Attorney At Law Steven A. Garner
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Is it true what they say about drugs on college campuses?

Whether this is your first or final year at a New Jersey college or university, you've likely already faced (and hopefully overcome) several challenges. Perhaps you had never been away from your family before, and it took some time to work through the homesickness you felt when you first moved into your dorm or apartment. Then again, maybe you had no trouble adapting to that aspect of college life but greatly struggled to get to classes on time and develop good study habits.

Such issues are common among college students in this state and everywhere. The trick is to find what works best for you, including making good choices when it comes to how and with whom you spend your free time. It's no secret that many college students run into trouble (sometimes, even legal problems) when their choices lead them down certain paths. A major concern on most college campuses is drug and alcohol use.

Get the facts and know where to turn for help

You might be among those who think it's rather typical to drink alcohol while you're in college. The fact is, alcohol happens to be a drug, and it also happens to be the most commonly abused drug on college campuses throughout the nation. The following list includes more information about this and other drug dangers that may be lurking on your college campus:

  • More than 5 million college students in the United States admit they have participated in drinking binges as often as once a month. 
  • Current data shows as many as four out of five college students consume alcohol. 
  • It's logical to assume that, since the average age of college students ranges from 18 to 22, not everyone drinking alcohol on campus is of legal age to do so.
  • Even if you do not break the law concerning consumption of alcohol, if you are 21 or older and purchase alcohol for minors to drink, you may face serious legal problems down the line.
  • Marijuana is another common drug of choice on college campuses.
  • Controlled substances -- such as heroin, ecstasy and cocaine -- are often key factors in throwing college careers off course as well.

Perhaps you've been quite successful in avoiding the heavier drugs but admit to popping a pill here or there to help you stay awake to study, or calm your nerves and help you sleep when you're stressing over final exams. If so, you definitely wouldn't be the first college student to struggle with prescription drug problems.

Some students have wound up behind bars for reasons other than consuming drugs or alcohol. For instance, let's say you borrow a friend's jacket and a police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop while you're wearing it. The police officer conducts a search and claims to find illegal drugs in your pocket. Although appropriate defense support may help you rectify your situation, things may get a whole lot worse before they get better.

Where to seek assistance

If you encounter any sort of legal problem associated with drugs or alcohol in college, there's no need to go it alone as you navigate the criminal justice system. One of the first things most college students do if prosecutors charge them with drug crimes is request meetings with experienced criminal law attorneys.

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