My Interest In the Campus Substance Use Issue Is Based In The Need For Better Understanding
University is supposed to be a place and time in our lives when we become educated. So why is university everywhere associated with dangerous use of drugs? It's not a myth. Many students do entrench themselves into monotonous daily cycles of substance consumption while leaving little room for learning real life lessons?
But What About The Rest Of Students
What is the best way to protect us. Not by ignoring substance us, or by telling everyone not to do it. Has that worked anywhere? As students, we are protected and sheltered, perhaps because we are believed to be unready for natural yet often dangerous conditions. Administrators as well as the parents and state governments, all fear for our safety. And with good reason. More students die on college campuses each year that perish in the military.
What Do Students Say
If you ask the slew of concerned students on campus, they may refer to their more irresponsible peers as quite ignorant to healthy drug use. These same concerned students may also point to the very policy endorsed by their fearful parents and administrators alike, who affirm one thing quite simply: do not do drugs. This outdated and ineffective command needs to be replaced by a greater understanding of what young people need. They don’t need ten heavenly ordained commandments to follow, but rather a better understanding of drug use and abuse through proper education.
Safety and Health Are the Goal
While health and safety may seem to be a similar goal, the process of getting there are two separate paths entirely. Only students can provide themselves real safety. A healthy life in university is unattainable where administrations deny the reality of drug use. Outlawing substances does not bring abstinence, but instead breeds ignorance. Students are thrown into a boiling pot of choices (and their relationships to these choices which help define identity) without proper support.
What Kind Of Support Do Students Need When Confronted By Drug Use?
Substance use is a fact. Students bring their high school habits with them. That means they can influence people who have not used before. But it also means that students who have been on campus for a year or so can influence new students about the culture on campus. So each student is different, and needs to be seen as an individual with his or her own needs to consider. When policy states to all “do not do drugs”, that indicates an insensitivity to the differences between between students, and an indifference to the needs of the entire school.
What Would Support On Campus Look Like
The proper support would take place in an intimate setting that educates students about drugs, doses, and combinations are known to have a high risk for discomfort, emergency medical treatment, or death. Next, I propose that the students take it upon themselves to foster a culture centered around supporting each other’s education, health and well-being in every area, including relationships and history of intoxicant use throughout the ages and what intoxicant use means for health now.
The Benefits of Education
We should have faith that the very people using drugs in high school and college can become their own safety net through proper understanding of the potential risks and benefits of substance use, and by promoting a campus culture which does not value drugs in and of themselves, but rather celebrates communal growth through meaningful shared experiences.