Faculty and Professional Response to Substance Abuse
Colleges and universities across the country are implementing alcohol and drug awareness programs including treatment options and counseling to aid students struggling with addiction. Addressing substance abuse in the early stages can be most effective. Concerned parties should not shy away from addressing substance abuse or addiction treatment options. Statistically, college students who binge drink in high school are more likely to continue the same behaviors in college. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, college and university programs are actively addressing alcohol and other substance abuse problems through:
- Implementing policies and programs to curb alcohol and other drug use
- Combining traditional education programs with strategic efforts directed toward whole environment change on-campus and in the community
- Providing alternative options for students seeking socialization in a drug-free environment
- Restricting on-campus alcohol promotions and advertising
- Strictly enforcing compliance of fraternities with alcohol and drug policies and law
- Enforcing institutional conduct codes that prohibit the use of illegal substances and set strict guidelines regarding drug and alcohol use
As institutions respond proactively to potential substance abuse problems, the abuse of alcohol and drugs remains a prominent concern on most campuses, according to H. Wesley Perkins of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In his report entitled College Students Misperceptions of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms Among Peers: Exploring Causes, Consequences and Implications for Prevention Programs, Perkins states:
‘”Simply educating youths about the variety of abused drugs, their effects, and the associated health risks may produce more sophisticated and knowledgeable users, but has shown no significant benefit in changing behavior.”
Perkins goes on to explain that even though drug education programs have changed how students perceive drugs and other controlled substances, the changes have been both pro-drug and anti-drug, which leads him to conclude that the impact of the existing drug education programs are unpredictable.
Additional information dedicated to preventing, addressing, and overcoming substance abuse in a college or university environment:
Treatment Resources for Substance Abuse and Addiction
Substance abuse and addiction have the potential to be life threatening. To most effectively address a substance abuse problem or addiction, it is important to have a strong support system. There are numerous organizations and support groups available to those struggling with substance abuse and their concerned friends and family. Before seeking substance abuse or addiction treatment, it is important to recognize, treatment is most successful when all parties agree there is a substance addiction problem and needs to be addressed in a constructive manner.
Treatment should be a positive experience; subjecting a person to treatment against their will may have adverse effects and will not be as successful as voluntary treatment. There are many different treatment options available; each case has specific needs and individual attention is one of the key elements of successful addiction treatment.
Substance abuse rehabilitation hospitals and group homes can be considered when researching substance abuse and addiction treatment options. These facilities provide intensive detoxification (detox), counseling, education, and medical treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
The first step in the addiction treatment process is to get the addict to admit they have a problem. Once this has been established the next step is to seek treatment. Just as an addict can be different and vary so can the treatment process. Outlined below a few different methods for the treatment of addiction:
Drug Rehab Inpatient
Generally 30 days at during which time the addict will receive the following, while living in a controlled environment: counseling, education, group therapy and support to beat the addiction cycle and ultimately recover.
Drug Rehab Outpatient
A flexible program designed to cover a number of sessions spread out over a number of weeks where the addict is paired up with a professional counselor who will create a customized program to best suit their needs and work with them both one-on-one and in a group setting. This option is best suited for an addict who has completed an inpatient program initially because it provides less supervision than the inpatient program.
A planned event conducted with a health professional which can be very powerful whereas friends and family are brought together to confront the addict with their problem and decide on a treatment program. More often than not the addict has lost touch with their friends and family including reality. An intervention is effective with a third party and designed to create a reality check for the addict in loving way.
Also known as detox a period of time where the addict will go through some mental and/or physical changes because they are no longer using drugs or alcohol. Detox can include: hallucinations, seizures, psychotic episodes, tremors and in some severe instances, death. Detox generally is done in a controlled environment such as: hospital, special health care facility under the supervision of medical professionals.
Support organizations are available in many different areas of the country, operating on both a local and national level. Twelve-step programs, such as: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Pills Anonymous are popular treatment options. Friends and family of substance abusers and addicts can seek support and education through a variety of groups, including: Families Anonymous, Al-Anon for Families, Co-Dependents Anonymous and Nar-Anon for Families.
Further resources regarding treatment options and support groups for recovering addicts and their friends and family members: