Survey reveals that alcohol is college students’ preferred drug
Bermuda College students’ consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs has been surveyed for the first time.
The National Drug Control Department’s poll of 243 students over the spring semester showed alcohol as the drug of choice — but revealed that students had a worse impression of drinking levels than the reality.
Forty percent admitted binge drinking in the two weeks prior to the survey, but the students themselves believed the figure was 50 percent.
Nevertheless, the study recommended preventive programmes to curtail underage drinking.
Sixty-nine percent said alcohol enhanced social activity — but 30 percent indicated they’d prefer not to have alcohol available at parties they attended.
Nearly a quarter of students said they were current users of cannabis.
Although half of those surveyed had never used cannabis, 53 percent didn’t disapprove of “experimenting” with the drug, and 47 percent saw nothing wrong in occasional use.
However, more than half said that using any other illicit drug was “never okay”.
The survey also explored attitudes, with male students considerably more likely than female students to be perceived as having drinking “a central part” of their social lives.
About a quarter of students said they’d consumed alcohol before the last time they’d had sex — and nearly six percent admitted taking sexual advantage during the last year of someone who had been drinking or taking drugs.
The report concluded for some students, opportunities for study, friendship and personal development were “occasionally, sometimes frequently, lost to alcohol and drugs”, but added that “the vast majority” of students graduated with acceptable grades, made lasting friendships, and went on to careers.
The report can be read, along with other surveys, at www.dndc.gov.bm.
l 81 percent have used alcohol
l 14 percent say they are users of tobacco
l 46 percent have taken cannabis
l 25 percent say they are current users of cannabis
l 61 percent believe alcohol enhances sexual opportunities
l 6.2 percent linked “unwanted sexual activity” in the last year to their drinking or drug use.