College in Texas is a challenging time for many students as they seek to navigate difficult classes, social issues and often living away from home for the first time. College students engage in a higher level of drug use and alcohol abuse than other population groups. A student who is educated on the dangers of drug use and on his or her legal rights may be better able to safely negotiate the challenges of the college years.
A few statistics provide some light on this issue. A report by the Addiction Center shows that drug use and alcohol abuse on campuses has both constant factors and changing trends. A few of the constants include the following:
- Rates of binge drinking are essentially stable over the past 50 years
- Fraternity and sorority members face a higher risk of substance abuse
- Males face an elevated chance of drug abuse and arrests
Even so, a few factors change over time. One of these is the types of drugs that gain popularity. There may be many reasons for the change in drugs used by students, but some evidence suggests it may be tied to prevention efforts by authorities. Prevention efforts might curtail the use of certain drugs, while allowing another set of drugs to become popular.
A report by Brookings also provides some insights into the arrest rate of students entering college. Evidence shows that by the age of 23 approximately 30% of Americans have experienced an arrest, though not necessarily a conviction. Blacks have much higher arrest rates and convictions for drug charges, even though they show similar or lower rates of using drugs. The college years present challenges to many wishing to avoid a criminal record.