Alcohol and drug abuse is a public health issue that poses serious consequences. Those who abuse these substances can not only create problems for themselves, but also impact employers, co-workers, peers, relationships and society in general. Such substance abuse is an issue that can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, socio-economic status, or occupation. Over 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related, unintended injuries each year. Substance use is also associated with a decrease in educational outcomes for those who misuse substances, including academic problems, lower grades, and reduced graduation rates. Among students, substance use also increases the risk of injury, violence, and legal issues.
Alcohol and marijuana continue to be choice drugs among college students nationally. Of full-time college students, 4.6% percent reported daily marijuana use. Nearly 60% of college students reported consuming alcohol in the prior month and nearly 2 out of 3 of these students had engaged in binge drinking at least once during that time period. Despite the attention placed on alcohol and other drug use on college campuses in the media, surveys support that most Pitt students who consume alcohol do so in responsible ways, if they make the decision to drink at all.