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DEA releases strategic planning guide to prevent drug use among college students

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today released Prevention with Purpose: A Strategic Planning Guide for Preventing Drug Misuse Among College Students. This new publication provides a road map for college and university-based prevention professionals to address campus-wide drug misuse issues.

“With vaping, marijuana use, and the abuse of prescription drugs on the rise, it is critical we continue to do everything we can to reach at-risk populations such as college students,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “DEA’s new publication provides valuable information unique to prevention experts working in higher education to help ensure the health and wellbeing of our nation’s college students.”

The college student demographic – comprising 18-25 year olds – continues to be an age group of significant concern due to the usage rates for illegal substances. According to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, 11 percent of college students misused a prescription drug in the last year. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future study indicates that daily marijuana use by college students has continued at record levels, and the vaping of marijuana by college students doubled from 2017 to 2018.

As drug abuse among college students rises – most notably involving vaping, marijuana, and prescription drugs – DEA continues to provide the tools necessary to prevent drug misuse before it starts. Prevention with Purpose is DEA’s latest effort to support drug misuse prevention on college campuses and in surrounding communities. It serves as a clear and concise “how to” guide for systematically measuring the scope of drug misuse issues; building relationships with key stakeholders; and planning, implementing, and evaluating drug misuse prevention efforts. The guide also includes a complete set of tips, tools, and worksheets to assist in applying prevention strategies.

For more information and to receive updates on campus-based drug misuse prevention efforts, visit

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