The Student Suspected of Substance Abuse/Addiction
Alcohol is the preferred drug on college campuses and is the most widely used psychoactive drug. Alcohol abusers in college populations may also abuse other drugs, both prescription and illicit. Patterns of use are affected by fads and peer pressure. The effects of alcohol on the user are well known. Student alcohol abuse is most often identified by faculty, staff, or RAs when irresponsible, unpredictable behavior affects the learning, work, or living environment (e.g., drunk and disorderly in class, office or residence halls), or when a combination of the health and social impairments associated with alcohol abuse sabotages student performance. Because of the denial that exists in most substance abusers, it is important to express your concern about the student not in terms of suspicions about alcohol and other drugs, but in terms of specific changes in behavior or performance.