Dr. Allison M. Smith Picture it: a beautiful, warmer than average August Monday, with the smell of a long summer in the air. The year is 2004 and I had just stepped onto the campus (“the strip” to be exact) of Southern University and A&M College, as a loquacious and optimistic freshman ready to take on the world. A unique and distinguishing feature of Southern University is that it is one of the nation’s 107 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and boasts being the only HBCU system in the world. It was on that campus that I would be introduced to the world that I now know...

I was barely old enough to order a beer when I found myself being deployed to Iraq. This was post-9/11 so to say tensions were high is an understatement at best. I was thrown right into the deep end.   I was smart enough to know I didn’t know everything. But still, nothing in my 21 years prepared me for what I would see during that year on active duty. I went from attending classes and juggling studies to engaging in small arms fire and being hit with an improvised explosive device during my first week in country. I led more than 180 combat patrols as an Army Infantry team leader and as a...

Margo Leitschuh (left) and Joan Masters As coalition leaders of Missouri Partners in Prevention, Missouri’s higher education substance misuse consortium dedicated to creating healthy and safe college campuses, we get asked a lot about what the most effective way is to create change on campus. The hard work of preventing drug misuse on college campuses often leaves professionals with low energy, little time, and scarce resources. It makes a lot of sense that our colleagues are searching for the quick and easy solution to address our campuses’ key concerns.   Our answer is always that you can...

April Miller As a former campus police officer, I have seen firsthand how instrumental training in substance misuse and mental health is for all professionals working in postsecondary settings. Oftentimes professors and campus police represent a replacement for the parental structure. Mental health and substance misuse challenges may already be present prior to a student being incorporated into the collegiate climate. Separation from family systems and the relative safety of their home environments can exacerbate already present mental health issues. Due to intensity of these circumstances,...

Kirk Lane As the Drug Director for the state of Arkansas, I have the responsibility of overseeing all state-funded substance prevention, substance treatment, and substance recovery activities and programs; advising the governor’s office on drug and alcohol policy issues; overseeing the (fiscal) funding of 19 drug task force units in Arkansas; and overseeing the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council. Monitoring, securing, and disposing of unused and expired prescription medication is a major priority in my office, but it’s one of the many things our office does. The absolute...

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