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College-Age & Young Adults

Daily marijuana use among college-aged young adults has been climbing in recent years. In fact, 11.8 percent of non-college youth (those 1 to 4 years beyond high school) were daily users in 2015—the highest since 1980. This section features the most recent Monitoring the Future national survey results on substance use in this age group, including patterns of marijuana use, non-medical use of prescription drugs, cocaine, and newer trends like synthetic drugs, e-cigarettes, and hookah use. This section also has federal and private sector links of interest to educators, dorm supervisors, counselors, clinicians, and researchers who work with this age group, as well as the students themselves and their parents.

Check out our list of more than 400 addiction specialty study programs at colleges and universities around the country.

Drug and Alcohol Use in College-Age Adults in 2015 Infographic

2015 marijuana infographic
2015 alcohol infographic
2015 nicotine infographic
2015 cocaine infographic
2015 Popularity of Certain Drugs Fell Quickly Among Full-Time College Students infographic

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College Addiction Studies Programs

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Step by Step Treatment Guides
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Additional Articles of Interest
Other Resources for College Students and Parents
  • American College Health Association: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs/Substance Use
    This page is an index of ACHA and other resources on this topic. Resources include association projects, programs, publications, guidelines, and more.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)
    The Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), at the University of Maryland at College Park, is dedicated to addressing the problems substance abuse creates for individuals, families, and communities.
  • The College Life Study at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development
    The College Life Study at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development is an NIH-funded project at the University of Maryland that aims to understand the health-related behaviors of young adults during a critical life transition.
  • College Parents Matter
    Tools and scripts to improve communication with your college student.
  • JED foundation’s U Lifeline
    ULifeline is a project of the Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to protect the emotional health of America's college students, and was developed with input from leading experts in mental health and higher education. ULifeline is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center - where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding emotional health.
  • The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
    This national nonprofit research and policy organization is focused on improving the understanding, prevention, and treatment of substance use and addiction. They conduct and synthesize research, inform and guide the public, evaluate and improve health care, and analyze and recommend policies on substance use and addiction.
  • Shatterproof
    Shatterproof is a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing the devastation that addiction to prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and alcohol causes to families.
  • U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA): College Women’s Campaign
    FDA’s College Women’s Campaign provides information on health topics such as safe medication use, sleep problems, contact lens safety and birth control. Sample messages are also provided for student leaders and college health professionals to use in their outreach.

Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Learn about the NIH-sponsored clinical trials available to you.

Other Clinical Trials information sources:

This page was last updated July 2017

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    Cite this article

    NIDA. (2017, July 18). College-Age & Young Adults. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/college-age-young-adults

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