Alcorn’s Division of Student Affairs hosts Substance Abuse Prevention Program

The importance of steering clear of drug and alcohol abuse was the topic of discussion of one of Alcorn State University’s programs.

The Division of Student Affairs’ Counseling and Testing Services held the Alcorn Substance Abuse Prevention Program Friday, April 24. The program’s purpose was to inform Alcorn students, faculty and staff about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Approximately 31 percent of U.S. college students report symptoms of alcohol abuse. An estimated 110,000 students between the ages of 18-24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or DUI. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. college students report drinking on a regular basis and 52 percent of adolescents, ages 18-25, uses marijuana/hashish.

Khary Ratliff, who is the substance abuse prevention coordinator in the Department of Counseling and Testing Services, spoke on why drugs and alcohol are prevalent on college campuses.

“I think the perception of alcohol and drug usage has changed,” said Ratliff. “It has almost become a rite of passage to some people. The availability of certain drugs, especially prescription drugs, also contributes to substance abuse on campuses. Another thing is the amount of freedom a student has while atcollege.”

Ratliff provided a few strategies that will help students avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

“We encourage students to stay away from drugs and alcohol in several ways,” said Ratliff. “The first is through education. Informing students of the negative health effects of drinking and substance abuse can help them make educated choices regarding their futures. Another way is to encourage involvement in activities on campus that promote healthy choices and positive decision making.”

Ratliff informed everyone that the Department of Counseling and Testing Services is here to spread information regarding substance abuse.

“There are so many reasons why substance abuse is a problem on college campuses. Substance abuse is definitely a problem. We are here on campus to help disseminate information and prevention efforts to decrease and eliminate these problems.”