Drug Usage at Ivy League Colleges and Universities

Yale University campus

By Cristina Utti

When most people think of illicit drug use, celebrities and people who live in poverty may come to mind.

Drug and alcohol use effect all people of any class. The motive behind taking substances differs for everyone. Ivy League students are more apt to try drugs to enhance mental performance. The big talk recently has been use of stimulants such as ADD prescription medications among colleges students, but these aren’t the only drugs going around Ivy League campuses. It is not uncommon for students to seek LSD to “expand their consciousness” and think about theories in a different way. Published just today in The Current Sauce: Newspaper about College Life is an article titled “Students Busted in Operation Ivy League.”

Students from Columbia University pleaded guilty to selling up to $11,000 in drugs to undercover officers. As stated in the arcticle: “According to the official police release, NYPD Narcotics officers- operating undercover – engaged in 31 purchases of various drugs from students, including Adderall, LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana in an operation that spans back to July. A search of the students’ dorms Tuesday uncovered $2000 in cash, 15 Adderall pills, 50 MDMA capsules, a bottle of LSD, and over a half pound of marijuana.”  Four drug dealers who were supplying the students have been arrested since last October. They were suspected of selling cocaine, LSD, and DMT (dimthyltryptamine, an illegal, psychedelic tryptamine compound) as well as plotting the murder of two rival cocaine traffickers who are believed to have stolen money form them. The students who got caught up in using and selling these drugs were playing with fire.

A poll done at Yale University showed that 35 percent of the 300 students who responded reported having done drugs while at Yale.  According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 36.6 percent of undergraduates nationwide have admitted to using illicit drugs while in school, so Yale’s average is on the same line as the national average.

Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, led a research study specifically focused on sophomore, junior, and senior students at Ivy League colleges.

Here are the results:

  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents used stimulants to write an essay.
  • Sixty-six percent used stimulants to study for an exam.
  • Twenty-seven percent used stimulants to take a test.
  • Of those who used stimulants, about half of them did not think that this was cheating.

The majority of college students polled believe that the use of Adderall and Ritalin is safe, socially acceptable, and stigma-free.

To get a better picture of what is going on behind the scenes at the Ivy Leagues, take a look at the assembly of statistics based off of arrests made at Ivy League campuses from 2011 to 2013:

Alcohol Related Arrests

2013

2012

2011

University of Pennsylvania

38

2

6

Dartmouth University

125

15

60

Brown University

0

1

0

Cornell University

51

12

9

Harvard University

7

9

4

Yale University

53

91

64

Columbia University

0

0

0

Princeton University

2

5

17

Drug Related Arrests

2013

2012

2011

University of Pennsylvania

31

32

16

Dartmouth University

31

25

19

Brown University

0

6

0

Cornell University

34

28

43

Harvard University

8

21

10

Yale University

44

54

14

Columbia University

1

0

1

Princeton University

14

20

6

Weapons

2013

2012

2011

University of Pennsylvania

5

2

5

Dartmouth University

0

0

9

Brown University

0

0

0

Cornell University

2

7

9

Harvard University

0

1

0

Yale University

3

8

8

Columbia University

0

0

0

Princeton University

0

1

0

Keep in mind that reporting policies may vary.  The Universities with lower rates may just be turning a blind eye.  What is important to realize is that no college or university is immune to student drinking and drug use.

If you are concerned about a friend or family member, contact the Ranch at Dove Tree today at 800.218.6727. We can help.

References:

College students news. (2016, April 25). Retrieved April, 2016.
Jacobs, P. (2014, February 04). The Ivy League Colleges With The Most On-Campus Drug And Alcohol Arrests. Retrieved April, 2016.
Deborah, K. (2014, May 2). Study: 1 in 5 Ivy League students abuse stimulant drugs – The Boston Globe. Retrieved April, 2016.
Kingkade, T. (2014, May 2). Many Ivy League Students Take Study Drugs And Don’t Consider It Cheating. Retrieved April, 2016.

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