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J Am Coll Health. 2003 Jul-Aug;52(1):17-24.

Trends in marijuana and other illicit drug use among college students: results from 4 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study surveys: 1993-2001.

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Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The authors examined changes in college students' illicit drug use, patterns of polydrug use, and the relationship between students' ages of initiation of substance use and later use of marijuana and other illicit drugs between 1993 and 2001. Data from 119 US colleges and universities in the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study were used in the study. They found significant increases in percentages of students' use of marijuana in the past 30 days (from 13% to 17%), past year (from 23% to 30%), and lifetime (from 41% to 47%) between 1993 and 2001, with most of the increase occurring between 1993 and 1997. Past 30-day use of other illicit drugs increased from 4% to 7% and past year use increased from 11% to 14%. More than 98% of marijuana and other illicit drug users used another substance. They also either smoked, were binge drinkers, and/or were users of another illicit drug. Drug prevention programs should emphasize heavy alcohol use and smoking and should start when students are in high school or earlier.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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