Higher Education: As Kids Go Off to College, Parents Thoughts about Substance Use Still Matter
Published: Sep 12, 2018
Speak Now! Colorado Urges Parents to Talk with Young Adults About Marijuana Risks
DENVER, Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite state data showing that cannabis use for youth under 18 has not increased in Colorado since recreational/retail marijuana was legalized, a survey collected from five Colorado campuses using the American College Health Association national survey indicates that the trend may shift once those students leave for college.
"Our survey data show the number of college students in Colorado engaging in frequent cannabis use is higher than in other states," said David Arnold, Program Administrator for the Coalition of Colorado Campus Alcohol and Drug Educators (CADE). "However, research shows that adolescents, even college-attending and college-bound students, listen to their parents and care what they think about subjects like alcohol and drug use."
Data regarding rates of cannabis consumption among college students was collected through CADE using the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment, with funding from the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health. The 2017 national reference sample is 63,497 respondents at 92 institutions. The CADE 2017 data set is from a survey of 4,180 participants at five colleges and universities in Colorado.
As a spokesperson for the Speak Now! Colorado campaign, Arnold recommends parents talk with their college-age young adults about the potential negative effects of cannabis use, such as damage to the lungs and impaired brain development for adults under 25.
"Preparing your child to go off to college presents an ideal opportunity to talk about how using cannabis, alcohol, or prescription drugs can impact their success, and the resources on the Speak Now website are really helpful," Arnold said. "Even if your child is legally a young adult, you're not done parenting yet."
Speak Now's website, available in English and Spanish, has current information on alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications and other drugs, as well as suggestions for parents on how to start an open and fact-based conversation about these subjects. A section of the website targeted at parents of young adults contains tips on how to get out of situations when they might feel pressured to use alcohol, cannabis or other drugs. To learn more, visit speaknowcolorado.org.
According to the statewide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, there has not been a statistically significant increase in rates of use among young adults age 18-25 from pre- to post-legalization. However, adult use of retail marijuana remains highest among young adults age 18-25 with nearly 1 in 3 respondents using marijuana in the last 30 days, and approximately 15 percent of young adults using marijuana daily or near daily.
Evolution Communications Agency
SOURCE Speak Now Colorado