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4 substances commonly abused on college campuses

Going to college is a great experience for many young adults. It is often the first time away from home, giving students a newfound sense of freedom and purpose. While attending college can be productive and beneficial, it can also result in experimentation with various substances. 

Alcohol and drug use among college students is common. According to recent statistics, half of all full-time college students either binge drink or use drugs at least once monthly. Here is a look at the most used, misused and abused substances on college campuses.

1. Alcohol

College students abuse alcohol at the highest rate among all substances. The glorification of alcohol in the media is one contributing factor to the high rate of use. Plus, alcohol is readily available from upperclassmen, so even underage students consume alcohol at an alarming rate. This can result in various criminal charges, including driving under the influence, minor in possession and public intoxication. Alcohol is often a factor in injuries and other crimes, such as assault. 

2. Marijuana

Marijuana is second to alcohol in terms of use by college students. Nearly half of all college students admit to trying marijuana at least once. Possessing cannabis can result in harsh criminal consequences and impact educational and career aspirations for students.

3. Stimulants

While alcohol and marijuana are the most prevalent substances on college campuses, many students get in trouble for using drugs such as ecstasy, heroin and cocaine. These stimulating drugs are highly addictive and come with high risks of health issues, including overdose. 

4. Prescription drugs

Misusing and abusing prescription drugs is becoming more common. Prescription medications are easy to come by, either via a valid prescription or from another individual. Common drugs that college students use outside of their intended purposes include Adderall, Ritalin, opioid painkillers, sleep aids and Xanax. Some students use these drugs as "study aids," but the repercussions can be enormous. 

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