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College Substance Abuse Increases

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH) has published a survey which shows that college alcohol abuse is still a leading problem with 40% of college students reporting that they had been drunk within the last 30 days.

Among the college student group, a 6% rise in marijuana use was also observed from 2006 to 2013. It was noted that daily marijuana use among college students was at its highest level in three decades.

Perhaps most alarming is the recent trend in which college students abuse prescription stimulants to stay awake for long intervals. This is sometimes done for the purpose of cramming before exams but also to party and extend waking time. The NIDA study indicated that abuse of adderall and ritalin (two drugs prescribed for attention deficit disorder) nearly doubled from 2008 through 2013.

Stimulant abuse and addiction typically result in a rebound crash effect in which the student will be out of commission sometimes for days following a stimulant use “run”. Another serious side effect of stimulant abuse is the disruption of brain neurotransmitters that can lead to depression and even psychosis. Abusers can also become malnourished due to the appetite suppressant effects of stimulants.

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