The Daily Gamecock, the newspaper of the University of South Carolina, gave us a shout out today, talking about how Louisiana State University and other Southeastern Conference schools are using alcohol education programs. To read the full article, go here: http://www.dailygamecock.com/news/item/4101-sec-schools-crack-down-on-drinking
A few weeks ago, four MyStudentBody team members attended the 2012 NASPA Alcohol Abuse Prevention & Intervention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a great conference and we learned a lot as well as talked with dozens of dedicated, passionate college alcohol and other drug professionals.
This conference, as if you couldn’t tell by the title, is “designed to address emerging issues in…alcohol and other drug prevention as they relate to student affairs, and to showcase effective policy development, thereby serving a wide range of institutional audiences, from those who are integrating and modifying policies and structure to those who would like to improve their current practices.”
That’s the conference program’s fancy way of saying that it helps departments come together to determine how to prevent and intervene on alcohol and other drug abuse among college students. It also gives students affairs professionals the skills they need to be successful.
We’ve been to this conference before. It’s SUPER informative and fits right in with MyStudentBody’s goal as a complete online alcohol, drugs, and sexual violence prevention program. It also gives us some time to meet current clients and puts faces to names, which is always fun.
This year we got to meet people from University of Georgia, University of West Georgia, Stevenson University, Kennesaw State University, Dartmouth College, State University of New York Oswego, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Agnes Scott College, St. Joseph’s University, Warren Wilson College, and Winston-Salem State University. Phew! A lot of our enthusiastic clients came to see us and it was really great to connect with them.
They agreed with us that there were some differences in the conference this year. At many past conferences, there was a focus on sexual violence/assault prevention and social norming. While these topics were certainly discussed, we and our clients found that this year’s conference was particularly centered on interdepartmental collaboration, suicide prevention, recovery programs, and addressing specific populations or subgroups of students.
That last topic, addressing subgroups of students, is especially important. Why? Funny you should ask because Emil Chiauzzi, Ph.D., our Vice President of Product Strategy, Pronabesh DasMahapatra, our biostatistician, and Beth DeRicco, consultant at DeRicco Consulting, presented on this very subject. The title of the presentation is “Tailoring Prevention Strategies: Are There Subgroups That We Have Not Considered?” and you can view the full presentation by clicking below.
A synopsis: It is critical to find ways to identify college students who are engaged in risky drinking behaviors so that prevention and intervention efforts can be targeted. This presentation is based on an innovative analysis of substance use data provided by 22,000 incoming U.S. college students. A four-group model that encompasses key indicators such a drinking patterns, risks, consequences, protective factors, marijuana use, and nonmedical prescription medication use is reviewed. Practical strategies for addressing these subgroups are also discussed.
Additionally, Tyler Achilles, our Product Coordinator, did a poster presentation on “Best Practices for Achieving a 90% Response Rate for an Alcohol and Drug Survey.” The poster is below and you can click the picture to view a PDF.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but the key here is: although you may already be using many of these strategies to increase response rates to non-mandated surveys, making little tweaks in your process can have a huge influence. As briefly outlined in the poster, Stetson University was able to achieve a 90% response rate to its MyStudentBody survey by using these strategies, even though it’s not required. Wow! If you would like to consult with Tyler on the findings, feel free to email him or tweet him (he loves tweets!).
Well, that’s all folks. Let us know what you thought about the conference (if you attended) or our presentations in the comments.
Contributed by Rebecca Smith, M.A., L.C.P.C., C.S.A.T.
Different types of alcohol have different amounts of alcohol content by volume. What does that mean? Well, if a bottle of tequila is labeled as 80 proof, then it means it contains 40% alcohol and 60% other ingredients. Tequila and most other hard liquors, like whiskey, rum or vodka are usually 40-50% alcohol by volume, or 80-100 proof. Unlike liquor, most servings of beer are going to be 4-6% alcohol. Many times people who drink hard liquor will add more than a standard shot to their drink (sometimes equaling 2 or 3 shots!) because they are not aware of the proper amount. Adding 2 or 3 shots to one 12-ounce drink is the equivalent of drinking 2 or 3 whole beers.
