SHADE can be found here

National Resources


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  2. SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
  3. Addiction Resource
  4. Addiction Recovery
  5. Drug Abuse Hotline: 1 (877) 801-7284
  6. SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1 (800) 662-4357

PIP Resources


Brochures

gambling with college life college students and gambling