Winter Months = Most College Students Misusing Rx Drugs Begin Non-medical Use

Winter is the peak season for full-time college students to start non-medical use of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers and stimulants, indicates a new study by SAMHSA. The study, which tracks initiation by month, reveals that in the past year, approximately 251,000 full-time college students started the non-medical use of pain relievers, with an average of 700 initiates a day. However, this rate rises to 850 initiates a day during December, according the study. Further, more students start non-medical use of stimulant medications in November, December, and April. Specifically, about 500 students per day start abusing stimulants during those months, compared with 400 students on an average day. SAMHSA notes that because the rise in the initiation of non- medical use of prescription stimulants coincides with the times of the year that many college final exams and midterm exams occur, this may suggest that students believe non-medical use of stimulants can benefit academic performance