Over the past seventeen years, I have had the honor of serving as the project director of Missouri Partners in Prevention, my state’s higher education prevention coalition. Over the years of monthly meetings, conferences, technical assistance phone calls, and e-mails, I have gotten to know each of our 21 campuses well and our coalition contact at each campus even better. Recently, upon the retirement of one of our longest-standing coalition members, she shared a heartfelt poem with the group and left a lasting impression. Her words were simple and profound and they spoke to the heart of why...

The first education program I offered that dealt with drugs and alcohol was titled “All About Getting a Good Healthy Buzz, and Other Ways of Getting High.” In addition, my first book, co-authored with a colleague, was "That Happy Feeling." Those were in 1975 and 1979, respectively. Now, four decades later, the titles remain relevant, perhaps more so than ever. Why? First, they resonate with many of the foundations of drug and alcohol use and misuse. They acknowledge some of what individuals seek when they use drugs or consume alcohol. Second, while our campus efforts to address drug and...

For most students, a common misperception is that the college experience includes frequent alcohol parties, most college students use marijuana and other illegal drugs, and many use prescription drugs recreationally. For young people in recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, these perceptions about college life can act as a barrier to completing their college education. A young person in recovery may opt to stay out of school or avoid engaging in college life while they focus on their recovery rather than place themselves in what they perceive will be a high-risk environment...

I don’t need to tell parents with young adults that the holiday season will be here before we know it. That would not be considered breaking news. However, I do have an important message that I hope will help you and your family enjoy time together this holiday season and for years to come: The holidays provide an excellent opportunity to talk to your young adults—about the devastating effects of opioid and prescription drug misuse. Believe it or not, your adult children will listen, as long as they feel you are approaching them from a place of love, support, and, most of all, an open line of...

As a recent college graduate, I can attest to how grateful I feel to have gotten an early start to my career in prevention. I have gained new skills that I will take with me through graduate school and my career, met new friends and colleagues, and had the opportunity to travel and learn in new places. I found the work that I was doing to be personally fulfilling and to be beneficial to our communities, especially the work I was doing on my campus as a peer educator and student leader. Fortunately, I never felt I had to be silent because I was a student rather than a staff member. In fact,...

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