Drug Safety

New York, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: I do not notice students taking drugs.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Lots of freedom to do what you want compared to smaller campuses. For drugs there's usually crackdowns on attention-focusing drugs like in 2010, but marijuana seems prevalent. Lots of fake IDs and bar-hopping students.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Drug Safety: Columbia students are in general very studious and make good choice on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: I do not know of people who use drugs on my campus.

4 College Junior

Drug Safety: I have yet to be subjected to seeing any people use drugs.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 240th
    Most Social Drinkers
  • 986th
    Least Peer-Pressured Students
  • 1098th
    Best Schools for Non-Drinkers
  • 1133rd
    Most Drug-Free Campuses
  • 1161st
    Least Underage Drinkers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Austin, TX
English and American Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Columbia is by no means a party school. That is not to say that drugs and alcohol are not present or even quite visible; it depends on where you're looking. Weekends are marked by drunken debauchery for many students, and walking through a dorm on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night is guaranteed to bring with it the sounds of bottles and the smell of marijuana. Such is college life.

That being said, Columbia students tend to enjoy themselves in moderation and often use drugs and alcohol as an escape from the stress of schoolwork. That stress also contributes to the use of one of Columbia's more popular drugs—Adderall. While study drugs are not used by every student at Columbia, they are definitely present and easily available. In fact, students report that most drugs are fairly accessible if you know where to look. However, most students avoid anything harder than alcohol or marijuana, and plenty of students opt to remain sober. For those who wish to avoid drugs and alcohol entirely, Columbia offers substance-free housing.

Facts & Statistics

Alcohol-Related Referrals
Alcohol-Related Arrests
Drug-Related Referrals
Drug-Related Arrests
Most Popular Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription "study" drugs (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)
Drug Counseling Programs
Alice! Health Promotion
Wien Hall, main floor
New York
(212) 854-5453
Smoking cessation: relaxation techniques, behavioral condition, and medication options
Drug Counseling Programs
Counseling and Psychological Services
Alfred Lerner Hall, eighth floor
New York
(212) 854-2878
This office provides an outlet for students who need a safe and anonymous person to talk to.
Did You Know?
In 2010, an undercover policeman busted a drug ring run by several Columbia students in what is infamously known as "Operation Ivy League." The chapters of the fraternities which were involved have since been discontinued at Columbia.

Student Polls

Name the most popular drugs on campus.    Based on 46 responses

  • 38% Alcohol
  • 28% Marijuana
  • 18% Prescription "study drugs" (Adderall, Ritalin)
  • 6% Cocaine
  • 6% None
  • 1% Methamphetamine
  • 1% Prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin)
  • 1% Other prescription drugs (barbiturates, Valium, Xanax)
  • 0% Ecstasy
  • 0% Heroin
  • 0% Psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms)
  • 0% Steroids

How would you describe the social drinking scene on campus?    Based on 47 responses

  • 15% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 43% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 15% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 21% Barely noticeable. Very few students take part.
  • 6% Students don't drink on campus. Seriously.

How would you describe the drug scene on campus (not including alcohol)?    Based on 47 responses

  • 4% Very noticeable. Most students take part.
  • 11% Pretty noticeable. Many students take part.
  • 40% Somewhat noticeable. Less than half of students take part.
  • 38% 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 46 responses

  • 15% Practically unlimited.
  • 54% Somewhat abundant.
  • 28% Somewhat limited.
  • 2% Very limited.

How does peer pressure affect students' use of drugs and alcohol?    Based on 46 responses

  • 2% If you don't partake, you're left out.
  • 7% You'll definitely feel a little awkward if you don't drink.
  • 46% Most people partake in some form, but no one treats you differently if you don't.
  • 46% You can have a great social life without drugs or alcohol.


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