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Examining motivations in college students for alcohol and marijuana use

College students with social anxiety symptoms are more likely to partake in problematic alcohol and marijuana use. Researchers studied motivations for engaging in the use of alcohol and marijuana in a sample of college students from across the United States who recently used both substances. They found similar reasons for using both substances to enhance situations or cope with general anxiety. The exception was participants who used substances to combat their social anxiety by trying to fit in; that group used alcohol more to help with their social anxiety.

The article, “The relationship between social anxiety and alcohol and marijuana use outcomes among concurrent users: A motivational model of substance use,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Research & Resources