Substance Use In The U.S. College Age Population

618 words - 2 pages

Substance use among the college-age population is a main public health and educational concern. Young adults have consistently been found to have the highest rates of substance use. It has been suggested by recent studies that rates of illicit drug and alcohol use are higher among high school dropouts than college students.

Things that may lead to college student's initiation into or escalation of substance abuse are independence from parental control, or the availability of substances on college campuses. Young adults who attend college are at a lower risk than those who don't attend college, and living arrangements may also be an important factor. Residence in a fraternity or sorority is a strong predictor of binge drinking and residential colleges tend to have higher rates of binge drinking than commuter schools.

High school dropouts are of particular concern because their low educational accomplishment makes them susceptible to a variety of social and economic problems throughout their lives, and are also more likely to have psychiatric disorders than high school graduates.

This article shows rates of substance use prevalence in the U.S. college age population, spotting differences by educational status and living arrangement. Two hypotheses were addressed. They were: 1. The differences in substance use by educational attainment seen in older adults are also present for the college-age population and 2. College students living away from their parents are more likely to use substances than college students living with their parents.

Data was used from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse for 1991-1993. For the purposes of this study, the college-age population was defined as persons aged 17-22 who were not enrolled in high school and had not yet completed 4 years of college. They were then further classified by educational status and living arrangements. Heavy alcohol use was defined as having five or more...

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