Illicit drugs have long been alluring to college students, who are in a stage of life where they are finding their path and pushing the boundaries of their independence for the first time. However, today's drugs are becoming more available and perhaps more dangerous than ever before.
The issue surrounding college students and recreational drug use was highlighted last fall, when two college students died at the Lost Lands Music Festival in Licking County. According to WHIZ News, two concert goers were found unresponsive at the festival, which had about 40,000 attendees. The two unresponsive individuals received medical care and were taken to a hospital, only to be pronounced dead a few hours later.
The cause of death was under investigation, and would be determined after toxicology reports were provided. However, it was assumed that the two individuals were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that overdose could have been the cause of death.
Prevalence of drugs on university campuses
College parties have long been notorious for excessive drinking and recreational drug use, but today's college students are using drugs in different ways than before. Yes, they are still going to parties and experimenting with dangerous drugs. According to AshleyTreatment.org, the statistics show that 4.9 percent of college students use marijuana, 32.4 percent of college students admit to binge drinking regularly and 12.7 percent of college students have used ecstasy at one point in their lives.
In addition to combining drugs with partying, college students are using drugs to help them get through their daily tasks and responsibility. For example, Adderall use has risen dramatically over the years, as students have found it's an easy way to focus on their studying while they pull all-nighters. In 2016, 9.9 percent of college students said that they had used Adderall, compared to 6.2 percent of those in the same age group who were not enrolled in college classes.
Of course, prescription drug abuse is on the rise in college students as well as in adults in nearly every age demographic. Prescription drugs are readily available from physicians as well as on the black market, and have led to a sharp increase in opioid addiction.
Unfortunately, many students feel like this stage of life allows them to dabble with drugs without suffering permanent consequences. Sadly, the impact of excessive drug use in college extends far beyond those four years on campus. From addiction to death, the ramifications of drug abuse during college can be quite severe.
Preventing drug use in college students
Drug use in college seems to be climbing steadily year after year, but there are preventative measures that can be implemented to help curb this trend. This includes:
- Raising awareness and educating students about the ramifications of drug use. College administrators can create programming that provides students with accurate information about the drugs they may encounter while at the university. This information can help students make better choices during their years in school.
- Restricting access to bars and party areas. Municipal leaders in college towns can limit the number of liquor licenses that are available, therefore minimizing the number of bars. University officials can strive to create housing options that limit the opportunity to throw parties.
- Combat the perception that drugs or alcohol are needed to have fun in a college setting. Community leaders, university officials and students can work together to create opportunities that lend themselves to social interaction without the use of drugs or alcohol.
Facing a drug charge?
The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of students can or will try drugs at some point during their college careers. Unfortunately, some get caught purchasing or selling drugs, or they are accused of a crime that was committed while under the influence of drugs. If you have found yourself in this predicament, know that it doesn't have to be the end of your career before it ever begins. When you hire a qualified criminal defense attorney, you will get an advocate who will fight for your rights. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.