First-of-a-kind study shows college students often start using substances during summer

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First-of-a-kind study shows college students often start using substances during summer. However, winter is the peak time for college students to start the non-medical use of certain prescription drugs.

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first time provides insight on substance use initiation patterns among the one in every five full-time college students (aged 18 to 22) using illicit or potentially harmful substances. The study, which tracks initiation by month, shows the peak times for the initiation of substances including alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants.

For example, combined 2002 to 2013 data from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health find that 383,000 full-time college students used marijuana for the first time in the past year – which averages out to about 1,000 new marijuana users each day. However, in June the level peaks at about 1,500 full-time college student marijuana initiates a day.  Similarly, 450,000 underage full-time college students (aged 18 to 20) started drinking in the past year – about 1,200 a day on average throughout the year. Underage drinking initiation peaks among full-time college students in June with an average of 1,883 underage college students starting to drink each day. Click to read full article.

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