Essay about Substance Use in the U.S. College Age Population

497 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
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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 drinks on 5 or more days in the past month.

Smith 2

The shared effect of educational status and living arrangement was considerably associated with each measure of substance use. At least one of the two variables or their interaction was a major predictor in every model.

The highest rates of marijuana in the past month were among high school dropouts, particularly those living with parents, and college students that were noting living with their parents. The lowest rates were college students living with parents.

High school dropouts were also more likely than college students to have used cocaine. The lowest rate of cocaine use was in the college dormitory population. In aspects of alcohol, the rates

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