It’s one thing to say that addiction is growing on college campuses. However, seeing the numbers paints a more vivid picture. Take a closer look at college student addiction statistics to see the areas that require the most work.

Alcohol Kills More than 2,000 Students Annually

Friends toasting beer mugsA recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that on an average day, 1.2 million full-time college students drank alcohol.1 More than 3 million full-time college students engaged in binge drinking over the course of a month, and 1.2 million engaging in heavy alcohol use.2 Binge drinking can certainly lead to problems with academics and health, but more worrying is that it can kill students. In fact, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die every year from alcohol-related injuries and accidents.3

Students and Recreational Adderall Use

Considered a stimulant, doctors prescribe Adderall to treat medical conditions such as hyperactivity. However, Adderall is becoming an increasingly popular study drug for students around the country. According to a recent study, 60 percent of nonmedical Adderall use in the United States was among young people ages 18 to 25.4 Many students on college campuses take Adderall illicitly to help them focus on their studies or cram for big exams. Other students take Adderall to avoid sleeping or to fight fatigue. Whatever the reason, taking Adderall without medical supervision can lead to health risks, as well as lifelong addiction.

Alcohol and Drug-Related Crimes Growing on College Campuses

Clearly, alcohol and drug use can lead to illegal activity. However, an often-overlooked result of substance abuse problems on campuses nationwide involves students who don’t necessarily engage in drug or alcohol consumption. Many students are the victims of assault perpetrated by fellow students under the influence of excessive alcohol consumption. Binge drinking, defined as more than four drinks in two hours for women or five drinks for men in the same amount of time, can encourage inappropriate and illegal behavior. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, each year more than 600,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. More than 90,000 students report an alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape each year.5 Substance abuse can ignite disruptive behaviors. It can cause people to take bigger risks and engage in illegal activities, some of which lead to a lifelong record or jail time.

College Opioid Epidemic

Across the United States, opioid consumption is on the rise. Abuse of prescription drugs like Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin have reached epidemic proportions across the country and on college campuses. College students are more susceptible to the addictive nature of opioid drugs than any other group in the country. A recent survey conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy and the Christie Foundation found that 16 percent of the 1200 students surveyed reported using unprescribed pain pills. Half of those reported being able to get those pills within 24 hours.6

Finding Help for Substance Abuse

Drug use and alcohol abuse on college campuses is a growing problem in the United States. Thankfully, college students can find the necessary help to combat these addictions. Quality rehab can transform students’ lives and help get them on the path to recovery.

If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day. Our admissions counselors are ready to answer your questions about available treatment options.


1 Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., and Beda Jean-Francois, Ph.D. A Day in the Life of College Students Aged 18 to 22: Substance Use Facts. N.p. 26 May 2016. Web. 14 July 2017.

2 Ibid.

3 “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Feb. 2017. Web. 15 July 2017.

4 Benham, Barbara, and JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Adderall Misuse Rising Among Young Adults.” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. N.p. 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 July 2017.

5 “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Feb. 2017. Web. 15 July 2017.

6 Tanner, Georeen. “College campuses to receive opioid antidote in battle against addiction.” Fox News. 9 May 2017. Web. 15 July 2017.