Substance use rates on APSU’s campus are rising.
This is what Isaiah Hurtado, Coordinator for Student Wellness & Prevention reported.
These rates are based on self-reporting data from APSU students who complete a student wellness survey sent out on an annual or bi-annual basis.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 53.6 % of full-time college students aged 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month; 34.8 % engaged in binge drinking (five or more drinks on a single occasion for men or four or more drinks on an occasion for women) in the past month; and 9.7 % engaged in heavy alcohol use (binge drinking on five or more days in the past month). These rates are higher than those for their non-college-attending peers.
“As substance use rates on our campus begin to rise, it is best to educate our campus community on healthier alternatives and responsible decision making,” Hurtado said.
To do this the Health and Counseling Center, Public Safety, Dean of Students, University Recreation, Housing/Residence Life and the APSU Alcohol & other Drugs Committee all teamed up to create a free interactive, learning event to discuss underage drinking and substance use on campus.
“The Alcohol and other Drugs event this Wednesday will be an opportunity to engage our campus community on the prevalence of substance use and learn how we can make safer and responsible decisions,” Hurtado said.
The event will occur on November 13 from 4-6 p.m. in the Foy Center Gym Courts and will include interactive obstacles to demonstrate the dangers of alcohol overuse and a discussion about the current state of substance use at APSU.
“We are partnering with University Police for this event who plan to walk students through simple tasks with drunk goggles like walking in a straight line, throwing a ball and standing on one leg to show how being under the influence can affect one’s coordination and decision making,” Hurtado said. “We will also have different stations to educate students on what a standard drink is and how much is too much.”
They will also be raffling off APSU gear and T-shirts throughout the event.
Partially in promotion for this event and the greater discussion of substance use at APSU, signs detailing APSU substance use statistics are currently posted around campus.
These statistics are from the CORE Alcohol and other Drugs survey completed in 2018.
“[They] serve as an initiative to break the misconceptions we all might have when it comes to substance use on campus,” Hurtado said. “For instance, many of our students, especially freshman, still believe that everyone on campus drinks, however, this is not the case.”
“This will be the first time we have hosted an event such as this. So, we hope to draw a large crowd,” Hurtado said.
If you are interested in learning more about Alcohol and other Drugs use on campus or want to get involved reducing risk-taking behaviors among students, email Hurtado at firstname.lastname@example.org.