College: “The Gateway Drug”

Roy Williams

ENG 131.01

Professor Lucas

17 November 2015

College: “The Gateway Drug”

Drugs, and alcohol seem to go hand and hand in today’s college culture. On any given night at most big universities you can find a party where the students are using recreational drugs and drinking alcohol. The vast amount of students who admit to actually using drugs in college is way more than expected and this does not even account for the students who actually party and do drugs but would not admit to it even in an anonymous poll. Many of these students have never actually done any drugs before they got to college which is why in my opinion college is the biggest gateway drug of the century.

After seeing the effects of drugs on students and how it changes people from their everyday self to a person they would, without drugs, never think about being. I have also witnessed one of my friends overdosing on OxyContin and have to have his stomach pumped out. These things have driven me to want to find out why many people in college is using drugs whether it be because it is the cool thing to do like designer drugs or a way to escape stress. The research I did will help me further inquire about the reasons for drug use in college and even help narrow it down to specific studies that will help me better understand the reasons.

There are many difficulties when it comes to trying to find out how many students actually use drugs in college. The main on is underreporting because of the fear of getting in trouble for admitting to using drug even if it is anonymous. Then there is the problem of synthetic and new designer drugs that are not even on the drug test or known to the DEA. Many students revert to designer and synthetic drugs because they can obtain them cheaply and they are also more available. Many of the new designer drugs are marketed towards college students with the promises of less stress or the ability to focus better which is where Adderall abuse comes into play. College has a way of turning even the brightest students into drug abusers.

The following sources are academic articles and articles including information about measuring drug and alcohol use in college students. The other article are about drug use in student athletes, the impact of drug use on college students and suicide risk. The last article is about new designer drugs which are drugs that are seen as being the cool new drugs like designer clothes. All of the articles were used in my research about college and drug use.

Annotated Bibliography

Druckman, James N., et al. “Measuring Drug and Alcohol Use Among College Student-   Athletes.” Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell) 96.2 (2015): 369-380. Business            Source Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

This academic article Measuring Drug And Alcohol Use Among College Student-Athletes written by James Druckman documents the difficulties that comes with trying to get an accurate number on the amount of college students who use drugs or alcohol. He begins by talking about the problem of underreporting in mass numbers because college athletes are held to a high standard not just by NCAA but by the actual university they attend. Many universities have policies in play to where if a player gets caught he or she can be suspended from the team for a certain amount of time or even kicked off of the team for good. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has a policy in place where if a player fails one a drug test the student is suspended for a full academic year from competing in any sport.

This study addresses the problems with trying to get an accurate data on the amount of student who actually report drug use in college. This is a big problem with the amount of data actually provided only 50.8 percent of male athletes reported drinking alcohol. Underreporting has always been a problem in the reporting of drug use with any group but especially high in the college group.

Kurt, Dilek Genctanirim. “Suicide Risk In College Students: The Effects of Internet Addiction   and Drug Use.” Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice 15.4 (2015): 841-    848. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Nov. 2015

The article Suicide Risk In College Students by Dilek Genctanirim Kurt discusses the effect of stress on college students and how they resort to drug and alcohol use as a way of escaping the stress. While many college students see alcohol and drugs as a way to escape the stress it really just puts them in the state of mind where they would be more prone to commit suicide then if they did not use the drugs or alcohol. Data has shown that students in the UK that have used drugs like heroin or cocaine seen the highest amount of suicides out of any other groups of drug users.

The article compares the total number of suicides in the UK to the amount of suicides in college age students in the UK. College age student suicides in the UK account for more than half of the total suicides in one year in the UK. The combination of stress and drugs seems to be a deadly one for students in the UK.

Blum, Kenneth, et al. “Systematic Evaluation of “Compliance” To Prescribed Treatment   Medications and “Abstinence” From Psychoactive Drug Abuse In Chemical Dependence     Programs: Data From The Comprehensive Analysis Of Reported Drugs.” Plos ONE 9.9           (2014): 1-10. Academic Search Premier. Web.

The study described in the article Systematic Evaluation Of “Compliance” To Prescribed Treatment Medications And “Abstinence” from Psychoactive Drug Abuse In Chemical Dependence Programs: Data From The Comprehensive Analysis Of Reported Drugs the author Kenneth Blum explains the vast amount of people who are addicted whether it be to prescription drugs or street drugs only 39 percent of all of the participants chosen have never used drug before in their life and passed the urine analysis. That means that 61percent of the participants, which were chosen at random from different places, have at least experimented with drugs. This goes to show how many people have actually used drugs in their life time and at least half of that percent is repeat users who use more than once.


Pourmand, A, et al. “The Evolving High: New Designer Drugs Of Abuse.” Human &        Experimental Toxicology 33.10 (2014): 993-999. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18       Nov. 2015.

This article by Pourmand is about the emergence of new synthetic and designer drugs. These drugs are used by many college students as a way of trying to avoid drug test because the newer drugs are not on the list of banned drugs yet. Also some people get the idea that these drugs are not as dangerous as the usual drugs when in all reality most synthetic and designer drugs are worse for you than the original drugs. These drugs are called designer drugs because they are the new popular drugs of this era and everybody is using them so it must be okay to do it or at least cool. The article also discusses the ease of getting some of these drugs that college students are using DXM which is a cough suppressant that is found in every cough syrup can be used as a drug that causes people to hallucinate. It can be purchased almost anywhere for about six dollars for a four ounce bottle this is the reason it is used by college students to get high.



