Drug Safety

Pittsburgh, PA
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: I haven't seen anyone do any drugs other than smoke weed occasionally.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: There isn't much of a party scene, but that's great because all of the students are dedicated to their work. If you want to go out, you can, but you never feel pressured to.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Drugs are prevalent especially in the art school but you don't need to participate if you don't want to.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Use is visible, but not dominating. Amnesty policy is good alcohol.

5 College Junior

Drug Safety: I haven't had any personal experience with peer pressure in regards to drug or alcohol. I haven't had to drink to maintain my social life, although I'm personally not a big fan of parties so that probably contributes to the equation. I've rarely seen alcohol or drugs on campus.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 304th
    Most Social Drinkers
  • 766th
    Least Peer-Pressured Students
  • 964th
    Most Drug-Free Campuses
  • 1026th
    Best Schools for Non-Drinkers
  • 1176th
    Least Underage Drinkers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Brookfield, CT
Professional Writing
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Most students at Carnegie Mellon stick to alcohol as their substance of choice, although the number of people who smoke weed is probably a close second. That's not to say that all students drink or smoke weed. It is very easy to spend four years here and not be tempted by others, as students genearlly don't heckle others for what they do or don't participate in. Drugs beyond alcohol and marijuana are generally uncommon, but some students feel they just can't handle all of the academic demands without using Adderall or Ritalin. Therefore, there is a moderately sized market for Adderall, Ritalin, and other drugs that focus on attention, especially around midterms and finals.

However, students who do partake in drug use other than alcohol have to be very hush-hush at CMU. Unlike getting caught with alcohol, where campus police might issue a citation but usually make you pour it out, campus police are told to call the Narcotics Squad if any significant quantities of drugs are found. As you might guess, the stakes are higher to participate in drug use, which is why a majority of students doesn't partake in it, and those that do are pretty secretive. Overall, it's the same as any school—students are told how "seriously" the school takes drug and alcohol use, but unless you're running a drug ring, you'll usually just get saddled with a citation if you get caught.

Facts & Statistics

Alcohol-Related Referrals
Alcohol-Related Arrests
Drug-Related Referrals
Drug-Related Arrests
Most Popular Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription "study" drugs (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)
Drug Counseling Programs
Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS)
Morewood Gardens, E-Tower, second floor
(412) 268-2922
Alcohol assessment services, short-term counseling, support for children of alcoholics, alcohol-related literature
Did You Know?
  • Amnesty is a school policy where someone can call the campus police or emergency medical services if someone they know is exhibiting signs of alcohol poisoning. The students who called won't get cited if they were drinking, nor will it go on any of their records.
  • Campus housing is considered University property, so if called, Pittsburgh law enforcement can access students' rooms to uphold federal and state drug laws.

Student Polls

Name the most popular drugs on campus.    Based on 48 responses

  • 40% Alcohol
  • 30% Marijuana
  • 21% Prescription "study drugs" (Adderall, Ritalin)
  • 6% None
  • 1% Ecstasy
  • 1% Other prescription drugs (barbiturates, Valium, Xanax)
  • 1% Steroids
  • 0% Cocaine
  • 0% Heroin
  • 0% Methamphetamine
  • 0% Prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin)
  • 0% Psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms)

How would you describe the social drinking scene on campus?    Based on 49 responses

  • 16% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 29% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 37% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 10% Barely noticeable. Very few students take part.
  • 8% Students don't drink on campus. Seriously.

How would you describe the drug scene on campus (not including alcohol)?    Based on 49 responses

  • 0% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 8% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 39% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 47% Barely noticeable. Very few students take part.
  • 6% Drugs are not used on campus. Seriously.

How much access do underage students have to alcohol?    Based on 48 responses

  • 15% Practically unlimited.
  • 60% Somewhat abundant.
  • 19% Somewhat limited.
  • 6% Very limited.

How does peer pressure affect students' use of drugs and alcohol?    Based on 48 responses

  • 0% If you don't partake, you're left out.
  • 12% You'll definitely feel a little awkward if you don't drink.
  • 40% Most people partake in some form, but no one treats you differently if you don't.
  • 48% You can have a great social life without drugs or alcohol.
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