Drug Use Among College Students

Marijuana is the most frequently used illicit drug in the United States, with approximately 32 percent of all Americans having tried it at least once in their lifetime (Marijuana Use among Students, 2008). The Harvard School of public Health College Alcohol Study, conducted in 1993, examined the drug and alcohol use of 17,592 college students nation-wide (Marijuana Use among Students, 2008). The study found that marijuana use is higher among students who participate in other high-risk activities such as binge drinking, cigarette smoking, and having multiple sexual partners (Marijuana Use among Students, 2008).

The purpose of this study is to examine drugs use among college students. Drug is define as a substance or medicine that is misused. Review of Literature In many societies, marijuana has historically been a valued crop (Hanson, Venturell, 1998). It is called hemp because the woody fibers of the stem yield a fiber can be made into cloth and rope (Hanson, Venturell, 1998). The term cannabis comes from the Greek word for hemp(Hanson, Venturell, 1998). Cannabis is often used with other substances, especially nicotine, alcohol, and cocaine (DSM IV,2000 ).

Mild forms of depression, anxiety or irritability are seen in about one-third of individuals, who regularly use cannabis (DSM IV,2000). Starting in 2000, reports of marijuana use among college students started to level off, with the annual prevalence hovering between 30 percent and 35 percent for several years (Higher Education Center, 2008). Marijuana users also demonstrate an increased risk for other high-risk behaviors such as heavy drinking and cigarette smoking when compared with their peers who abstain from marijuana (Higher Education, 2008).

Students who use marijuana frequently may function at a limited intellectual level at all times that is even when not under the influence of the drug contributing to lower grades and an increased risk of dropping out of college (Higher Education Center, 2008). There has been research that examined the relationship among social norms, social outcome and expectancies, and marijuana users (Neighbors, Geisner, Lee, 2008).

Students completed online assessment of their marijuana use, related consequences, perceived norms, and social expectancies related to marijuana use (Neighbors, Geisner, Lee, 2008). Results suggested that perceptions of friends marijuana use were most strongly associated with marijuana use (Neighbors, Geisner, Lee, 2008). Rates of use among colleges ranged from zero percent at the lowest use schools to 54 percent at the highest use schools (Bell, Wechsler, Johnston, 1996).

Many individuals attend college to experience independence from parental supervision for the first time, and are particularly vulnerable to social pressures to engage in risky behavior such ad cocaine use (Williams, Pacula, Chaloupka, Wechsler, 2006). There are long-term consequences of frequent marijuana use which include and increased tolerance for the drug, depression and anxiety, impaired immune defense, complications in pregnancy, and increased heart attack risk (Higher Education Center, 2008).

Many marijuana users do not realize that, as with other illicit drugs, it can be addictive (Higher Education Center, 2008). While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes dependent upon it, thousands of people who enter dug treatment programs annually report marijuana as their primary drug of abuse (Higher Education Center, 2008). Hypotheses It is hypothesized the marijuana users seems to obtain lower grades or drop out of college.

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