This study determined the prevalence of alcohol, drug, and nonmedical prescription drugs at a small private university. In addition, risk and protective factors are examined.
The Core Institute (Southern Illinois University) was contracted to administer an anonymous, Web-based 49-item survey to matriculated undergraduate students, aged 18–23 years. Data were obtained on student behaviors, perceptions, consequences of substance use, risk factors, and coping strategies. Statistical analysis included descriptive measures, cross-tabs, t test, and chi-square.
The response rate was 14%, which is consistent with other CORE Institute surveys. Almost half of the total respondents were from the college of nursing (46%), and most participants were female (82%). There was a significant association between heavy drinking and grades; the B students engaged in more binge drinking. Living on campus and being involved in Greek life confer a higher level of risk for sexual assault when alcohol was consumed. Most participants (57%) were unaware of campus resources for assistance with alcohol or drug problems.
Campus administrators now have a better awareness related to the extent of drug and alcohol use among the student body. A faculty engagement workshop was developed to provide tools to assess and communicate with students. Improvements are anticipated to enhance student relationships and decrease incidents of drug- and alcohol-related sexual assault or misconduct.