Biennial drug and alcohol usage report highlights resources and violations


Colleen Romano

Source: UI

By Samantha Boyle, Assistant Daytime News Editor

The biennial report of drug and alcohol use at the University for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years was released in March.

“The report represents our sustained commitment to creating a healthy learning and work environment,” said Danita Young, vice chancellor for student affairs, in a Massmail.

The report includes alcohol and other drug policies relevant to campus and related statistics, such as the number of student code violations recorded.

In the 2014-2015 school year, there were 900 alcohol- related student code violation and 325 drug-related violations. For the 2015 -2016 school year, there were 811 alcohol related violations and 295 drug related.

“Most importantly, the report provides University and community resources to help with drug or alcohol related problems,” Young said.

The report includes a total of six sections. Section three discusses campus community efforts focused on the strengths and weaknesses of alcohol and drug related efforts. Campus resources, community resources and support groups were also listed in section three of the report.

Deidre Weathersby, associate director of outreach and prevention at the Counseling Center, said having a recovery center on campus is being discussed.

“What we’re talking about in the future, maybe, is looking at what would it look like to have an actual treatment center where you live there, but you just leave to go to class,” she said.

The possibility is still only being explored and would take a few years to fully develop, Weathersby said.

Although the report gives resources students can reach out to for further prevention, that is not the ultimate goal of the report, Weathersby said. For the Counseling Center, prevention efforts are available all-year round.

“We’re showing that students are changing and developing new skills to manage their relationship around substances when they come to our programs,” she said.

There were a total of 16 outreach programs listed in the report for 2014-2015 and 27 for 2015-2016.

The resources listed include the Office for Student Conflict Resolution, which “responds to every contact, citation or arrest related to drugs or alcohol by the University and local police agencies,” according to the report. However, the responses may differ depending on the nature of the violation.

The University requires incoming students to participate in Alcohol Culture Explored Interactive Theatre, which plays videos showcasing the drinking culture students may encounter on campus. The ACE IT program was listed as a strength in the report.

According to the report, 7,620 students participated in ACE IT in the 2014-2015 school year and 8,209 students attended in the 2015-2016 school year.

Although there are always going to be students who suffer from misuse, there is headway being made on prevention, Weathersby said.

“We’re going to continue to do what we can to make sure students are aware of how they should be empowered to make decisions for themselves and to give them some tools,” she said.

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