The college experience has a reputation. People often think of parties where alcohol is readily available, even though no one at the party is legally old enough to drink. They think of students who never used drugs in high school deciding to experiment and try new things now that they do not live at home. The experience is more than just going to class and learning new things. It’s a whole lifestyle change.

But is this accurate? Or is it a perception created by teen movies and exaggerated accounts?

The statistics show that the reputation is both accurate and warranted. For instance, some addiction experts claim that those who go to college full-time have double the odds of using alcohol and drugs when compared to people who do not go to college at all.

Why is this true? There are a few factors to consider. One is that those who do not go to college may still live at home or at least in their hometown. Someone who goes to college five hours away from home may be more likely to try things they wouldn’t do if they felt like people they knew would find out about their indiscretions.

On top of that, those who go to college often do not work or only work part-time. They may have more time for leisure activities like going to house parties and encountering people who introduce them to drugs and alcohol. Someone who graduates from high school and goes right into the workforce may have different goals and a different lifestyle.

The thing to remember is that although college may have this reputation, the illegal use of drugs and alcohol is still serious. Many students think that they’re just enjoying the college experience and then end up facing serious charges. They need to know what defense options they have.