Increase in Marijuana Use Seen in College Students, While Use of Opioids Declines

Increase in Marijuana Use Seen in College Students, While Use of Opioids Declines
College students in the United States are using more marijuana than in previous years, according to a new study. Last year 38 percent of college students said they used marijuana in the past year, up from 30 percent in 2006. Use of other drugs, including opioids and amphetamines, declined among college students, HealthDay reports. The findings come from the Monitoring the Future study, conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. More students may be using marijuana because of a decrease in perceived risk, the researchers say. “This increase in use and decrease in perceived risk of harm regarding marijuana use should be taken seriously by college administrators, parents and students themselves,” study co-lead researcher John Schulenberg said in a news release.
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College Students More Likely to Drink Than Their Peers Who Aren’t in School

College Students More Likely to Drink Than Their Peers Who Aren’t in School
U.S. college students are more likely to drink and less likely to smoke than their peers who aren’t enrolled in school, a new survey finds. College students are also more likely to binge drink than 18- to 22-year-olds who are not in college. The survey, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found 60 percent of full-time college students said they are current drinkers, compared with 51.5 percent of their non-student peers. Among college students, 38 percent said they had a binge-drinking episode at least once in the past month, compared with 33.5 percent of their peers who were not in college, HealthDay reports. The survey found 18 percent of college students smoked, compared with 32.6 percent of their peers who were not in college.
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College Students in Study Who Misused Stimulants More Likely to Have ADHD

College Students in Study Who Misused Stimulants More Likely to Have ADHD
A new study finds college students who misuse prescription stimulants are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compared with students not misusing stimulants. UPI reports students who misused stimulants also were more likely to have conduct disorder or substance use disorder. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. “We know that untreated ADHD is associated with increased risk of alcohol- and drug-use disorders, so it is not surprising that we found high rates of co-occurring ADHD and of stimulant-use and overall substance-use disorders in those misusing stimulants,” Dr. Timothy Wilens, Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, said in a press release.
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“Drunkorexia” on the Rise Among College Students

“Drunkorexia” on the Rise Among College Students
A growing number of college students are trying to avoid alcohol-related weight gain through a practice known as “drunkorexia,” CBS News reports. Students skip meals, exercise heavily before drinking alcohol, take laxatives or diuretics, or vomit after drinking. Some students engage in drunkorexia to get a faster buzz, the article notes. Researchers at the University of Houston presented data at the recent Research Society on Alcoholism annual meeting that suggests the practice is increasing. They surveyed 1,184 college students, who said they had drunk alcohol heavily at least once in the previous month. More than 80 percent said they had engaged in at least one drunkorexia-related behavior in the previous three months. College athletes and those who lived in fraternity and sorority houses were more likely to engage in drunkorexia, study author Dipali Rinker told CBS News. While previous studies have suggested drunkorexia is more common among women, the new study...
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Opioid Epidemic Puts New Focus on Sober Housing on College Campuses

Opioid Epidemic Puts New Focus on Sober Housing on College Campuses
The opioid epidemic is increasing interest in college sober housing, PBS NewsHour reports. Sober dorms offer substance-free housing and activities for students in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Rutgers University in New Jersey pioneered the concept of sober housing in 1988, the article notes. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation last year that requires all state college and universities to offer sober housing if at least one-quarter of students live on campus. Schools will have four years to comply. Texas Tech has had substance-free housing since 2011, while Oregon State University will offer sober housing this coming school year. The University of Vermont launched a recovery program in 2010, which includes sober housing. Sober dorms are a “major new development in the recovery movement. They’re unique because they get to the heart of the beast,” said Dr. Robert DuPont, who heads the drug policy think tank the Institute...
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Almost 8 Percent of College Students Say They’ve Had Drugs Put Into Their Drinks

Almost 8 Percent of College Students Say They’ve Had Drugs Put Into Their Drinks
A survey of college students finds almost 8 percent say they have had drugs put into their drinks, known as “drink spiking.” About 80 percent of victims of drink spiking were female. Women were more likely than men to say sexual assault is a motive for drink spiking, HealthDay reports. Men were more likely to say the reason behind drink spiking was “to have fun.” Other motives students cited were to calm someone down or to make them go to sleep. The survey of more than 6,000 students at three universities found that 1.4 percent said either they had drugged someone, or they knew someone who had drugged another person. “These data indicate that drugging is more than simply an urban legend,” study leader Suzanne Swan of the University of South Carolina said in a news release.The study appears in the journal Psychology of Violence. “Even if a person is drugging...
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Congressional Bill Designed to Enable Students with Drug Convictions to Receive Financial Aid

Congressional Bill Designed to Enable Students with Drug Convictions to Receive Financial Aid
A bill introduced recently by three U.S. senators would make it easier for college students with drug convictions to receive financial aid, by dropping questions about drug convictions on financial aid forms. The Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act (SUCCESS) Act is sponsored by Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, according to U.S. News & World Report. The measure would require that Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms not contain questions about an applicant’s conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs. College students submit the forms each year to determine their eligibility for aid. According to The Huffington Post, students applying for financial aid must answer a question about whether they have been convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving federal student aid in the past. If they answer yes or do not...
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College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation

College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation
A new study finds marijuana use in the first year of college can lead to students missing classes. The more frequently a student uses marijuana, the more they tend to skip class, earn lower grades, and graduate later. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health followed 1,117 college students for eight years to test the direct and indirect effects on marijuana use on GPA and time to graduation. The findings are part of a larger study, called the College Life Study, which began in 2003. “Alcohol and other drug use are also related to skipping class, but when we adjusted for other substance use we still found a relationship between marijuana and skipping class,” said lead researcher Amelia Arria, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She noted previous studies have found a relationship between marijuana and other drug...
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College Students Studying Abroad Drink More Alcohol While They’re Away

College Students Studying Abroad Drink More Alcohol While They’re Away
College students who study abroad drink more alcohol while they are away, according to a new survey by a firm that provides risk management services to Americans traveling abroad. The survey, released by On Call International, included 1,000 current or recent students who studied abroad in college. Half of the students who drank alcohol said they drank more while studying abroad, Bloomberg Business reports. The survey found 11 percent said that while abroad, they were more likely to black out while drinking. In addition, 29 percent of those surveyed said they had used drugs while studying abroad, and 11 percent said they tried a drug for the first time. “Students may feel invincible, but there are many real dangers when they venture out on their own,” On Call International’s Chief Security Officer, Jim Hutton, said in a news release. “In unfamiliar situations, risky behaviors like drinking, drug use and going home...
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