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Substance Use Prevention and Reduction Programs in Universities


            Many students find college a time characterized with stress. They may any combination of stressors such as academic performance, finances, new living conditions, and racial discrimination. Due to stressors, experimentation, and risk factors, substance use is a common phenomenon in college students. Impactful consequences of substance use on college campuses include: injuries, impaired driving, sexual assault, legal issues, poor academic performance and death. Below are examples of Universities within region 8 that are actively addressing substance use in college students.

            North Dakota State University: Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Programs


            NDSU focuses on substances use awareness, prevention and reduction through several efforts. The President’s Council on Alcohol & Other Drugs engages both the campus and community stakeholders to implement evidence based strategies for reducing the harmful effects of substance use. Their Live REAL Mentor program provides education and training for students, faculty and staff, who choose to identify themselves as a resource for students looking for  guidance for their issues with alcohol and other drug abuse and who will actively seek to educate students about the effects of high-risk alcohol and other drug use.

            University of Wyoming AWARE (Alcohol Wellness Alternatives, Research & Education)

            AWARE strives to reduce harm of substance use by providing alcohol and drug education and training to the Greek community, residence halls and other university departments. The website (http://www.uwyo.edu/ucc/aware/) provides many resources for services, drug and alcohol information, and opportunities for engagement of University students and the community. In addition to their online resources, AWARE provides targeted education to new students and athletes. Students who have 60 or less credits are required to complete Alcohol Education and Haven. The online program is segmented into two parts and provides information concerning substance use, health relationships, consent, and how to help a friend.

For additional examples of substance use prevention and reduction programs: http://www.alcoholeducationproject.org/DOEModelPrograms2008.pdf

Additional Information:

Lipari, R. (TBD). The CBHSQ Report: Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation Among Full-Time College Students. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

Pedersen, D. E. (2012). Stress carry-over and college student health outcomes. College Student Journal, 46(3), 620-627.

SAMHSA. 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Table 6.88B—Alcohol Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 18 to 22, by College Enrollment Status and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2012 and 2013. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabsPDFWHTML2013/Web/HTML/NSDUH-DetTabsSect6peTabs55to107-2013.htm#tab6.88b

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on College Campuses: Model Programs, Washing, D. C., 2008.