4 Harmful Substances College Students Should Avoid

College can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life for several reasons; one of these being the massive amount of independence young adults gain all at once. With so many decisions to make and new changes on the horizon, there is much to be both stressed and excited about.

However, during this impressionable time, it can be all too easy for students to turn to substances as a way to either have fun or wind down and relax. Constantly surrounded by one’s peers, the pressure to try or use new substances can be persistent while the risks are diminished.

It is all too easy to grow too dependent on substances during this stage of one’s life, and the temptation to dabble in such things should be avoided at any opportunity. Here are 4 harmful substances every college student should avoid.

#1 Cocaine

Known as the glamorous drug choice of the rich and famous, cocaine will be most often found at social gatherings and parties in college towns. Its fast-acting effects are sought after to make events more exciting and high energy, and with so many gatherings such as Greek life and football games, cocaine can be easily accessed.

Though cocaine’s effects are short lasting, typically only in the system for around 30 hours, its euphoric quality often leads to a life-long struggle with addiction as well as both mental and physical tolls on the body.

Apart from the impact on your health, cocaine abuse can lead to other serious repercussions such as illegal activity in pursuit of more cocaine, changes in behavior, and negative effects on personal relationships with friends and family.

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#2 Alcohol

Though technically a legal substance, college students have ample opportunities to take partake in underage drinking around campuses. Colleges and police are both aware of this fact, and will be constantly monitoring situations that may call for authorities to step in. Students driving under the influence or committing acts such as a battery can find themselves in an unwanted legal battle that may cost them any scholarships, jobs, or even enrollment at the school.

In addition to their record, students at ages as young as 18 can develop alcohol addiction. With so much access to alcoholic substances and no proper guidance, students may find themselves abusing alcohol and creating lifelong habits that will further impact their lives as they grow older.

#3 Marijuana

One of the most common illegal drugs, marijuana use is rampant on college campuses and towns. Though less dangerous than substances such as cocaine, marijuana most notably impacts the brain’s ability to function and overuse of the substance can cause a loss of interest in school and negatively impact grades. Marijuana also promotes forgetfulness and a lazy attitude towards anything that may require focus or attendance.

Marijuana found at parties and from unreliable sources is also a cause for concern, as many people lace marijuana with other much more serious substances like LSD.

#4 Adderall and Unauthorized Prescription Drugs

A problem quickly becoming an epidemic on campuses across the nation is the abuse of prescription drugs such as Adderall. With more students being diagnosed with disabilities such as ADD and ADHD, other students have access to potentially purchasing these medications from one another. Often used as a “study drug”, illegal Adderall use from students spikes notably around finals week and other high-pressure times of the semester.

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Though safe for those who require it, prescription drugs should NEVER be used without regulation from a health professional. If combined with other substances or taken by someone with a dormant allergy, disastrous results can occur that may even be fatal.


With so much access to multiple substances, it’s easy to see why college students fall into the temptation. Yet with more studies being done that show the negative impacts, it can have on one’s life, it is best to take legal substances in moderation and avoid illegal ones altogether.

Though college can be both stressful and thrilling at times, in the long run, substances will do more harm than good and avoidance of them will save you from poor health and other negative repercussions in the future.

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