Recently, Yahoo! News published an article with information on the top colleges with drug and  alcohol-related arrests. This is a huge factor to be considered when helping your children make decisions about which colleges they want to/should attend.

The atmosphere young adults are in can greatly influence their choices and have serious impacts on the rest of their lives. Peer pressure plays a significant role on the lifestyle choices of college-aged students.

Transitions can be extremely stressful and hard for young adults. The transition can be especially hard for students who are trying to juggle a full load of classes, a job, a social life, and any new responsibilities they may have now that they live on their own, like cooking and cleaning.

Studies have shown that the stresses of school and the new taste of freedom have increasingly elevated the risk of substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that alcohol is by far the most popular drug among college students. Some 40 percent of college students have reported binge drinking at least once in a two-week period.

The NIAAA cites that there are an estimated 1,700 college student deaths per year caused by unintentional alcohol-related injuries, and some 696,000 assaults per year by another college student who had been drinking.

Hide and Seek

The college drug scene is unique in that it collaborates with each individual’s drug habits of choice. In order to fully understand the range of drug use on a college campus, you need to delve into government and academic data and then compare information. released a great set of alcohol- and drug-related statistic information graphs in January, compiled with information from the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, mapping out which campuses ranked the highest in drug- and alcohol-related arrests.

Alcohol may be most college students’ drug of choice right now, but prescription drug abuse is steadily on the rise, according to a Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey reported by Psychiatric Times.  The use of prescription drugs like narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants remains at relatively high levels.

According to the report, “Nearly half (47 percent) of adolescents who use prescription drugs said they get them for free from a relative or friend, 10 percent said they buy analgesics from a friend or relative, and another 10 percent said they took the drugs without asking. The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study reported that 62 percent of adolescents said that prescription pain relievers were easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinets, 50 percent said they were easy to get through other people’s prescriptions, and 52 percent said prescription pain relievers were “available everywhere.” Most of the adolescents (56 percent) said that prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.”

Discuss Early, and Often!

Talking to your kids early and often is key in helping them make choices that will set them up for a bright future of success. It’s a great idea for you as a parent to know what’s going on at and around those campuses. The more informed you (both) are, the better your choices will be.