According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism “about 20% of college students meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.” The University of Oklahoma claims to be a dry campus. I do not know administrators‘ and other faculty members’ views on the matter, but many students see this as a joke. It’s a dry campus… except on game days, fraternity party days, Tuesdays, and any other day that ends in a “y”. In addition to the alcohol abuse problem on campus, there are additional substance abuse problems that can be seen every day: marijuana, Adderall, and caffeine, just to name a few. ABC News recently ran a story on this topic highlighting a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that indicated a sharp rise in the abuse of Adderall in those aged 18 to 25. Addiction has become a large part of the American college culture. While a week in this course was set aside to explore “Student Development, Wellness, & Safety,” it did not adequately examine the specifics of substance abuse. A brief part of one discussion during the week was the sexual abuse that frequently occurs on college campuses, which brought about a short-lived discussion of one type of substance abuse: alcohol. Based on our discussion, it is very obvious that society shies away from these topics, sweeping them under the rug, and ignoring them till they grow something, becoming too noxious to ignore.
College campuses should find value in awareness regarding this issue because they have skin in the game in more ways than one. To begin, addicted graduates are not
exactly the product that employers, graduate schools, and politicians, who some funding depends on, (a comic saluting this funding included to the left) are looking for from the university. Furthermore, the increasing substance use and addictions have the potential to impact enrollment levels as parents and students alike may make the choice to avoid the temptation. Lastly, the university should (though it does not mean it does) value the literal “skin” they have in the game, their students. Although most universities try to raise awareness with alcohol training for freshmen and other programs such as this, they tend to ignore anything that is not legal, neglecting to mention the affects of how substances, other than alcohol and tobacco, can negatively affect the body. I understand that at times if a movement is begun against something that is not yet common, the issue is exacerbated because awareness of side effects also means awareness that the drug can be abused. Despite this, it is important that the university take a firm stance against this growing trend before it reaches the abuse level that alcohol has reached on college campuses.
This should be covered in this class because it is presently a prominent aspect of college culture and most definitely an issue that students need to be aware of. The problem is growing exponentially and will need action in the near future. Students in higher education presently will be the ones taking the steps in the future toward ending the abuse. Being informed is important and unfortunately right now it seems no one is informed because we are too busy trying to keep the issues covered. They have not yet become noxious enough for concern to rise. Maybe when they grow some mold and begin to rot we will begin trying to fix the abuse problems rather than hiding them, pretending they do not exist.
College Drinking.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Dec. 2015. Web. 4 May 2016.
News, ABC. “Study Claims Adderall Abuse Increasing in Young Adults.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 05 May 2016.
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