College Kids Drink More, Smoke Less Than Other Young Adults

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

College Kids Drink More, Smoke Less Than Other Young Adults

 

Source: Medscape

By Pauline Anderson

August 16, 2016

 

Many young adults still don’t believe that they’re at great risk of harm from binge drinking alcohol and using some drugs, a new survey suggests.

 

Researchers found, for example, that about a third of young adults aged 18 to 22 years do not perceive a great risk of harm from weekly binge drinking, and more than 1 in 5 do not perceive such a risk from trying heroin once or twice.

 

The findings from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), published in the CBHSQ Report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also uncovered differences in perceptions of substance use among full-time college students compared to other young adults.

 

For instance, they are more likely to perceive great risk of harm from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day but are less likely to perceive such risk from monthly cocaine use, or trying heroin or LSD.

 

“This report’s findings are particularly important now that many students are starting, or returning to, college,” said Fran Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, in a press release.

 

“This is a good opportunity to assess the differences between full-time college students and people their age who are not in college so that we can better target prevention programming to young adults from all walks of life with vital information on substance use disorder prevention and treatment.”

 

The report was prepared by Rachel Lipari, PhD, and Beda Jean-Francois, PhD, and was published online August 16.

 

Survey respondents were asked to report on their past month’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, crack, LSD, and heroin. In 2014, 26.7% of young adults aged 18 to 22 (about 5.9 million) smoked cigarettes in the past month, 54.8% drank alcohol, and 35.3% engaged in binge drinking.

 

Also in the previous month, more than 1 in 5 in this age group (20.7%) used marijuana, 1.4% used cocaine, 0.1% used crack, 0.3% used LSD, and 0.2% used heroin.

 

Full-time college students were more likely than same-aged young adults not attending college full time to have consumed alcohol in the past month, to have engaged in binge drinking, and to have used cocaine in the past month. However, they were less likely to have smoked cigarettes or to have used heroin. There were no differences in past-month use of marijuana, crack, or LSD.

 

Perceptions of Harm

 

The survey also looked at perceptions of harm related to these substances. Many young adults perceived great risk of harm from trying heroin once or twice (78.8%), heavy cigarette use (66.6%), monthly cocaine use (62.2%), daily binge drinking (58.7%) and trying LSD once or twice (54.6%). Fewer young adults perceived great risk of harm from weekly binge drinking (33.4%) or weekly marijuana use (17.2%).

 

Full-time college students were more likely than their noncampus peers to perceive great risk of harm from heavy cigarette use (72.5% vs 62.7%) and from daily binge drinking (63.9% vs 55.3%), but were less likely to perceive great risk of harm from monthly cocaine use (59.0% vs 64.3%) or trying heroin (76.6% vs 80.3%) or LSD (49.6% vs 58.0%) once or twice.

 

The survey also looked at perceived availability of substances. They found that many respondents believed they could easily obtain these drugs ? 75.9% in the case of marijuana, 26.3% for cocaine, 18.4% for LSD, 18.3% for crack, and 14.0% for heroin.

 

The college students were more likely than the other young adults to believe they could easily obtain marijuana, but were less likely to think that they could easily get heroin. And they were less likely to have been approached by someone selling drugs in the past month.

 

As for long-term trends among college students, the survey found that the percentage who perceived great risk of harm from daily binge drinking was relatively stable from 2002 to 2014.

 

However, there were some changes in perceptions. The percentage of those identifying great risk of harm from weekly binge drinking was greater in 2014 than in all but 1 year since 2002.

 

The percentage of those perceiving great risk of harm from marijuana use once or twice weekly was lower in 2014 (17.9%) than in any year from 2002 to 2013. And there were declines in recognizing great risk of harm from trying LSD once or twice (from 57.2% in 2002 to 49.6% in 2014).

 

Click on link to read the full report.

 

https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/arzlBRsKRnzs2X?domain=samhsa.gov