Resources available for drug and alcohol abuse


Taylor Nicole Richards – News Writer

The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office recently reported 723 accidental drug intoxication deaths, or overdoses, in 2015. This number has nearly doubled since 2012 with 357 overdose related deaths. Four hundred and fifteen of the 723 deaths involved heroin in some way, and the highest percentage of deaths occurred in Connecticut’s biggest cities: Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven.

Drug and alcohol abuse plays a large role on college campuses as well. Alcohol consumption statistics have remained steady on college campuses since the 1970s. However, 31 percent of college students reported symptoms of alcohol abuse and the increase of prescription painkiller and tranquilizer abuse raised 450 percent since 1993, according to researchers at addictioncenter.com. One in four college students have taken prescription drugs that either were not prescribed to them or recreationally, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education.

Those who have become addicted to prescription drugs often move to heroin, which has a similar effect on the body, when they either can’t afford or can’t access their drug of choice,” said Dr. John Douglas of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan to the Connecticut Post.

Southern does not take drug or alcohol abuse lightly and all students have access to appropriate information and help if they or a friend should ever need it. Regine Christie, resident adviser in Farnham Hall and a public health major, said that all RAs provide educational services to their residents each semester on drug and alcohol abuse.

“We put up fliers and include incentives like pizza to attract students [to these informational programs],” said Christie. “Residents like to think they already know everything about drugs and alcohol but it’s important for us to reiterate the dangers that it puts your body through. It also harms your academics and [being around abusers] is not a safe environment for other students to live in.”

If any student thinks they might be abusing drugs, alcohol, or gambling, they can take a self-assessment test on Southern’s website. If an RA suspects drug abuse in a dorm room or if a resident reports their roommate abusing illegal or legal drugs, their first protocol is to call the university police, according to Christie.

“Students who think they’re abusing can avoid those complications and go to the DARC [Drug and Alcohol Resource Center],” said Christie.

Any Southern student has access to on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that are held in Engleman every Wednesday at 9 p.m. There are also nearby AA and Narcotics Anonymous support groups for abusers all around New Haven, including open ones at Yale University and at churches on Temple and Olive Street. Southern’s website holds a list of all these locations with their meetup times for any moment a student thinks they could benefit from going to one of these groups. Along with support groups, there is list of nearby rehabilitation centers.

Under the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, Southern is required to implement policies that guarantee a drug-free workplace for students and faculty. Instead of potentially getting in trouble with the law, it is advised by the DARC to assess oneself online to catch abusive behavior before it is too late.

The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office recently reported 723 accidental drug intoxication deaths, or overdoses, in 2015. This number has nearly doubled since 2012 with 357 overdose related deaths. Four hundred and fifteen of the 723 deaths involved heroin in some way, and the highest percentage of deaths occurred in Connecticut’s biggest cities: Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven.

Drug and alcohol abuse plays a large role on college campuses as well. Alcohol consumption statistics have remained steady on college campuses since the 1970s. However, 31 percent of college students reported symptoms of alcohol abuse and the increase of prescription painkiller and tranquilizer abuse raised 450 percent since 1993, according to researchers at addictioncenter.com. One in four college students have taken prescription drugs that either were not prescribed to them or recreationally, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education.

Those who have become addicted to prescription drugs often move to heroin, which has a similar effect on the body, when they either can’t afford or can’t access their drug of choice,” said Dr. John Douglas of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan to the Connecticut Post.

Southern does not take drug or alcohol abuse lightly and all students have access to appropriate information and help if they or a friend should ever need it. Regine Christie, resident adviser in Farnham Hall and a public health major, said that all RAs provide educational services to their residents each semester on drug and alcohol abuse.

“We put up fliers and include incentives like pizza to attract students [to these informational programs],” said Christie. “Residents like to think they already know everything about drugs and alcohol but it’s important for us to reiterate the dangers that it puts your body through. It also harms your academics and [being around abusers] is not a safe environment for other students to live in.”

If any student thinks they might be abusing drugs, alcohol, or gambling, they can take a self-assessment test on Southern’s website. If an RA suspects drug abuse in a dorm room or if a resident reports their roommate abusing illegal or legal drugs, their first protocol is to call the university police, according to Christie.

“Students who think they’re abusing can avoid those complications and go to the DARC [Drug and Alcohol Resource Center],” said Christie.

Any Southern student has access to on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that are held in Engleman every Wednesday at 9 p.m. There are also nearby AA and Narcotics Anonymous support groups for abusers all around New Haven, including open ones at Yale University and at churches on Temple and Olive Street. Southern’s website holds a list of all these locations with their meetup times for any moment a student thinks they could benefit from going to one of these groups. Along with support groups, there is list of nearby rehabilitation centers.

Under the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, Southern is required to implement policies that guarantee a drug-free workplace for students and faculty. Instead of potentially getting in trouble with the law, it is advised by the DARC to assess oneself online to catch abusive behavior before it is too late.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s