According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2011, substance use disorders are a significant concern among college students, with rates of misuse tripling from adolescence (7 percent) to early adulthood (20 percent). Students aged 18–22 who are enrolled full time in colleges are more likely to indicate current, binge, or heavy drinking compared to part-time college students or non-college students (SAMHSA). About 13 percent of college students report having 10 or more drinks in a row at least once in the prior two weeks, while 5 percent reported 15 or more (Monitoring the Future). For college students, 45 percent of males and 39 percent of females identified use of an illicit drug, including marijuana, in the prior year; 25 percent and 15 percent, respectively, identified use for an illicit drug other than marijuana.

There is a clear connection between earlier onset of substance usage and substance use disorders. In fact, 74 percent of adults participating in substance abuse treatment began using alcohol and/or drugs before the age of 17 (SAMHSA Report, Link, 2014).

There are some upcoming events that focus on substance use disorders and recovery. Come learn more about the disease of addiction and about recovery.

Screening and discussion of The Anonymous People, September 28, 7–9 p.m. in Capen Auditorium (Edwards Hall)

  • This documentary details the 23 million Americans who live in long-term recovery from various addictions. It discusses how stigma and discrimination of this population keep those who suffer from addiction silent and how this prevents successful recovery and programming efforts in the world of academia and beyond.

Panel of Individuals in Long-term Recovery, October 24, 7–8:30 p.m. in Prairie Room North (Bone Student Center)

  • A panel of individuals in recovery will discuss the progression of their addictions, including how they knew they were suffering from addiction, their journeys to recovery, and how recovery has altered their lives constructively.

Redbirds for Recovery: Live Free and Sober meeting, September 19, 3:30–4:30 p.m. in 304 Student Services Building

  • This newly forming group will focus on sober socialization, whether students are in recovery, are substance free, or are allies/advocates for sober socialization. Leadership opportunities are available.

In addition, Illinois State’s Collegiate Recovery Community, which offers a voluntary program for students who want to establish a community of support around their recoveries from alcohol and drugs. It is support-based program, not a program that replaces the need for treatment or clinical support (i.e. formal substance abuse services, therapy). Students who wish to or are already fully abstaining from substances/substance use disorders might be interested in this program. It links students who are looking for support and also focuses on sober socializing, among other things.