Study tells us when in the year college kids do which drugs for the first time

Study tells us when in the year college kids do which drugs for the first time

VicesSeptember 17, 2015 By Tierney Nash

Most American post-children start using drugs and alcohol in college thanks to the glorious liberation of the 'No parents, no rules' phenomenon. However, we've never really had a clear picture of exactly when they start using and which drugs they choose ... until now. 

An enterprising new study has successfully tracked down precisely when college students across the US start drinking, smoking, and using all sorts of crazy drugs for the first time. Is it normal for you to start doing LSD in November? Which month do college kids stuff the most cocaine up their sinuses? These are all questions the study answers.

The data is based on two things: the number of first-time drug or alcohol users each month, and the severity of the drug they’re trying out. For every substance, there seems to be a peak month out of the year when these drugs are extra popular.

But, even when someone’s using a more minor drug, first times have a tendency to be not so pretty for the morbidly inexperienced. So to help you out, we’ve devised a monthly color-coded scale of highness to tell you how fucked up first timers will be each month, based on amount of people using drugs for the first time, and the severity of the drugs they’re using.

Oddly enough February, March, and May are the lowest months of the year for drug usage. Not sure why, but we guess this is a good time to pick up your studies or get good at the ukelele like you’ve always wanted when the madness dies down. We left those months out because they were boring.

August, however ... man. August is when the fall semester begins and when college kids start to dip their precious little toes into the world of drugs, so we'll start with it.

August

Number of first-timers: 4,917
Peak month for trying out: Tranquilizers

What goes up must come down, and for some reason, August is the peak month for popping prescription anxiety-reducing pills, downers and tranquilizers. Could be the stress of the upcoming school year, or being on the verge of yet another life change as students negotiate the terrible realizations of adult life, but either way, a whole lot of people are feigning problems for some Xannies.

September

Number of first-timers: 5,635
Peak month for trying out: Alcohol

It’s the heat of back-to-school fever, and that means back to raging college parties. This is the fun part in the beginning of the year when people are moving in and no one has too many responsibilities yet, but everyone suffers from a desperate need to blend in and be accepted. Nothing quite beats two girls bonding in an unkempt bathroom as they throw up Bacardi-merlot spritzers and alternately hold one another’s hair.

October

Number of first-timers: 6,112
Peak month for trying out: Hallucinogens

It’s mushroom season, y’all. What else did you expect?

November

Number of first-timers: 5,668
Peak month for trying out: Stimulants

That approaching finals rush that inspired the last round of pills in April is coming around again, only this time combined with the emotional havoc of seasonal depression. That means more glassy eyed students being drawn in by the cool glow of laptops, more weed, more uppers, and just a little more of everything.

December

Number of first-timers: 5,892
Peak month for trying out: Painkillers and cocaine

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals. It’s time to let the year go out with a bang, and students are trying out ways to feel nothing at all, while mentally reflecting on all of the things they’ve done in one hectic semester. Cocaine use soars as the little buggers celebrate their 3.0s like Columbian drug mules.

January

Number of first-timers: 5,360
Peak month for trying out: Nothing and everything

The beginning of the year’s a weird time for everyone. While no students are rushing to try out any one thing, everyone’s rolling out the new year in their own way. Relatively high levels of first timers on uppers (300), weed (1,112), and cocaine (495) this month, so you’ll know to raise an eyebrow when some kid in a Burberry pea coat and Oxfords starts excitedly talking on the phone about plans to go “skiing.”

April

Number of first-timers: 4,719
Peak month for trying out: Stimulants

For some reason, perhaps the stress of rapidly upcoming finals and finishing up all assignments before the year is out, stimulants like are taking an upswing. Adderall is getting popped across campus, and the air fills with the tapping sounds of desperate last minute papers.

June

Number of first-timers: 6,824
Peak month for trying out: Booze, weed, inhalants, and hallucinogens

Jesus Christ, everyone is fucked up in June. You heard right, everything from weed to vodka to computer duster to shrooms is in for the middle of summer. Maybe it’s the warm weather making people more susceptible, maybe it’s the odd alienation that comes with suddenly having way too much free time on your hands, or maybe it's just that nothing goes with drugs better than the lukewarm breeze of the start of summer gently tousling your stupid hair.

July

Number of first-timers: 6,165
Peak month for trying out: Inhalants

Something about that warm summer air just screams ‘nitrites.’ We're not sure why, but imagining someone laying out in the middle of a sunny backyard giggling on a five minute nitrous high isn’t too hard to imagine.

So, there you have it. Every month (except the boring ones) caters to a different vice of the college crowd. Further research is probing into why this is, but at least now we know what month is best to sell mushrooms on The Quad in.