Seasons of Drugs: Here's When College Students Are Trying What


In the next couple week, freshman students will be flooding college campuses across the country and experiencing—for the very first time—the enlightenment of higher education, the value of independent living, and—if they’re not total nerdball squares—lots and lots of drugzzzz.

Say you’re one of these new students who has never tried drugs before and you want to know when to try what. While, sure, you could start picking up drugs now and doing them willy-nilly, you’d rather wait and do them when everyone else is doing them because A.) you are a follower, B.) you don’t know how to get drugs, or C.) you know that doing drugs alone is a sign of problematic behavior.

Lucky for you then that this Thursday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a report that analyzes 12 years of data pertaining to college students’ drug use and discovered that first time use of alcohol and inhalants among college students peaks during the summer (so you’ve almost missed the boat on that one). Recreational use of prescription stimulants typically first occurs in November, December, and April (exam times) and first cigarettes are most often smoked in June, September, and October.

“For most of the substances, what you’re seeing is a summer peak. Young people may have more time on their hands and less supervision,” Johns Hopkins addiction researcher Brendan Saloner told the AP. “For stimulants, first use seems to peak around finals. There’s a lot of anxiety and stress around final exams and a push for students to do as well as they can.”

For the record, I made it through all of college without taking prescription stimulants and did well on all my papers and exams. I managed just fine without doing drugs or drinking a lot. I also didn’t have a lot of friends and spent a lot of time on the phone with my parents, so do with that what you will.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Fox/Undeclared.

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