For many college students, college is a time to be away from home for the first time, learn responsibility, make new friends, experience new things and more often than not, drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. While the majority of students refrain from developing addictions to these drugs, they are common at parties and get togethers. The frequency of use though has some researchers concerned. This is because a new study, published in Plos One, shows that students who use large amounts of marijuana and drink large amounts of alcohol are more likely to have lower grade point averages.
Combing over data gathered from the Brain and Alcohol Research in College Students study and combining that information with surveys filled out by college students, the researchers were able to assess the impact that alcohol and marijuana have on student’s grades and school performance. This is important, because these are the two drugs most commonly used on college campuses throughout the country.
The results showed that students who regularly used both substances were more likely to have lower GPAs after long time use, than students who did not use, used infrequently or only used one of the drugs. The researchers also noted that students who generally consumed more alcohol than average were likely to have lower GPAs to start with.
“Doing a lot of both drugs had a significant impact, in terms of lower grades in our study, and in other studies, with number of leaves of absences and those who dropped out of school,” explained Godfrey Pearlson, lead author of the study.
Of course, these findings may not come as a surprise to many people, but it does put some fact in place of warnings. Oftentimes teenagers and college students are given blanket warnings about drugs ruining their lives or killing them or overdosing, but studies like this one allow educators, parents and health officials to point to something concrete. The more studies that show exactly what drugs, or combining drugs, do to a person the more bolstered drug educators efforts will be.