As college students in today’s high demand, fast-paced world, you have a lot of challenges to overcome that college students in the past did not. Performance expectations are high and the pressure to fit in and be perfect are even higher. It’s a lot to take on as you face the world without the safety net of family and community you’ve always had in the past. Drugs and alcohol are becoming a far more prevalent problem for college students today and these are among the most common.


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, four of every five college students drink alcohol. Half of all college students who do drink alcohol participate in binge drinking.
Whether you’re consumed alcohol on campus or not, the odds are good that you’ve been around those who have and witnessed some of the things that happen as a result whether it’s the death of a friend, an assault, sexual abuse, auto accident, or some other consequence.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Whether because of ease of access or false assumptions regarding low risks of abusing prescription medication, this type of drug abuse is on the rise among college students.
This is particularly the case with Adderall, and other stimulant medications, which are known as “study drugs.” The pressure to succeed, achieve, and keep up with social and academic commitments while still making time for family and friends back home can be overwhelming and many students cope by taking stimulants in order to stay awake to study and to improve focus while studying.

Stimulants, according to Oregon State University, have been abused by 12.6 percent of Oregon State’s students within the past year. That’s higher than any other single prescription medication abused.

Other common prescription drugs abused by college students are:

  • Antidepressants
  • Pain killers
  • Sedatives

Students cite a wide range of reasons for abusing prescription medications, including academic pressure, desire to lose weight, stress management, focus, getting high/euphoria, and social expectations and parties.

Party or Club Drugs

This is a group of drugs that provide substantial highs to college students like you. Some of them are highly addictive and all of them can be quite lethal. These include drugs like cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and heroin.

Ecstasy, which is also called MDMA or referred to as molly, is commonly used at raves and concerts and is very widely abused by people in their teens and 20s. The NIDA reports that using ecstasy can cause heart failure, kidney failure, arrhythmia, seizures, and more.


While marijuana is definitely not a performance enhancing drug, it is quite common on college campuses especially in states where the drug has been legalized. As it becomes more widely accepted in society, you can expect the abuse of this drug to grow.

Unfortunately, research has proven the negative effect marijuana has on memory, attention, and learning even weeks after other effects of the drug wears off. This makes it contradictory to the purpose of going to college altogether, even if you only smoke marijuana on weekends. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that consistent use of marijuana reduces not only your grades, but also your odds of graduating.

Whether you are looking for help to overcome addiction to these drugs or any other drugs, or you are the parent or friend of a college student in need of help, there are many highly effective treatment programs available to provide the help that’s so desperately needed. The key is to stop putting it off and get help now.