The Office of Substance Abuse Prevention was established primarily to serve as a conduit to address the issues of substance use and abuse through education, prevention, intervention, and treatment when necessary.
It is the goal of the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention to promote Healthy Lifestyle Choices to create a heighten sense of awareness as it relates to the use of alcohol and other drugs, campus crime, and violence both on and off campus. Also, to continue positively impacting the adverse behaviors that keeps our students at risk and in harm’s way/danger.
Substance Abuse Prevention Program
The Substance Abuse Prevention Program (LIFESTYLE CHOICES and RESPONSIBILITIES) relies heavily on developing relationships with students from diverse back grounds. The program’s counselor has had experience working with many different populations, which enables him to interact comfortably with students, faculty, and staff. Most students who become involved in the program either as volunteers or as clients develop a strong allegiance to the program and continue participation throughout their tenure at the university. Bonding, between the students and with the program’s coordinator, is the primary area of strength.
Because KSU is a small institution, assessment and intervention can begin immediately after a problem is identified. Proactive intervention addresses the needs of students at all three prevention levels. Primary prevention occurs before substance use or abuse has ever occurred. Education programs are designed to address primary prevention needs. Secondary prevention occurs when use is primarily experimental and neither dependency nor addiction is in place. Education and choices activities are designed to meet secondary prevention needs. Treatment programs are tertiary prevention. Changes in attitude and lifestyle are necessary for tertiary prevention. Tertiary prevention is the most difficult; however, the Lifestyles Choices Program seems to be successful in changing attitudes and behaviors.
The Substance Abuse Prevention Program is constantly evolving, developing new programs and revamping old programs to meet the changing needs of students and changes within the University environment. For example, we added a CMT (Conflict Management Training) component that was implemented as a two/ three day’s workshop/training for Resident Assistants. The training addresses issues surrounding the art of handling conflict in the residence halls. Students who participated in the first phase of the training receive 12 hours of training and certification in conflict management. Several students from this group will also be called upon to participate in phase II of this component/project. During this phase, the students received additional training centered on anger management. Also during this phase the program will continue to move away from what I reference as the “blanket approach” to a much more “personalized approach” as it relates to administering programming in each of the halls. Each of the halls has its own personality and issues to be addressed. The students will play a major role in the program development. It is also important to note, many of the students will also begin to take ownership for the environment and continue to open the door to greater involvement in programming from students and resident assistants. Currently, we are working to bring on board the College Alc. College Alc is an evidence-based program designed to reduce college student drinking and prevent consequences. The beauty of the College ALC program is that it is Evidence –Based Alcohol Education Program. Also, the program is a comprehensive online alcohol education program that combines the latest research on college student drinking together with a technologically advanced format. The course is a combination of alcohol education, guided reflection, and personalized feedback. This will be a great addition to the Lifestyle Choices and Responsibilities Program.
The course consists of four lessons with a quiz at the end of each unit. It should take approximately one hour to complete. College Alc was developed with funds from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and has been rigorously evaluated. College Alc will help students explore the role of alcohol in the collegiate experience; it will also help educate students about the importance of making responsible choices, how to avoid serious consequences, how to handle alcohol-related emergencies, and how to help others who struggle with alcohol misuse.