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Key Actions to Reduce Student Substance Abuse

CASA Offers Suggestions to U.S. Colleges


Updated February 08, 2014

In response to the increase in intensity of drinking and drug abuse on college campuses, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has issued the following prevention suggestions to colleges and universities to reduce student substance abuse:

  1. Set clear substance use policies and consequences of violations.

  2. Ban smoking; prohibit alcohol and tobacco ads, sponsorships and promotions on campus; ban alcohol in dorms, in most common areas, at on-campus student parties and at college sporting events.

  3. Screen all students for substance abuse problems; target high-risk students and times; provide needed interventions and treatment.

  4. Hold student classes and exams Monday through Friday to reduce weekend substance abuse.

  5. Educate faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni about substance abuse and involve them in prevention activities.

  6. Engage students in service learning courses and community service.

  7. Offer substance-free recreational opportunities.

  8. Include information about substance abuse and addiction in the academic curricula.

  9. Engage community partners in prevention, enforcement, interventions and treatment.

  10. Monitor rates and consequences of student substance use, and evaluate and improve programs and services.

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. "Ten Key Actions for Colleges and Universities to Prevent and Reduce Student Substance Abuse (PDF)." March 2007.

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