The average day in the life of a college student consists of studying, eating and drinking alcohol. Though it doesn’t sound that much out of the ordinary, findings from a recent national report shed light on a more worrying aspect of attending college.
The report by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) stated that 1.2 million college students drink alcohol on a daily basis, with over 700,000 smoking pot. “A Day in the Life of College Students” analyzed national data of 9 million American college students over the period of 2011-2014 and are the most recent revelations about youth culture in America today.
Their findings highlighted who is more likely to use alcohol and drugs for the first time, with 2,179 trying alcohol when they reach college. The disturbing fact is that college is a time when many young people start experimenting with alcohol and drugs, though this is a period of massive neurological development which can be hindered by illicit substances. It was highlighted that part time students also have the same problem; out of 2 million students 239,212 drank alcohol and 195,020 took marijuana each day in 2015.
Though these figures may not be new to many people, it is a disturbing trend that continues in society. The World Health Organization states that the US is in the top 25 countries for per capita alcohol consumption. More alarmingly, according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 1,800 students die in alcohol related incidents and more than 700,000 experience bodily harm due to assault of someone under the influence of alcohol.
It is often argued that consuming alcohol in early years can increase the risk of alcohol dependency, though this type of thought process is more of a blame placing attitude than a proactive one. Whilst many would agree that this behavior starts from the home, it is unfair to place all the blame on the parents. College is the first time when young people are living away from home and the rules of the house, and peer influence has a lot to do with these statistics.
Instead of trying to find excuses for the problem, it would make sense for colleges to address these peer pressure issues in order to tackle the continuing trend of alcohol misuse during the crucial years of learning. Let’s face it, they are going to be the next workforce generation.