Term Paper on Drug Abuse Among College Students

3776 Words May 22nd, 2013 16 Pages
Drug Abuse among College Students
College students are more likely to have problems with alcohol abuse or with alcoholism rather than with drug abuse or dependence; however, drug abuse is also a problem for many students. Some students are illicit abusers of prescription drugs, while others use illegal drugs: marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs. Peer pressure and/or loneliness or other factors may lead college students to substance abuse, although some students had previously abused alcohol and/or drugs in high school.
In general, college students have a lower risk of using illicit substances than their peers who do not attend college; for example, college students were much less likely to abuse cocaine than their same-age
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For example, only 4.4 percent of women who had had no painkillers prescribed used pain medications illicitly in the past year, compared to 9.4 percent who had been previously prescribed painkillers in college.
With regard to prescription drug abuse, the abuse rates were higher for men; 6.3 percent of the male college students who had not previously used prescription painkillers had abused these drugs in the past year, compared to 15.4 percent of the male college students who had been prescribed a painkiller in college.
The researchers also found that college students who had been prescribed a prescription painkiller while in elementary school were more likely than others to abuse painkillers in college; for example, about 14 percent of the men and 16 percent of the women who reported past year illicit use of pain medications had been prescribed painkillers in elementary school. The researchers state:
Of greatest significance is our finding regarding early exposure to pain medication. Interestingly, those exposed earlier to prescription pain medications reported higher rates of illicit use of prescription pain medications and this positive relationship was apparent across every age of exposure and was particularly evident among women.