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Breaking: Ivy League College Students Use Hard Drugs Breaking: Ivy League College Students Use Hard Drugs

Breaking: Ivy League College Students Use Hard Drugs

by Liz Dwyer
February 19, 2011


Thanks to recent high profile narcotics busts at the universities of Georgetown, Columbia, and Cornell, word is out that students at elite private schools aren't just smoking a little pot. They're using (and dealing) hard drugs like heroin—and they're getting arrested for it.

Tom Workman, the fellow for the Education Department's Higher Education Center for Alcohol Drug and Prevention Program told Inside Higher Ed that elite private schools are

"more likely to enroll students whose race (white) and favorable socioeconomic status make them more likely to engage in risky behavior such as alcohol and drug abuse; the competitive nature of such institutions also creates a high-pressure environment in which students are more prone to substance abuse."

Of course, not every stressed out undergrad with a bit of disposable income starts snorting cocaine or shooting up heroin. But, Workman notes that because pop culture promotes the stereotype that hard drugs are used by either rock stars or low income people of color, the narcotics problems at elite schools could be more pervasive than anybody realizes. It also doesn't help that officials at these schools don't exactly want the word to get out that there are major drug problems on campus. After all, reputation is everything.

At the very least, universities could step up their education efforts around drugs and talk about what can happen if you get arrested—expulsion and jail time. As Workman says, “This would be in your College for Dummies book. Creating a meth lab in your dorm room? Not so smart.”

photo (cc) via Flickr user CGehlen

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