Chuck Klosterman My Zombie, Myself

Chuck Klosterman is the writer of My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead and he is also a writer on the visiting writer’s series at Lenoir-Rhyne University which can be found in this link Klosterman’s piece My Zombie, Myself is about Zombies and how they have become the monsters of this era replacing vampires. He goes on to explain how zombies have not changed for many years and are not very complex creatures like vampires. While the story is referring to zombies the creatures Klosterman is referring to our zombies we face every day. For instance emails that we have to read and delete every day or paper work we have to do every day at work. He calls these zombies because just like zombies they are never ending and after we complete the task it comes back the next day. It makes us feel like we are stuck in life repeating the same things over and over. There are a few questions that his work left me with the first one being why can’t we just change our jobs or life if we are tired of the zombies in our life and the other being how exactly are we living in a zombies world I do not fully understand that reference.

Jeff Hobbs blog post

At Jeff Hobbs presentation tonight he talked about why Robert Peace inspired him to write the book. His main reason was to show the wonderful life that was Robert Peace. While it was not the most extravagant or easy life Rob would always find a way to help out his friends or make people feel like they belonged. Jeff said that was one thing Rob was good at which was not making people feel out of place or saying something that downed them as a person and make them not want to be around him. He stated that Rob was someone who would always try to help people in need which is why Rob ended up being a teacher at his old high school in Newark. He told about how Rob’s death was a tragic one and how everyone came to his funeral had generally good things to say about the young man. After hearing all of the stories about Rob that is when Jeff decided to write his book about Rob which he did for three years in his garage.

Unit 1 essay

The Trouble with Online College

In the article “The Trouble with Online College” the writer discusses two main problems occurring with students who take online courses. The first problem is student attrition rate and the second problem is student who have trouble in school are even more likely to struggle in online courses then in traditional face to face with the professor courses. The first problem is a very big problem when it comes to online classes. The attrition rate is almost 90 percent for online classes both bigger courses and smaller courses share this number. This means nine out of ten students who join the course end up dropping out. Whether it be because of not understanding the material or for another reason this number is way too high. Students pay money to take these courses then end up dropping out without getting the credits for the course, which is a waste of money. The second problem was the amount of students struggling to keep up with the work compared to the amount of students struggling to keep up with the work in traditional classes. According to many different colleges online courses are a struggle for many students and professors to keep up with.

As a student who has taken both online and traditional classes I see where the writer is coming from with the problems of attrition rates in online classes. When I first started my online class I did the work for the first week and kept up with everything but as the semester progressed I got to a point where I did not do any of my school work until the last week of class. I got so far behind I even thought about dropping the course but being an A student it was unacceptable for me to drop the course. I agree with the writer when they say “Second, courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed.”(NY Times). I know this is true because I was highly motivated and ended up staying up for three nights straight living off of coffee to finish my school work before the end of the course.

The second problem being it is more difficult for less motivated students to succeed is very prevalent in my opinion because many of my friends also took online classes in college and a lot of them ended up dropping their courses because they did not understand the work and did not email the professor asking him how to do the work or the professor did not email back quick enough and the assignment ended up being late. This is also back up in the article when the writer states “Lacking confidence as well as competence, these students need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed.”(NY Times). There is something about being in a traditional class that gives you a better understanding of the course and its content. Whether it being the teacher actually teaching you the information instead of you having to learn it yourself or being some people are not technologically inclined and do not know how to submit online work or even complete online quizzes or tests. If a student is going to take an online course I feel like the college should require them to complete at least one face-to-face traditional course about computers, the internet, and how to use them. I feel this would lower the attrition rates in online courses because it will give the students the skills essential to complete the course and make at least a passing grade.

Another way for students to do online classes is with hybrid courses which the writer explains in this quote “Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming.”(NY Times). This quote also states the problem with hybrid classes which is teaching professors how to manage them is time-consuming and cost a good amount of money to do. I find this crazy though especially for universities like the University of Florida and the University of Arizona who make enough money to build million dollar sporting complexes and training facilities but do not like spending that much money on education and the betterment of their students. I feel like online classes are a struggle because colleges are more worried about sports than education unless you are at an Ivy League school. This is coming from a student athlete who plays football at a college, the number one sport money is spent on in college.

The article mainly puts the blame on students who are not motivated enough and a little blame on the colleges for not having a good enough online system. My response pertains to the reading because I believe the problem is not the online courses but the way colleges go about giving them to their students. They do not make the classes more understandable and easier to access. They need to do this because the majority of people who take the courses take them because they do not have time to go to traditional course. I feel the classes should be more lenient on due dates and have more interaction between professor and student that is required.

Work cited

“The Trouble with Online Classes.” NY times. NY Times, 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Jacki Shelton Greene post

I feel like the poem “I Know the Grandmother One Had Hands” is Jacki Shelton Greene’s way of expressing her admiration for her grandmother who was a hard working women. She tells about her grandmother mixing and rolling the dough to make bread then going on to say her grandmother had hands but they were always in the soil. Jacki Shelton Greene says her grandmother was always planting seed and pulling weeds. This poem was based on a time in the past, I can tell this based on the different thing her grandmother is doing like making homemade bread and sewing clothes to make skirts. Most people in today’s time take advantage of the advancing technology. So not only this an insight into how hard Jacki’s grandmother worked but also an insight into how difficult things used to be. Also how hard people used to work all day it was almost like they had no hands because their hands were always busy. At first this poem seemed like a poem about just her grandmother but the farther I dug the deeper meaning became obvious.