Did you know that the peak time for alcohol use among college students is January?

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first time provides insight on substance use initiation patterns among the one in every five full-time college students (aged 18 to 22) using illicit or potentially harmful substances.  The study, which tracks initiation by month, shows the peak times for the initiation of substances including alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants.


“These findings show that college students are vulnerable to substance use at any time – not just when they are away at school,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto.  “That means that parents, college counselors, faculty members, staff, mentors, and other concerned people must take every opportunity to talk with college students about the risks of substance use and where they can turn to for help.”


UofL’s BRICC Coalition sponsors free evidence-based certification trainings for staff and students called Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS). TIPS for the University recognizes that students are in the best position to address drinking behaviors among their peers.  This certification helps students improve their observation skills, develop their social skills, and provides specific information that allows them to determine when friends are making unhealthy or unsafe decisions with alcohol. Through TIPS training, students develop strategies and skills for intervening in alcohol-related situations that may occur on or off campus. Please contact Heather Parrino at heather.parrino@louisville.edu to register. Visit www.louisville.edu/bricc I www.facebook.com/bricc.coalition to learn more about how to become more involved with BRICC Coalition efforts to reduce high-risk drinking and increase resilience.


Parents, SAMHSA has developed “The Sound of Your Voice,” a brief video to encourage parents and other concerned adults to talk with their college-bound young adults about alcohol use, which can be found at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXOVzTpjDrA&feature=youtu.be (link is external).


There is also a companion guide about how to develop effective conversations with college-aged youth about the risks of underage drinking and alcohol-related disorders:  http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA15-4897.


The report also looks at initiation patterns for legal forms of substance use that still may pose a risk to the health of college students, such as tobacco and alcohol use (for students aged 21 and 22).  Peak months for cigarette initiation among full-time college students are June, September, and October.  The peak month for alcohol use among college students of legal drinking age was January.


The report, Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation Among Full-Time College Students, is based on SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, an annual national survey of 67,500 Americans aged 12 and older.  For a copy of the full report go to:  http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2049/ShortReport-2049.pdf.