Indiana college students have an incredible amount of pressure to succeed. Course load alone is enough to weigh a student down. That does not include work, sports, clubs and social life. College students around the country are at risk for substance abuse as a result of the pressures they are under. When that pressure is coupled with a mental illness, the chances of developing a drug addiction skyrockets. Students regularly abuse drugs and alcohol in college as a coping or stress relieving strategy, but these practices can turn ugly very quickly. Marijuana use by Indiana college students can turn into harder drug abuse much faster than most people realize. College Behaviors College and University life have changed drastically over the last several decades. It is still a time where young adults better themselves through education and prepare for a career, but it is also a time where they ‘find themselves’. Unfortunately, many college students attempt to find themselves through partying and substance abuse. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol has become part of this new generation of students. It has grown to a dangerous level today because substance use and abuse has trickled down into the lower levels of education. Students are entering college already exposed to alcohol and drugs, which gives them a comfort level that is dangerous. Now that they are away from parents who might have monitored them closely, they can engage in risky activities with more consistency. This is especially dangerous because there is a greater number of individuals who are willing to participate in these activities. These issues are only increased in danger when the pressures of college can push students towards substance abuse to cope with the anxiety, stress and/or depression to which they may suffer. Marijuana Use Can Lead to Dangerous Drugs The old adage that marijuana is a dangerous gateway drug has been overused by the numerous drug awareness/prevention programs that the government has employed. Many young adults find those ads/campaigns to be archaic at best and humors at worst. New policies and research has found that marijuana is not as dangerous as they Nixon/Reaganites have wanted us to believe. It is legal in a number of states and many are pushing for the medicinal type to be allowed to be used by college students suffering from problems to which it helps them. Regardless of where you stand on the topic the truth is that marijuana is a drug and it can lead to further, more dangerous drug use. Due to the high levels of stress that college and our society place on students at this level, it is natural that students need a coping/stress-relieving activity. Some students find solace in sports or extracurricular activities that engage different passions, but substance abuse tends to be a popular choice. When marijuana is abused it becomes a very dangerous drug. Like any drug, including alcohol, the body becomes accustomed to the drug or tolerant and requires more to obtain various sensations. When the body builds a tolerance to a drug it becomes dependent on that drug to function ‘normally’. The individual will continue to increase the frequency and dosage of that drug to obtain the desired effects. By abusing the drug they are also more likely to be comfortable abusing other drugs. It is that comfort level, or lack of proper risk analysis, that leads students to engage in harder drug use and abuse. Drug experimentation and abuse has a snowballing effect. This can become incredibly dangerous because they do not recognize the signs of abuse until addiction has set in. Marijuana is a dangerous drug that should not be viewed otherwise.