Students are constantly seeing posters around campus warning them of the perils of drug use.
Wellness Programs have posted orange signs that read “Is It Worth It?” but the facts on drug use are unclear.
“This isn’t because CLU has had a spike in drug use by students. It is simply because this is the first year that Wellness Programs has had a student intern focused solely on tobacco and drugs,” said Christina Espegren, the Wellness Center’s Tobacco and Other Drug intern who organized the campaign.
Drugs are a known problem on college campuses, with marijuana seemingly the most abused on campus.
The Wellness Center is aware that students use marijuana, ecstasy and other “harder” drugs, but their goal isn’t to tell students not to do drugs, Espegren said.
Instead, they want to inform students of the ramifications of drug use.
The posters seen around campus are mostly made to keep students educated on the drugs they may encounter while at school, and what they should consider before taking any drugs.
Those drugs also include “study aids” like Adderall, Vycanse and Ritalin, all of which are popular among college students.
“Our goal is to make people aware of exactly what the drugs are doing to a non-ADD or ADHD individual and what some of the downsides are that don’t get talked about as much,” said Espegren.
Espegren warns that not only is it illegal to take non-prescribed drugs, but for someone without ADD or ADHD, having too much dopamine flood the frontal cortex of the brain can cause side effects similar to meth.
These “study aids” can also have side effects like aggression, anxiety, hallucinations and in rare cases, can cause OCD.
But these “study aids” can be harder to detect.
“Because they lack a smell like marijuana, are easier to conceal, etc., we hear about abuse more than we confront in a documentation,” said Nate Fall, assistant director of Residence Life and Student Conduct at CLU.
Fall said students should know what they are comfortable with based on their values, and when they are placed in difficult situations where drugs are present, they should know how they’re going to respond.
Student Counseling Services offers Substance Abuse Groups that meet every Monday.
In these meetings students can talk about the problems they have been facing and how they deal with them.
“I wasn’t aware that our school offered these programs,” said senior Michael Kniss. “I think that it’s great that we do have them. It gives students a place to feel safe.”
Published Dec. 12, 2012