Why is it important to talk to your college-age young adult about substance use in college?
Social media, television and film provide college students with the expectation that heavy and frequent use of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription stimulant medications are part of the college experience.
College students perceive that their peers are using alcohol and marijuana at a much higher rate than they actually are using it.
Heavy and frequent alcohol use, marijuana use, or combined use in the developing brain can limit achievement of academic, vocational, and social goals of young adults.
A strong sense of self and connectedness are protective factors, can both be influenced by conversations with trusted adults, and contribute to reducing high-risk use of alcohol, marijuana, and the misuse of prescription stimulant medications.
While Colorado has legalized marijuana possession and consumption for those over the age of 21, it is illegal to use anywhere on campus. Any federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from receiving federal financial aid grants and loans.
Coalition of Colorado Campus Alcohol and Drug Educators (CADE)
The CADE is a statewide coalition supporting colleges and universities across the state to reduce harms associated with college student alcohol and other drug use. Data* indicates that college students in Colorado:
Report binge drinking more than three times in the past two weeks at rates higher (13.5%) than the national average (8.7%).
Report consuming cannabis within 10-29 days of the survey at rates twice (8.8%) the national average (3.9%).
Report consuming cannabis on daily basis (7.2%) was more than three times the national average (2.3%).
Report using prescription stimulant medications without a prescription in the past month at a higher rate (12.4%) than the national average (7.2%).
*American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) 2017 Colorado Data Set, aggregate collected by the Coalition of Colorado Campus Alcohol and Drug Educators.