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A discussion on the increasing problem of alcohol and drugs on college campuses

Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Far more troubling, the intensity of excessive drinking and other drug use has risen sharply. Half of all full-time college students 3.

  • While social and mass media might have new students believing that college is all about meeting new friends and going to parties, there is a lot of actual work involved;
  • Making connections in a new environment can be daunting, especially for those who are naturally more reserved;
  • Researchers found the students that engage in regular abuse of drugs and alcohol are more likely to experience;
  • Turnover in administrative positions related to student conduct is high, and resources are low;
  • Drug Abuse And Suicide Among College Students Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and it accounts for approximately 1,100 student deaths annually.

Rates of dangerous drinking increased from 1993 to 2001, the latest year for which these data are available. Over that period, the proportion of students who: Student abuse of prescription opioids, stimulants and tranquillizers has exploded.

  1. College students have to juggle exams, homework, extracurricular activities, personal obligations and part-time jobs all while attending classes.
  2. By failing to become part of the solution, these presidents, deans and trustees have become part of the problem.
  3. College presidents, deans and trustees have facilitated or tolerated a college culture of alcohol and drug abuse that is linked to poor student academic performance, depression, anxiety, suicide, property damage, vandalism, fights and a host of medical problems. With so much as stake for college students, they need to be better educated about how the risks their taking with drugs and alcohol could impact their future.

This explosion in the intensity of substance abuse among college students carries devastating consequences. It did not separate out Jesuit college and university students. Sadly, however, there is no reason to believe they are any better than the general population of college students. Some of the spread may reflect different reporting methods. The College of the Holy Cross my alma mater has been plagued by a series of tragic incidents over recent years, including accusations of rape by a female student who was drinking heavily 1996a drunken student killed by a pickup truck 1998another killed by a train 20001 killed in a fight between drunken classmates 2002 and a student hospitalized in a booze-fueled rugby team hazing 2002.

In Spokane, Washington, Gonzaga University basketball players were picked up on suspicion of possession of drugs marijuana in February of this year. As at most other colleges, students at Holy Cross, Boston College and Georgetown have engaged in alcohol-fueled rowdy conduct and vandalism that has drawn the ire of neighboring residents and local police.

CASA surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 students, who said they did so to relieve stress, relax, have fun, forget their problems and be one of the gang. College women in focus groups said they wanted to keep up with the guys so they went drink for drink with them though on average 1 drink has the impact on a woman that 2 have on a man. These women also said they were under enormous pressure to have sex and they used alcohol as a disinhibitor. CASA also surveyed some 400 college administrators and interviewed scores of experts in the field, and the findings are disturbing.

At many institutions, college presidents, deans, trustees and alumni accept binge drinking and other drug use as a rite of passage.

College presidents and trustees are consumed with raising money, building new facilities and recruiting faculty; the substance abuse problem gets low priority. One Ivy League board chair told me that the alumni resisted efforts to reform drinking and related social practices, particularly among fraternities and clubs.

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The CASA report found that excessive drinking and other drug abuse was higher among such groups. Turnover in administrative positions related to student conduct is high, and resources are low. Many Catholic colleges and several others have initiated steps, such as education, prevention efforts and AA meetings, to mitigate the problem. College presidents, deans and trustees have facilitated or tolerated a college culture of alcohol and drug abuse that is linked to poor student academic performance, depression, anxiety, suicide, property damage, vandalism, fights and a host of medical problems.

By failing to become part of the solution, these presidents, deans and trustees have become part of the problem. Catholic universities have an added incentive: Catholic college campuses incur a special obligation to discourage an atmosphere of excessive alcohol consumption that facilitates the deadly sin of gluttony. But school administrators cannot do it alone.

Three-fourths of college drinkers and drug users began drinking and drugging in high school or even earlier. Teen drinking and drug use is a parent problem.

Drug Abuse In College Students

Parents who provide the funds for their children in college to purchase alcohol and drugs and party at substance-fueled spring breaks enable the college culture of abuse.

If parents cannot say no to children who want to go on such breaks, how can they expect their children to say no to alcohol and marijuana?

What Can Be Done? Much can be done, and Jesuit colleges can lead the way. They can ban alcohol in dormitories, in most common areas and at campus student parties and college sporting events.

They can stop alcohol marketing on campus and at campus athletic events and broadcasts. They should insist that the National College Athletic Association refuse to permit beer advertising during broadcasts of athletic events like the March Madness basketball tournament, which draws a large college audience. Many students arrange their schedules to have classes only 3 or 4 days a week so that their partying can begin on Wednesday or Thursday evening and continue until Monday morning.

Colleges have the power to require that full-time students attend classes at least 5 days a week. Colleges and universities can engage local authorities to limit the number of bars and retail liquor stores surrounding their campuses. Students should be educated about alcohol abuse, as Georgetown now requires of all freshmen. Substance abuse-free campuses should be the rule, not the exception.

Television broadcasts of college athletic events should not be opportunities for beer merchants to hawk their products to underage undergraduates. Admission to elite clubs and fraternities should not carry the risk of alcohol poisoning.

  1. The percentage of college students who abuse marijuana increased from 3. By failing to become part of the solution, these presidents, deans and trustees have become part of the problem.
  2. The high demands of college often push students towards drugs and alcohol in order to cope with stress and manage their responsibilities.
  3. They can ban alcohol in dormitories, in most common areas and at campus student parties and college sporting events. Catholic college campuses incur a special obligation to discourage an atmosphere of excessive alcohol consumption that facilitates the deadly sin of gluttony.
  4. Making connections in a new environment can be daunting, especially for those who are naturally more reserved. Wasting the Best and the Brightest.

Drunkenness should not mark half-time at college football games, nor should Ritalin and Adderall abuse be the price of performance. Most important, college administrators, trustees, alumni and parents should abandon their view that binge drinking is some harmless rite of passage and instead see it for what it truly is: