ABSTRACT: The prevalence of substance use disorders (SUD) and aspects of the help-seeking process among a high-risk sample of 946 students at one large public university were assessed in personal interviews during the first 3 years of college. After statistically adjusting for purposive sampling, an estimated 46.8%(wt) of all third-year students met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for SUD involving alcohol and/or marijuana at least once. Of 548 SUD cases, 3.6% perceived a need for help with substance use problems; 16.4% were encouraged by someone else to seek help. Help-seeking was rare among SUD cases (8.8%) but significantly elevated among individuals who perceived a need (90.0%) or experienced social pressures from parents (32.5%), friends (34.2%), or another person (58.3%). Resources accessed for help included educational programs (37.8%), health professionals (27.0%), and 12-step programs (18.9%). College students have high rates of substance use problems but rarely recognize a need for treatment or seek help. Results highlight the opportunity for early intervention with college students with SUD.
Journal of substance abuse treatment 07/2009; 37(4):368-78. · 2.90 Impact Factor