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Even a Little Pot Use Ups College Dropout Risk
Date:3/22/2013

ough marijuana tends to be viewed as a more benign drug, that is a fallacy. "The perceived risk of marijuana is declining because people think it's more benign than it is, and its use is going up among college students. But we've known for a long time that marijuana affects cognition and memory."

Nonmedical use of prescription drugs is also a concern among college students.

Galanter said, "The real serious drug problem is the painkillers -- Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin. There are a notable number of young people getting seriously addicted. It's a noticeable statistic. Some of these drugs come from the family medicine cabinet but there are also people who get illicit prescriptions and then sell the drugs as dealers."

Arria said that school administrators and parents can help by communicating with kids early in adolescence about the risks of drugs, and intervening when a child needs help and support. Armed with that support, students are more likely to stay in college once they get there.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tips on health and safety for college students.

SOURCES: Amelia Arria, Ph.D., director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park; Marc Galanter, director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and professor, psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Kimberly Caldeira, M.S., associate director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development; January 2013 Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs; February 2013 Psychiatric Services


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