College Students Less Likely to be Warned About Substance Abuse
Young adults who go to college are less likely to be warned aboout the risks of substance abuse than their peers who don’t go to college, according to a new survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Beginning in 2009, researchers began their study of more than 2,000 students from public, private or parochial schools, while those students were in 10th grade. They were then surveyed every year through 2012 and 2013 - one year past high school graduation. The survey determined if students had been seen by a doctor in the past year, and if they were asked about alcohol, smoking and drug activity.
The researchers found that more than 70 percent of all participants, both in and out of college, had been asked by a health specialist about substance behaviors. However, fewer than 50 percent of those enrolled in two or four-year colleges were advised about risk of those behaviors, compared to the 53 to 57 percent of non collegiate peers.
Among the young adults who did engage in frequent substance use (smoking, drinking or using drugs at least six times a month), those in college were also less likely to be advised to reduce or stop use compared to those who weren’t in college.
According to the survey, only 20 percent of all participants were asked to reduce or cease their substance use, while more than 30 percent were asked to make lifestyle changes, such as more exercise, better nutrition, or avoiding pregnancy and STD’s.
Researchers said they were surprised by the results, especially given that alcohol is one of the leading causes of death among college students.