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College and non-college young adults show differing use patterns

September 10, 2018
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A comparison of substance use patterns among full-time college students and their non-student peers finds that daily marijuana use is significantly more common in the non-college group, while recent alcohol use is more common among college students.

An analysis of 2017 Monitoring the Future survey data indicates that daily or near-daily marijuana use among non-college young adults has now reached a prevalence of 13.2%, which is nearly three times as high as the level seen in the college population. Conversely, college students outpace non-college young adults in the rate of past-month alcohol use (62% vs. 56.4%).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the findings last week.

In other findings, past-year misuse of Vicodin has dropped significantly in both young-adult populations since 2009, while the largest difference between the groups is seen in use of cigarettes (a 14.4% daily smoking rate in the non-college population vs. a rate of only 2% among college students).

More information on these results can be found on NIDA's the College Age & Young Adults webpage.