Drugs on College Campuses

Ashley Grover

Alcohol and drug abuse on college campuses is not a new occurrence. College can, and should be an exciting atmosphere but safety must be considered. Alcohol and other drug use is a factor in many accidents, injuries and crime. Surveys at colleges and universities across the country indicate the percentage of students who used various other drugs within the past year: marijuana (32.3 percent); amphetamines (6.5 percent); hallucinogens (7.5 percent); cocaine (3.7 percent); and designer drugs such as Ecstasy (3.6 percent).

A drug problem has recently been uncovered on this campus involving cocaine. On November 19, 2009 Adams State student Jamison Blair was arrested for selling suspected cocaine from his dorm room. Nineteen-year-old Blair from Eagle, Colo. was arrested by Adams State College Police shortly after 10 p.m. According to Dr. Joel Shults, Chief of Adams State College Police, Blair was taken to Alamosa County jail and held on $50,000 bond.

"Adams State College is a safe haven for learning. Drug dealing out of the dorms is intolerable and, we hope, an anomaly for our campus," Shults said. According to Shults, the college’s small force has been recently reorganized in order to allow officers greater ability to follow up on cases. "We're having increased success in solving cases, and I credit my officer's dedication and skill for those results.”

Another individual found in possession of suspected cocaine was previously being investigated. Blair’s arrest resulted from this. Blair’s dormitory room was thoroughly searched on Friday afternoon after campus police obtained a search warrant. Shults said the investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are expected.

Nearly half of America's 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month, according to a new study that portrays substance and alcohol abuse as an increasingly urgent problem on campuses across the nation.

Alcohol remains the favored substance of abuse on college campuses by far, but the abuse of prescription drugs and marijuana has increased dramatically since the mid-1990s, according to a study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

One problematic issue is the prescription drugs referred to as “smart drugs.”  These include drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, generally prescribed for attention-deficit disorder. However, these drugs are increasingly being used by college students to help them study despite serious side effects, researchers say. Although these drugs may seem harmless to numerous college students, it is a felony to use or sell them without a prescription.

The study also found that college students have higher rates of alcohol or drug addiction than the general public: 22.9% of students meet the medical definition for alcohol or drug abuse or dependence — a compulsive use of a substance despite negative consequences — compared with 8.5% of all people 12 and older.

So whether its alcohol, prescription drugs or other illegal substances, drugs are a continuing problem on college campuses across the nation.


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