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1.2 Million College Students Consume Alcohol on an Average Day

May 26, 2016 09:52 PM EDT

Last year, on an average day, 1.2 million full-time students were consuming alcohol. For marijuana, more than 700,000 students were smoking it, as revealed by a new report.

The report, called 'A Day in the Life of College Students Aged 18 to 22: Substance Use Facts,' was released by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It uses national data which offers insight into the participation of alcohol and illicit drugs among college students.

These data also reveal the number of students who were trying alcohol and other drugs for the first time. Among full-time students, 2,179 students were introduced to alcohol for the first time every day, and 1,326 to other illegal drugs.

 "The findings show that college is the time when a lot of young people initiate substance use, and alcohol and marijuana are the most frequently initiated substances," said Dr David Dean, behavioral research scientist at SAMHSA according to USA today. "There is a great deal of development that is till occurring during this age, particularly neurophysiological development, that can be inhibited by substance abuse."

For part-time college students in America, the numbers were revealing too. In the 2 million part-time college goers, 239,212 drank alcohol and 195,020 smoked marijuana on any given day of last year.

The findings find their base on 2011-2014 annual averages from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and are recent in their nature.

"These numbers are not new to us but they are alarming," said General Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America according to USA today. "We need to somehow change the social norms related to alcohol. Most young people believe that drinking is a rite of passage and that one has to drink to drink to fit in, but we know that it is not appropriate."

He also said that the efforts to realize marijuana will have a direct effect on the numbers.

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