Drug Safety

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: There's definitely a drinking culture at Amherst, but then again, there's a drinking culture at pretty much every school. I can't complain-- people probably drink here more than they do at your average high school, but it's not unmanageable (though your experience will vary greatly depending on which dorm you live in).

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3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Drinking basically dominates the social scene. There aren't really other alternatives to it. It's been pretty difficult to find other things to do on the weekends, especially since the PVTA bus system doesn't get you anywhere efficiently. I guess if you have a car, you can get places.
On the other hands, drugs are not as visible here. Of course, it exists, but drinking really dominates here. In the 5 college consortium, Hampshire is known for their drug scene.

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3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Adderall is the drug of choice for academics and even the social scene. Marijuana is about as standard as any school you would imagine


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 256th
    Most Social Drinkers
  • 722nd
    Most Drug-Free Campuses
  • 1081st
    Best Schools for Non-Drinkers
  • 1098th
    Least Peer-Pressured Students
  • 1199th
    Least Underage Drinkers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lem Atanga McCormick
Chicago, IL
Pre-Med (Biology and French)
View all previous student authors

Amherst nights—and for some, the days, too—involve respectable amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is not for everyone, and is not used all the time, but for many Amherst students, alcohol consumption is part of a weekly routine. Often time, sports teams have parties after big wins, and these parties are usually attended not only by the athletes, but other students, as well. It’s common to get the lowdown on this weekend’s parties and just go to them and drink, many times for free. Most of the time, this is due to generous seniors who pick up the tab for the poor underclassmen. When you’re a senior, you’ll probably do the same.

Pot is the other popular illegal substance, and, as is the case with alcohol, if you’re into it, there’s no problem getting it. (Even though, unlike alcohol, pot doesn’t come free.) Harder drugs are present but are far less common. It is a near consensus among students that doing hard drugs or too many "light" drugs will inevitably get in the way of academics and other activities. Perhaps here is where this ostensibly lax campus checks itself. Most students seem to be able to prioritize well: “A big paper due in two days means no partying tonight” is the common rule of thumb. It’s mostly an individual decision whether to drink or experiment with light drugs, and there is little active social pressure to do anything. Drinking, although prevalent, doesn’t determine coolness, and in fact, those students who drink frequently and heavily may be chastised by their friends after a while.

Facts & Statistics

Alcohol-Related Referrals
Alcohol-Related Arrests
Drug-Related Referrals
Drug-Related Arrests
Most Popular Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
Drug Counseling Programs
The Amherst Counseling Center

Student Polls

Name the most popular drugs on campus.    Based on 10 responses

  • 47% Alcohol
  • 32% Marijuana
  • 16% Prescription "study drugs" (Adderall, Ritalin)
  • 5% Cocaine
  • 0% Ecstasy
  • 0% Heroin
  • 0% Methamphetamine
  • 0% Prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin)
  • 0% Other prescription drugs (barbiturates, Valium, Xanax)
  • 0% Psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms)
  • 0% Steroids
  • 0% None

How would you describe the drug scene on campus (not including alcohol)?    Based on 11 responses

  • 0% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 9% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 27% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 64% Barely noticeable. Very few students take part.
  • 0% Drugs are not used on campus. Seriously.

How would you describe the social drinking scene on campus?    Based on 11 responses

  • 27% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 64% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 9% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 0% Barely noticeable. Very few students take part.
  • 0% Students don't drink on campus. Seriously.

How much access do underage students have to alcohol?    Based on 10 responses

  • 60% Practically unlimited.
  • 30% Somewhat abundant.
  • 10% Somewhat limited.
  • 0% Very limited.

How does peer pressure affect students' use of drugs and alcohol?    Based on 10 responses

  • 10% If you don't partake, you're left out.
  • 20% You'll definitely feel a little awkward if you don't drink.
  • 20% Most people partake in some form, but no one treats you differently if you don't.
  • 50% You can have a great social life without drugs or alcohol.
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