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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition

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James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-evolving relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Focused on the "hot" issues in higher education today, and using examples from real cases and scenarios from many institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful to all administrators dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.

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Chapter 6: Alcohol and Drugs

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· 6 ·

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

Substance Abuse on College Campuses: An Overview

Although recent studies have shown that the number of students who drink and binge drink has stayed about the same since the early 1990s, according to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City, the intensity of drinking and the amount of drug abuse in colleges have posted a sharp increase.

In Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities, a four-year study during the first decade of the new century that examined the habits of students’ alcohol and drug use, researchers discovered that 22.9 percent of college students met the criteria for substance abuse and dependence. If accurate, this statistic suggests that the proportion of alcohol and drug abusers in colleges is three times higher than that of the general population, producing grave results for those students and their colleges. Despite efforts to educate students and prevent alcohol and drug abuse on campuses, the occurrence of binge drinking has continued to increase greatly. Similarly, extreme increases have been observed regarding the abuse of various ← 159 | 160 → prescription drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Ritalin, and Valium; and the abuse of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroine.

The increase in substance abuse on campuses has led to costly results. Some of these include poor academic performance, anxiety, depression, suicide, property damage, vandalism, injuries...

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