Marijuana use is becoming more popular on college campuses while narcotics use has decreased, according to a study from the University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research.
“In 2015, 38 percent of college students indicated that they had used marijuana in the prior 12 months, up from 30 percent in 2006. Daily or near-daily use of marijuana — defined as having used 20 or more times in the prior 30 days — has also increased in recent years for college students, rising from 3.5 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2014,” the study said.
According to the study, prescription narcotic drug use decreased among college students after reaching 8.8 percent “annual prevalence,” – any use in the prior 12 months- in 2006 to 3.3 percent in 2015 of any narcotic drug use.
Seton Hall Assistant Director of Public Safety, Michael Bradley, said in an email interview that marijuana use is seen more than other drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy because marijuana is easier to detect the odor of.
“Drugs like heroin and cocaine are addictive drugs and more prevalent to overdosing and maybe that scares students to try it,” Bradley said.
Bradley added that this semester has been quiet so far, as there has only been one incident.
“The new trend I see is mixing marijuana with CBD DAB Wax. A common way to smoke this together is using a Vape Pen. CBD DAB Wax is marijuana extract and is illegal in NJ,” Bradley said.
According to Healthy Hemp Oil’s website, CBD DAB Wax stands for Cannabidiol (CBD). It is supposed to relieve pain and the process of dabbing the wax is the same that is involved when people dab concentrated cannabis to the heated coil of a dabbing pen. This is then inhaled through an attached mouthpiece of the pen.
Narcan is a drug used to revise overdosed opioid users and may be coming to SHU’s campus within the month. Bradley added that despite the decrease in narcotic use with college students, Narcan is still a positive resource to have on campus.
“Plain and simple, the Narcan can save someone’s life. Being a Detective in South Orange for 20 years, we administered the Narcan and it saved a few lives over the past several years,” Bradley said.
Bradley also spoke about the effect of location on the drug activity on campus.
“It might be easier to purchase illegal drugs in any large city like Newark and some narcotics might be cheaper to purchase in the city than in the suburbs. However, I don’t think it will increase the use of it and if someone wants to purchase illegal narcotics they will find it anywhere,” Bradley said.
Students also gave input on their uses of each type of drug. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he has experimented with both marijuana and narcotics.
“[Marijuana] is fun and calms my nerves and helps me get creative,” he said.
When asked why he occasionally uses narcotics he said, “It’s mostly stupidity and peer pressure, but there’s some fun in there.”
This student said that marijuana use has risen because of the media.
Another anonymous student explained that he did not use narcotics, but did use marijuana.
“I see [marijuana] as a social enhancer, but without the risk and mess of alcohol. Also, it’s really good for body recovery (in my experience). I feel a lot less sore the morning after the gym if I had smoked the night previously and it really helps curb my insomnia,” he said.
He said marijuana use was on the rise due to accessibility, low risk, and the fact that it helps common college factors such as, “stress, anxiety, fatigue.” He also referred to the constant references of the drug in music and mainstream media.
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.