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Study Finds Link Between Cannabis Use and Alcohol Consequences Among Students

Marijuana use has been prevalent among college students for decades, but it’s become even more common on campus as states join the trend of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Now, marijuana is widely available in various forms, including edibles and tinctures in addition to smoking and vaping. 

If you’re a parent of a college-aged student, you may be worried about your son experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and marijuana are two of the most common intoxicants on college campuses, and their prevalence often normalizes binge drinking and drug use, even among students who have never previously been interested in these things. What should parents know about drinking and cannabis among college students?

Drinking and Marijuana Use in College

College represents the first taste of adult independence for many students. The combined stresses of challenging coursework, keeping up with peers and having to make crucial life choices for themselves can be stressful, creating a greater temptation to reach for alcohol and marijuana. 

A recent three-year study examined the connection between cannabis use and negative consequences of drinking among college students. Researchers found an association between increased cannabis use and severe consequences of alcohol abuse, such as risky behavior, poor self-care and some symptoms of alcohol dependence. 

The Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use for Young Adults

Younger people may feel like they’ll never experience any problems related to drinking and drug use, but nobody is immune to addiction. Substance abuse problems can affect even people in their teens and 20s, and because the brain continues to develop until around age 25, experimenting with drugs and alcohol in the college years can cause long-term issues related to memory, decision-making abilities and perception. 

Other risks of drug and alcohol abuse for young adults include:

  • Engaging in reckless behavior, such as driving under the influence
  • Accidental drug overdose or alcohol poisoning
  • Health problems later in life
  • Reduced academic potential
  • A criminal record
  • Damaged relationships with family and friends
  • Delayed start to their career

We Restore Young Men’s Bright Futures 

Peer pressure and a desire to fit in and make new friends can lead college students down a dangerous path. If you have any reason to suspect your young adult son is abusing alcohol and drugs, take steps to get him help that can turn his life around. 

At Spearhead Lodge, we provide world-class addiction treatment to young men at our facility in Austin, Texas. In our single-gender environment, our clients learn the essential life skills they need to make a full recovery from addiction, begin to overcome co-occurring mental health disorders and become well-rounded adults. Learn more by reaching out today.