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marijuana and dropping out of collegeIf you are concerned about a young adult in college who smokes marijuana regularly, you’re right to be worried. A new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs demonstrates that college students who use marijuana are more likely than their non-marijuana smoking peers to drop out of school. Whether they were 18 and just beginning their adult life or an adult who has gone back to school to get a degree after being in the workforce, the result was the same. Even those who only used the drug occasionally demonstrated a higher dropout rate.

Chronic Marijuana Abuse = Higher College Dropout Rate

More than 1,100 students in college were followed over the course of four years. The study found that:

  • Students who smoked marijuana more than 17 days each month were two times as likely to drop out of classes.
  • Students who smoked marijuana between three and 12 days a month were more likely than non-drug-using peers to experience a gap in enrollment as well.
  • Other drug use was also shown to be linked with a significantly higher dropout rate too.

Dr. Amelia Arria was the lead researcher of the study. She is also the Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She said: “We wanted to look at whether or not drug use interferes with goals students had set for themselves. Our results show that marijuana use is not a benign thing.”

Dr. Arria also published another study in the journal Psychiatric Services that found that college students were also more likely to drop out of college while taking drugs if they also struggled with depression at the same time. She found that the issue was mitigated if they received depression treatment prior to going to school.

Drug Abuse Is Differently Harmful Than Addiction

Most fear the onset of addiction as the primary risk of drug abuse. In addition to accident under the influence, addiction is a reason for serious concern; however, there are a number of detrimental effects when drugs are abused without an addiction driving the behavior. Contact us today at the phone number listed above and speak to an admissions coordinator about the rehabilitation options that will be appropriate for your drug-abusing loved one and help them take the first step to a more productive life.