As Americans enjoy their summer vacations, the campus police chiefs and public safety directors serving our nation’s 4,200 colleges and universities are already turning their attention to the challenges their agencies will face in the new academic year. One of these challenges is keeping their students and campus communities safe from the adverse impacts of drug abuse. Paul L. Ominsky Part of that challenge is a “good news, bad news” story. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the use of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines...

In the Broadway musical Rent, during the song Seasons of Love, the cast sings of 525,600 minutes, and asks how do you measure a year in a life. As www.campusdrugprevention.gov marks its one-year anniversary, now is the perfect time to reflect on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) efforts to enhance its outreach and prevention support to colleges and universities.   Richard Lucey Jr. When I joined DEA two years ago, one of the charges given to me was to increase the agency’s interactions with institutions of higher education, beyond recruitment fairs and enforcement actions. DEA...

Leaders should seek out proactive opportunities to educate colleagues about their responsibility to provide effective, evidence-based programs and services to students ahead of a crisis. Taking action, developing evidence-based programs, and investing in these critical services requires leadership and perseverance. When looking to campus leaders to help champion behavioral health programs and services, consider the three Cs: collaboration, communication, and commitment.   Michael N. Christakis, Ph.D. Collaboration: Many behavioral health champions are better than single champions....

In 2016, according to one national study, Wilmington, North Carolina, was named as the city having the highest rate of opioid misuse in the nation. A quick Google search shows there are other cities that have also cited opioid use and misuse as their number one issue. Much like being named the top party school in the country, this is not something that one hopes for or is proud of.  Drug use and abuse is not what any city or university wants to be known for. But can you leverage such distinction?   Pat Leonard (left) and Dr. Katrin A. Wesner While we would all agree that opioids are a major...

College and university campuses are unique environments when it comes to drug use, addiction, and treatment. Data from the American College Health Association’s most recent National College Health Assessment Survey for Fall 2017 show a sizable gap between surveyed undergraduate students who report using drugs and the perceived usage of various drugs on campus.   * Respondents were asked about usage ranging from daily to any time within the last 30 days. Certainly, perceived usage is not an accurate representation of actual usage, but the disparity suggests that despite extensive campaigns to...

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