Office of National Drug Control Policy

Colleges and Universities

High-risk drinking, underage drinking, and drug use are-all-too common among our Nation’s teens and young adults.  It threatens the present well-being of millions of college students and our Nation’s future capacity to maintain its leadership in a fiercely competitive global economy.  About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades. A post-college study found binge drinking in college to be associated with academic attrition, early depar­ture from college, and lower earnings in post-college employment. Additionally, a study found that college students who abused marijuana were more likely to put themselves in physical danger when under the influence, experience concentration problems, and miss class.

ONDCP supports keeping college and university students healthy through prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery plans that effectively address the negative consequences of high risk drinking, underage drinking, and drug use on our Nation’s college and university campuses. 

Our commitment to these efforts is important to achieving the National Drug Control Strategy’s five-year goal to reduce underage drinking and drug use by ten percent, as well as to make the United States number one in the world in the percentage of young people graduating from college by 2020.

Colleges and Universities in the National Drug Control Strategy

The National Drug Control Strategy contains 3 actions related to colleges and universities, organized under 3 principles:

Strengthen Efforts to Prevent Drug Use in Our Communities

Support Substance Abuse Prevention on College Campuses

Seek Early Intervention Opportunities in Health Care

Expand and Evaluate Screening for Substance Use in All Healthcare Settings

Integrate Treatment for Substance Use Disorders Into Health Care, And Expand Support for Recovery

Foster Expansion of Community-Based Recovery Support Programs, Including Recovery Schools, Peer-Led Programs, Mutual Help Groups, and Recovery Support Centers Fund Recovery Support Efforts through Access to Recovery and through grants to develop local recovery-oriented systems of care. 

College and University Resources

Key College and University Publications

Drinking and drug use among college students is often viewed as a rite of passage.  However, the resulting negative effects on students’ grades, ability to learn, and academic productivity are not only self evident, but statistically substantiated.  Numerous studies have been conducted on the negative consequences of drinking and drug use.

Federal Partners’ Initiatives