En español

College-Age & Young Adults

Daily marijuana use among college-aged young adults is at its highest since 1980, surpassing daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014. This section features the most recent Monitoring the Future national survey results on substance use in this age group, including patterns of marijuana use, non-medical use of prescription drugs, cocaine, and newer trends like synthetic drugs, e-cigarettes and hookah use. This section also has other links of interest to educators; dorm supervisors; counselors; clinicians and researchers who work with this age group, as well as the students themselves and their parents.

Check out our list of more than 400 addiction specialty study programs at colleges and universities around the country.
Marijuana infographic - see text
Alcohol infographic - see text
Nicotine infographic - see text
Stimulant infographic - see text

View Full Infographic

Learn more about:

College Addiction Studies Programs

Thinking about a career in Addiction Science?

NDAFW logo

Interested in holding an event during National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM that focuses on reaching college-age young adults?

Step by Step Treatment Guides
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Additional Articles of Interest
Other Resources for College Students
  • American College Health Association: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs/Substance Use
    This page is an index of ACHA and other resources on this topic. Resources include association projects, programs, publications, guidelines, and more.
  • CASAColumbia
    Informs Americans of the economic and social costs of addiction and risky substance use and its impact on their lives; assesses what works in prevention, treatment and disease management; and encourages every individual and institution to take responsibility to reduce these health problems.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)
    The Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), at the University of Maryland at College Park, is dedicated to addressing the problems substance abuse creates for individuals, families, and communities.
  • The College Life Study at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development
    The College Life Study at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development is a NIH funded project at the University of Maryland that aims to understand the health-related behaviors of young adults during a critical life transition.
  • College Parents Matter
    Tools and scripts to improve communication with your college student.
  • Foundation for a Drug-Free World
    The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.
  • JED foundation’s U Lifeline
    ULifeline is a project of The Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to protect the emotional health of America's college students, and was developed with input from leading experts in mental health and higher education. ULifeline is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center, where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding emotional health.
  • Shatterproof
    Shatterproof is a bold, new national organization committed to protecting our children from addiction to alcohol or other drugs and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease.

Related Publications

Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Learn about the NIH-sponsored clinical trials available to you.

Other Clinical Trials information sources:

This page was last updated September 2015

Get this Publication

    Cite this article

    APA style citation

    NIDA (2014). College-Age & Young Adults. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/college-age-young-adults

    press ctrl+c to copy

    ​Research Reports

    Research Report Cover

    ​Research Reports

    This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.

    Drugs + Your Body: It Isn't Pretty

    Alcohol and You

    SAMHSA Treatment Locator
    Drugs and HIV, learn the link at hiv.drugabuse.gov

    Featured Publication

    Drugs: Shatter the Myths cover


    Answers teens’ most frequently asked questions about drugs and abuse with scientific facts and engaging images.

    Easy-to-read Drug Facts