A girl rolling a joint

Drug use in the United States has been on a gradual climb over the course of the last several decades. At times, it spikes and drops, but its rise remains relatively stable. Many individuals experience or experiment with drugs during their teenage years. Often times it is after the age of 15, with the majority of it happening between 16 and 19 years old. College age alcohol and drug abuse is at an all-time high. College has almost been a symbol of experimenting and over-indulgence in alcohol and drug use.

A survey was taken from Indiana from 2009 to 2014. There were 5,440 Indiana college students participated in the survey on substance use in 2009, 5,788 in 2011, and 4,711 in 2014. The survey was administered online by Indiana Prevention Resource Center, funded by the Indiana collegiate Action Network in a contract with Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

2009 Indiana College Drug Use

In 2009, three-fourths of all Indiana college students reported using alcohol in the past month, which is more than the national average, 69%. There were 67.6% of students that were underage who reported consuming alcohol in the last month. Students who reported using cigarettes totaled 19.3%. Marijuana use came in at 14.9%. Over-the-counter medications and alcohol were the two categories that female’s totals were more than males. Students who attended two year schools reported higher percentages for the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and prescription medication. They also reported lower rates of monthly use of alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco use via water pipe/hookah.

Nearly half of the students that participated in the survey reported binge drinking in the past two weeks, where binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for females and five for males. Male students twenty-one years of age and older at four year schools reported the highest percentage of binge drinking. Those that binge drank reported doing so on average 5.1 days in the past month.

2011 Indiana College Drug Use

In 2011, two-thirds of all Indiana college students reported using alcohol in the past month, which is more than the national average, 69%. There were 63%of students that were underage who reported consuming alcohol in the last month. Students who reported using cigarettes totaled 20%. Marijuana use came in at 26% for males and 16% for females. Adderall was the most commonly abused prescription medication, 10% reported using it. There were a total of two-fifths of the students that participated in the survey reported binge drinking in the past two weeks, where binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks in three hours for females and five for males. Male students twenty-one years of age and older at four year schools reported the highest percentage of binge drinking,which was not different between of-age and underage students.

2014 Indiana College Drug Use

In 2014, three-fifths of all Indiana college students reported using alcohol in the past month. There were 52% of students that were underage who reported consuming alcohol in the last month. Students who reported using cigarettes totaled 13%. Marijuana use came in at 14% and 16%. Adderall was the most commonly abused prescription medication, 9% reported using it. Xanax was the second most commonly used prescription medication. There were a total of two-fifths of the students that participated in the survey reported binge drinking in the past two weeks, where binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks in three hours for females and five for males. Male students twenty-one years of age totaled almost half and 35% of the underage students binge drinking. Binge drinking, twice in the past two weeks, was reported at 13%.

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