Pubdate: Tue, 09 Sep 2014
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2014 The Detroit News
Author: Kim Kozlowski
Page: 6A


UM Study Also Finds Use of Cocaine Down, ADHD Drugs Up, Alcohol Mixed

Daily use of marijuana by college students is at its highest rate in 
more than three decades and stimulant use has almost doubled, a study 
released Monday by the University of Michigan shows.

But some drugs, such as synthetic marijuana and cocaine, are on the 
decline while the use of alcohol is mixed, according to the 
Monitoring the Future study - a national, federally funded survey of 
college students conducted by UM researchers for four decades.

The frequency of smoking pot, the illegal drug of choice among 
college students, has varied over the years.

But the rate of daily or near-daily use, defined as used on 20 or 
more occasions in the previous 30 days, was 5.1 percent in 2013, its 
highest in more than 30 years.

"This is the highest rate of daily use observed among college 
students since 1981, a third of a century ago," said Lloyd Johnston, 
the principal investigator of the MTF study. "In other words, one in 
every 20 college students was smoking pot on a daily or near-daily 
basis in 2013, including one in every 11 males and one in every 34 
females. To put this into a longer-term perspective, from 1990 to 
1994, fewer than one in 50 college students used marijuana that frequently."

Additionally, the use of psycho-stimulants by college students nearly 
doubled since hitting a low point in 2008, according to the study.

"We're seeing an increase among college students with the use of 
stimulant drugs, particularly for the ones used to treat ADHD," said 
Johnson, referring to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a 
mental disorder in children that is frequently treated with drugs to 
help them stay awake and focused. "(College students) are using it to 
help them to study."

The next most frequently used drugs by college students are ecstasy, 
hallucinogens and narcotic drugs other than heroin. Each of those 
substances was used by about 5 percent of college students during a 
12-month period, according to the survey.

Drugs with declining usage include crack cocaine, powder cocaine, 
tranquilizers and hallucinogens other than LSD.

The study showed that female college students, in the majority on 
campuses, are less likely to use drugs than males.

Alcohol is frequently used by college students, with three in four 
indicating they had a drink at least once in the past 12 months. More 
than half - 58 percent - said they had gotten drunk at least once 
during that period.

Even so, alcohol use has declined. For instance, in 2008, 69 percent 
of college students said they had at least one drink in the prior 30 
days. But in 2013, that had declined to 63 percent.

Also, the percentage of college students who said they had gotten 
drunk in the prior 30 days dropped from a high of 48 percent in 2006. 
By 2011, it dropped to 40 percent, where it has remained since.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom