Yesterday, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released a study, Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities. Among the findings in the 244-page report (PDF here), painkiller abuse has increased 343% between 1993 and 2005, binge drinking has gone up 16% between 1993 and 2001, daily marijuana abuse doubled between 1993 and 2005, and 26% more students are getting drunk at least three times a month.

Accordingly, there have been increases in unintentional deaths due to alcohol-abuse (6% increase between 1998 and 2001), injuries due to alcohol-abuse (38% increase between 1993 and 2005), and alcohol-related arrests (21% increase between 2001 and 2005). CASA's chairman, Joseph Califano blames the administration:

“College presidents, deans and trustees have facilitated a college culture of alcohol and drug abuse that is linked to poor student academic performance, depression, anxiety, suicide, property damage, vandalism, fights and a host of medical problems. By failing to become part of the solution, these Pontius Pilate presidents and parents, deans, trustees and alumni have become part of the problem. Their acceptance of a status quo of rampant alcohol and other drug abuse puts the best and the brightest--and the nation’s future--in harm’s way.”

The report has lots of interesting graphs and explanations, but we liked this graph showing the difference in substance abuse levels when students live on-campus, off-campus or in the Greek system.