Drug Awareness on College Campuses: What You Need to Know
31% of college students report symptoms of alcohol abuse. Substance abuse and addictions are more common than you might think.
Students frequently turn to not only alcohol but also marijuana, prescription drugs like opioids, and cocaine to relax, have fun, or cope with the stresses of college life.
Both recreational and long-term drug use can have serious consequences for the safety and health of college students. So, what can schools do to increase drug awareness?
Read on to learn more about campus drug abuse and how schools can help it end.
How Are Colleges Raising Drug Awareness?
For colleges to stamp out drug use, they need to be consistent and firm with their approach, but also provide resources for students to heal and recover.
Here are a few suggestions of actions schools can take to rescue students from drug abuse.
Drug and Alcohol Policies
Each campus should have a clear and comprehensive drug and alcohol policy, outline what behaviors are allowed and which are not. This should be made clear to all students from day one, so it should be included in education at freshmen orientation.
Throughout the school year, consider running on-campus and online marketing campaigns to remind students of the policies. Focus on occasions when heavy drinking is likely to occur, such as Homecoming.
This way, students will know what’s expected of them from the beginning.
All colleges should provide resources to support students going through addiction who want to get help.
The withdrawal process of giving up drugs can be incredibly challenging, physically, and mentally. Schools should provide both counseling and mental health assistance and also medical help for both overdoses and withdrawal.
Read more about the withdrawal process here: https://www.americasrehabcampuses.com/blog/what-happens-to-your-body-during-drug-withdrawal/
Drug Testing for Athletes
At many schools, college athletes are highly respected and valued. However, what happens if an athlete tests positive for drug use?
Schools need to be consistent with applying drug policies. No one is above the law, even college athletes.
Seeing an athlete dealing with drug use can raise awareness of the problem on campus to others and can also serve as a reminder that your school treats all students equally.
Punishments for drug use on campus should be strict, but fair. Some schools may have a no-tolerance policy, while others may have a three-strike rule for alcohol offenses.
Students should be aware of the consequences of breaking the drug and alcohol policy. Some schools may want to require students to complete community service, as a way to give back.
Other schools may have harsher punishments, like temporary or permanent suspensions.
Start Making Your School Drug-Free
If drug awareness is important to you, get involved by contacting your college to let them know. Look for opportunities to get involved, such as volunteering on awareness committees. Or, help to educate other students on the problem.
Over time, committed colleges can work to end drug use. Creating a safer and healthier learning environment is better for everyone on campus.