Most people are going to get drunk faster when they consume hard liquor because they don’t have to consume as much liquid to get a high volume of alcohol. Alcohol shuts down the judgment and coordination center of the brain. This is why most people act differently while drinking hard liquor as compared to just drinking beer. The amount of water in beer slows down the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream, so a person has to drink several beers to feel the same effect of having one glass of hard liquor, which will be absorbed more quickly.
Be safe and smart while drinking. Most people can only consume one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of hard liquor per hour before going over the legal limit of a .08 blood alcohol level (alcohol tolerance and weight will affect this number, but in general this is a good rule to follow). If you drink more than one drink in an hour, your body won’t be able metabolize the alcohol, and your blood alcohol levels will go up. This will definitely affect the way you are behaving toward and around others.
Bottom line: Alcohol is alcohol, but pay attention to how much you’re drinking, especially if it’s hard liquor. Click here for more Overheard On Campus posts.
Any other advice to add? Have a story to share? Write a comment below!
Contributed by Donna Wentworth
For college students facing the stress of final exams, taking a “study drug,” a medication usually used for ADHD, might seem like no big deal. After all, if their friends are taking it with no side effects, why shouldn’t they?
Daniel Gittins, AOD coordinator at Duquesne University, warns students that prescription medications are intended only for the individual they are prescribed to and no one else.
For “person A,” he explains, a medication like Ritalin® will have primary benefits, but also secondary effects such as “elevated blood pressure, faster heart rate, etc.” But if “person B” borrows the medication without considering their own medical history – such as a family history of high blood pressure, stress, or heart concerns – “the risks can be far more significant.”
How can you get this message across to students? Here are three strategies you can try:
- Got Drugs? Take Them Back. Tackle the problem at the community level by participating in a take-back program such as the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last month. The FDA has additional information about the safe disposal of prescription medications.
- Student, Know Thyself. MyStudentBody works at the individual level, using scientifically validated methods to help students understand the risks of misusing prescription medications. It also gives them practical information about how to safely manage their medications if they are using them for medical reasons.
- Parental Guidance Suggested. Help prevent abuse of study drugs before next year’s freshmen show up on campus by reaching out to their parents. MyStudentBody-Parent, an important component of our program, is designed to help parents communicate effectively with students about alcohol and other drugs, including prescription medications. You can log in to the program to access a newly updated, print-ready companion guide, College-bound: Strategies for Parenting Your First-year College Student, and hand it out during orientation.
*MyStudentBody administrators -> If you have questions about how to use MyStudentBody to support your drug abuse prevention efforts, we encourage you to contact Amy Cavender, our Implementation Specialist, by email or phone at (800) 848-3895, ext. 205.
Contributed by Tyler Achilles, B.A.
Sometimes students don’t make the best decisions. Hey, we’re all human, right? Unfortunately, students still need to face the consequences of their actions if they violate certain campus policies, especially those involving alcohol and drugs. No, we can’t just let this one slide, Johnny. How else are you going to learn something from your experiences?
To that end, MyStudentBody has officially launched the new MyStudentBody Student Conduct Course. Specifically designed for students who violate an institution’s alcohol policy, students will examine the themes of self-awareness, learning from their mistakes, and taking responsibility in this course. We’re confident it will help students realize and learn from their mistakes without making it feel punitive (can we get out of timeout now?). Here’s what you need to know:
For existing MyStudentBody administrators
The MyStudentBody Student Conduct Course will automatically show up on your student site’s MyStuff page. Students can take the course by clicking “Take Now” under the Student Conduct Course heading. As a campus administrator, you can easily customize the passing score, number of attempts, and follow-up assessment settings in MyStudentBody Admin, or disable this course by contacting Implementation Specialist Amy Cavender.
With this release, we’ve also added two other features including, Drinking Profile and Rate Myself data prior to 12/15/10, and a parent guide in an email-friendly, easy-to-share format. For more information or to check them out for yourself, log in with your account.
To student affairs professionals that currently do not use MyStudentBody
If you’re struggling to find the right balance between sanction, intervention, and education, try out the MyStudentBody Student Conduct Course with a guest pass. You’ll be able to preview the course and decide if it’s right for your students. This course can be purchased separately from the rest of the MyStudentBody comprehensive program.
For more information on the MyStudentBody Student Conduct Course, contact us at (800) 848-3895 x3. Current customers can call (800) 848-3895 x205.