A first of a kind study, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) conducted in August 2015, shed insight on substance use patterns among one in five full-time college students (18-22) who were using illicit or potentially harmful substances. The study which tracks initiation of use by month shows that the initiation for underage drinking and marijuana use peaks in June.
The study also found however that winter is the peak season for full-time college students to start using prescription drugs (pain relievers and stimulants) in non-medical ways. What the study concludes is that college students are vulnerable any time of the year. That means that parents and school faculty as well as any individual who is a part of a college student’s life needs to be able to talk openly with the student about the risks.
Things to watch out for while your student is home include making sure prescription drugs are kept secured and disposed of properly, safe guarding against drinking and driving, and noticing differences in behavior.
SAMHSA has developed a brief video to assist parents and other adults in this conversation entitled “The Sound of Your Voice” which can be found on Youtube.
If you suspect your college student is using you can find expert tips on what to do at http://www.drugfree.org/the parent-toolkit/age-by-age advice/19-25-year-old-usingtips/. Obtaining an assessment from a professional is a way to not solve the problem by yourself. New Bridge Foundation offers free assessments to individuals who are 18 and over and you can contact us at 1-(866) 772-8491 if you or a loved one would like a free assessment.