fbpx Skip to content

What Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused Among College Students?

Because the brain is not fully developed, they are on their own for the first time in their life, and they are surrounded by stressors and peer pressure, college students are more likely to use and abuse drugs. 

At Relevance Recovery, a drug and mental health rehab located in New Jersey, we are here to help you or your loved one find a personal path to healing.

Why Is Drug Use Prevalent Among College Students?

There are many risk factors that increase the likelihood of a college student using drugs. It often has to do with responsibility, knowledge, and peers.

For many college students, this is the first time they are on their own. Living in a dorm and not being responsible to their parents or a curfew can increase the likelihood that a student will experiment with drugs.

Additionally, students are unaware of the dangers of addiction, and drug use in college can fall victim to the lure, availability, and party lifestyle prevalent on many college campuses.

Finally, many college students are at risk because of their peers. Peer pressure to experiment is common in college and requires individuals to have a strong sense of self-worth and an ability to say no and social situations. 

These factors, combined with the stress and newness of the situation, create an environment where drug use is common and identifiable.

What Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused Among College Students?

The three most commonly abused drug categories among college students are alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.


Alcohol is the top most commonly abused drug by college students. Because of the ease of access, alcohol can be accessed by underage students nearly as easily as those who are 21 and up. Parties are common in college as a way for students to relieve stress and meet new people. Because these events are not monitored, and individuals are not required to drink responsibly, individuals Often misuse alcohol and put themselves at high risk for developing an addiction.


Marijuana is another most commonly abused drug on college campuses. Marijuana often follows the same process as alcohol. Because of the ease of access and the fact that it is now legal in many states, college students are often willing to experiment with the drug. Additionally, because marijuana has a calming high, many students use it to relieve stress and sleep better in their new situations.

Prescription Drugs

College students often abuse prescription drugs for performance purposes. For example, ADHD medication can help individuals focus on their studies. Therefore, college students will Illegally purchase ADHD medication and take it before studying for a test or presentation.

Is There Addiction Treatment for College Students

There is addiction treatment for college students struggling to maintain their sobriety. Depending on the severity of the infection in the client’s needs, the type of treatment will vary.

When it comes to addiction treatment, an ideal location will be able to support clients from the beginning of the treatment process through aftercare. This is ideal for college students and teens struggling with consistency and addiction. A comprehensive treatment program will offer detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and aftercare support. The care provided by this type of program ensures clients transition through the process with familiar counselors and therapists.

At Relevance Recovery, we offer multiple pathways to sobriety. Our Monmouth County, New Jersey drug rehab offers treatment at every step of the addiction treatment process. Our trained professionals are familiar with addressing not only adult addiction but are experienced and educated on adolescent treatment. Our therapies include evidence-based treatments, holistic therapy options, and medication-assisted treatment in supporting clients’ progress.

Additionally, we have a mental health program that runs side-by-side with our substance-abuse treatment program at Relevance. This is ideal for clients struggling with a dual diagnosis of a substance abuse disorder and one of several mental health disorders. For example, clients struggling with anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, or PTSD and trauma can access spEcialized treatment for their disorder in addition to treatment for substance abuse.

Contact the admissions team today to access our holistic, integrative, and comprehensive addiction treatment programs in New Jersey.

Request a Callback

"*" indicates required fields