College Substance Abuse
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College Substance Abuse
Effects of substance abuse on college students
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Research Questions?

Research Questions? | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

1.) What non-prescription drugs and substances are most commonly used amongst college students?

2.) Do non-prescription drugs and substance abuse effect school performance?

3.) Does the location of the college or university effect the amount of drug use?

4.) If students enter higher education already being a regular drug user, does the student’s drug use become greater in college?

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Do non-prescription drugs and substance abuse effect school performance?

Do non-prescription drugs and substance abuse effect school performance? | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

A study conducted at the University of Salamanca in Spain, researched the effects of substance abuse on Prospective Memory (PM) and ability to complete cognitive tasks. Prospective Memory is defined as “the ability we use to formulate intentions, make plans, and retain and execute them at the appropriate place or time (Arana et al., 2011).” The degree to which the substances affected PM and cognitive task abilities, depended on several factors. The factors include how early in life the individual began abusing substances, how frequently the substance was abuse, and how much of the substance was abused. The severity to which an individual partakes in these three categories will predict their decline in PM.

 

The three main substances that are usually looked at, tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol, all influence memory in varying ways. For example, although tobacco is stimulating to the brain and brings about alertness, tobacco users were more apt to experience mood swings and have moments where they draw blanks (Arana et al., 2011). Alcohol has a tendency to instill forgetfulness and deterioration of memory. The good news is that the brain has the ability to repair and recovery lost memories in the brain due to alcohol consumption. The brain only has this capability up to the age of 40, leaving adults at a much higher risk for permanent damage (Arana et al., 2011).

 

Memory and cognitive skills are a vital asset to being academically successful in today’s educational system. Being able to think critically, solve problem, and retain information is essential to meaningful learning. Adolescents who abuse substances are more at risk for lacking in these areas, and in turn, not being as successful academically.

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If students enter higher education already being a regular drug user, does the students drug use become greater in college?

If students enter higher education already being a regular drug user, does the students drug use become greater in college? | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

Students who begin using illicit drugs at an earlier age are more likely to continue using, and to possibly develop a lifetime dependency on drugs and/or alcohol. Therefore the answer to the question is yes, students who are using in high school, or during their high schools years (ages 16-18) or who have used illicit drugs from ages 13 to 15 are very likely to continue use in college. Part of this can be attributed to “sociability prospectively predicts frequency of alcohol consumption” (Lauterbach 80). Students who enter a completely new and unfamiliar social college environment are faced with these pressures of social drinking and drug use. Of the sample used in this article, 22.7 percent of students reported marijuana use and 25.1 percent reported drinking weekly. Furthermore, 1 out of 2 of these college students reported using marijuana within their lifetime. 101 schools in the survey sustained the drug use since 1993, and 18 schools actually increased in use. Regular drug abusers at the high schools level are more than likely to continue use into their college years.

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Concluding Thoughts: Intervention and Prevention

Concluding Thoughts: Intervention and Prevention | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

It would be tough to dispute that substance abuse is not affecting college campuses around the globe. Drug and alcohol use has been shown to impair Prospective Memory, cognitive abilities, perception, and daily activities. Many people may be asking, “what can we do to prevent this” and “what can be done?”

 

There are many different methods to intervention, such as family-based, individual-based, community-based, school-based, and combinations of sorts. Research has found that the most impactful of the interventions is when family and school work together to help a troubling individual (Karki et al., 2012). An individual who has been abusing for years and has entered the college world may be difficult to reach. Therefore, the intervention should start with prevention at a much younger age. Such programs as social norm campaigns and substance education during middle school and high school, would provide the tools necessary for adolescents to make an educated decision.

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Drug Abuse in College - New York Times

Drug Abuse in College - New York Times | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it
Abuse of prescription drugs is more than common, it's hip. But is it fair?
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What non-prescription drugs and substances are most commonly used amongst college students?

What non-prescription drugs and substances are most commonly used amongst college students? | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

The three most commonly used substances amongst college students are tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. A study based upon first-year college student drug usage resulted with the average daily consumption. On average, tobacco users smoked 4 cigarettes per day, alcohol drinkers consumed 2.3 beverages per day, and marijuana users smoked 1.1 times per day. Students in this study also tended to use more frequently during the beginning and end of the academic year, not as much during the year (Dierker et al., 2008).

 

Researchers found that they could predict a student’s drug use by their perception of drug use by their peers. This Canadian based study wanted to find the relationship between perceived and actual drug use, and compare these findings to U.S. student results. It was found that a student who perceived their peers using substances more frequently would actually have higher rates of substance abuse than those who perceived their peers using substance less frequently. Canadian students had lower perceptions and actual substance abuse than U.S. students, but the trends were very similar (Arbour-Nicitopoulos et al., 2010). The commonality of substance abuse seems to be based around the idea of drugs and alcohol being a fun social norm and that everyone is participating in it.

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Does the location of the university affect the amount of drug use?

Does the location of the university affect the amount of drug use? | College Substance Abuse | Scoop.it

Research shows that yes, location does actually have an affect on drug use in youths and also an impact on the frequency of use. Farm or country-like areas have shown to have a larger percentage of people who use more regularly and frequently. Students in these areas were exposed to “1.22 times the number of elevated protective factors” (Rhew 779). These areas were known to have a smaller population, and communities that put less stress on the significance of drug abuse and protective factors. “The prevalence of drug use among rural-dwelling youth now equals or has surpassed that of urban youth” (Rhew 775). Not only did the research prove that location does in fact impact drug abuse and binge drinking, but also students willingness to use a combination of drugs. Those who were binge drinking and using illicit drugs within the past 30 days were more likely to have also smoked cigarettes within the same time span.

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References

Arana, J. M., Blanco, C., Meilán, J. G., Pérez, E., Carro, J., & Gordillo, F. (2011). The impact of poly drug use on several prospective memory measures in a sample of university students. Revista Latinoamericana De Psicología, 43(2), 229-240.

 

Arbour-Nicitopoulos, K. P., Kwan, M. W., Lowe, D., Taman, S., & Faulkner, G. J. (2010). Social norms of alcohol, smoking, and marijuana use within a canadian university setting. Journal Of American College Health, 59(3), 191-196.

 

Dierker, L., Stolar, M., Lloyd-Richardson, E., Tiffany, S., Flay, B., Collins, L., & ... Clayton, R. (2008). Tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use among first-year U.S. college students: A time series analysis*.

 

Karki, S., Pietilä, A., Länsimies-Antikainen, H., Varjoranta, P., Pirskanen, M., & Laukkanen, E. (2012). The effects of interventions to prevent substance use among adolescents: A systematic review. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 21(5), 383-413.

 

Lauterbach, D., & Vrana, S. (2002). Relationship between trauma exposure and substance use in a sample of college students. Journal Of Trauma Practice, 1(2), 77-94.

 

Rhew, I. C., David Hawkins, J. J., & Oesterle, S. (2011). Drug use and risk among youth in different rural contexts. Health & Place, 17(3), 775-783.

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