Could New Campus-Safety Assessment Tool Help Prevent Drug Use on Indiana Campuses

A campus meeting

Drugs and alcohol abuse have become common and even synonymous with college life. The image of college has changed into a place or time period where young adults get to expand their wings and try new things, which it should. Unfortunately, most college students see their growth in terms of experiencing drugs and alcohol. College life is riddled with substance abuse. Binge drinking and drug use have engulfed the entirety of college life. Even in places such as dorms, where alcohol is prohibited and the close proximity of campus security, authorities, and neighbors should make drug use difficult, college students are readily consuming alcohol and doing drugs. Colleges and Universities alike work hard to prevent substance abuse. New campus-safety assessment tools are being used to help prevent drug use on Indiana campuses.

Safety Assessment Tool

The assessment is a new and unique strategy for preventing alcohol use, hazing, drug use, and sexual violence. The new tool is being touted by some administrators and experts. Part of the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative the strategy looks to reduce problems of violence and substance abuse. It is a self-assessment tool that is free for colleges and involves a serious of confidential surveys. The survey asks colleges if, for example, a students parents are contacted in the event they violate the college’s alcohol policies or if campus police departments collaborate with local law enforcement in combating drunken driving. There have been over 100 colleges that have completed the assessment. The data will be compiled, analyzed, and then released on the company site for colleges, students, and parents to review. The effort is being sponsored by the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, which was established after the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. The project was organized and created by a team of 10 campus-safety and legal experts who volunteered their time. The assessment takes under one day to complete with the various staff members in the relevant safety field’s participation. The success of the assessment has yet to be determined. Colleges and Universities already use teams of specialists to set and manage safety goals for their campuses.

Indiana University Bloomington

The Indiana University at Bloomington has begun working with five other Indiana health centers to combat alcohol and substance abuse. They are implementing a new procedure to evaluate all adult patients for the risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse. Through screenings, brief intervention and referral to treatment, they hope to address excessive drinking and other substance abuses, which is a problem in Indiana and across the country. The effort hopes to bring public health strategies to strengthen prevention. There system works through a more holistic approach to health care. The program hopes to assess the level of alcohol and substance use in patients and give them advice. The system hopes to help those that could be on a path to substance abuse by offering them advice in a discussion about possible danger. Research has shown that this style of preventative treatment is effective in reducing harmful drinking an illicit drug use.

Preventing Habit Forming Behaviors

Eliminating binge drinking and drug experimentation in college is an impossible task; there is nothing that can be done. However, there are several steps that families and schools can take to reduce the number of college students from falling down the wrong path. Alcohol and drug use education at an early age is the best way to get through to children. Parents should try to be as involved in their child’s life as possible. The new assessment tool can help Indiana schools evaluate problem areas it must work on, but it is essential that students, parents and the institution work together to combat substance abuse.

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