LaCASU Holds Substance Abuse Prevention Trainings Across Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – According to the results from the 2011 administration of the Core Alcohol and Drug survey, more than 60 percent of underage college students in Louisiana are current alcohol drinkers, while 27 percent have used marijuana in the past year. The Louisiana Center Addressing Substance Use in Collegiate Communities, or LaCASU, who administered the survey, works with Louisiana institutions of higher education to reduce problems related to alcohol and drug use on college campuses.
Recently, LaCASU hosted a series of regional trainings across Louisiana aimed at preventing substance abuse among college students. The 2011 regional trainings took place at McNeese State University, Tulane University, LSU and Louisiana Tech University. National speakers included Adrienne Keller from the National Social Norms Institute at the University of Virginia and Craig Davis from Ohio University. Local speakers included Charmaine Landry and Marilyn Pickles with the Office of Behavioral Health, Lt. Robert “Robbie” Broussard with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Kathy T. Saichuk with the LSU Student Health Center.
Attendees were afforded the opportunity to learn about the assessment, formulation, implementation, and evaluation steps in creating social norm campaigns as well as prevention programs offered by the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health and LSU’s Student Health Center.
“We are pleased to be able to bring these workshops to institutions of higher education throughout the state,” said LaCASU Associate Director Bret Blackmon. “We not only provide expert trainers to conduct these workshops, but also facilitate collaboration among the institutions so that they may learn about effective policies and interventions taking places at other Louisiana colleges and universities.”
Some interesting statistics about substance abuse among Louisiana college students:
- 36 percent of students reported binge drinking in the previous two weeks;
- 14.3 percent of students reported using an illegal drug other marijuana in the past year; and
- 27 percent of students reported missing a class, while 19.9 percent reported performing poorly on a test or other important project due to alcohol and/or drug use.
The mission of LaCASU is to foster safe and healthy collegiate communities by reducing problems associated with students’ substance use through the process of collaboration among institutions of higher education and key community and state stakeholders. LaCASU illustrates LSU’s commitment to community outreach by assisting other colleges and universities across the state of Louisiana.
LaCASU serves more than 35 Louisiana institutions of higher education by providing research, training and technical assistance in matters related to substance use on college campuses. The LaCASU office is housed within LSU’s Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach, and is jointly funded by the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. For more information on LaCASU, visit www.lsu.edu/lacasu <http://www.lsu.edu/lacasu> .