“Substance use has an insidious way of interfering with a student’s ability to take advantage of all that college has to offer. Interventions to reduce rates of substance use should be part of any college’s plan to improve student retention.
— Arria, Caldeira, Bugbee, Vincent, & O’Grady - The Academic Opportunity Costs of Substance Use During College, 2013

The Academic Opportunity Costs of Substance Use During College

A report from the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland highlights research that shows a clear relationship between substance use and academic performance during college. Strategies aimed at reducing the rates of excessive drinking and drug use among college students could have profound impacts on student retention and could positively impact their long-term success and employability.


The Academic Consequences of Marijuana Use During College

Many studies show the negative effects of marijuana use on academic achievement during high school. This study from the CYAHD focuses on the consequences of marijuana use in post-secondary education. The results show an association between frequent marijuana use and skipping classes, longer time to graduation, and lower grade point averages (GPA) Marijuana use hinders academic achievement in college. A comprehensive strategy for promoting educational achievement must involve prevention of marijuana use and early intervention for students already using marijuana.


Dispelling the Myth of “Smart Drugs”: Cannabis and Alcohol Use Problems Predict Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants for Studying

A research brief from the CYAHD describes a study that challenges the popular perception that nonmedical prescription stimulant use occurs primarily among students who are high achievers. The study shows the relationships between substance use, skipping classes, and subsequent changes in the GPA, suggesting that "escalation of substance use problems during college is related to increases in skipping class and to declining academic performance."

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