Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities

Substance use by college students is a major issue at U.S. colleges and universities. The student culture of use of addictive substances and the availability of tobacco, alcohol and other substances on campuses across America has resulted in a range of harmful academic, health and social consequences that extend into the surrounding communities.

Key Takeaways

Consequences of substance use on college campuses included the following:

Additional key findings included the following:


For college administrators and other policymakers:

Research Methods

This report was based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 2,000 college students, surveys of approximately 400 university administrators, analyses of 6 national data sets, interviews with key researchers in the field, focus groups with college students and their parents, and a review of approximately 800 publications.