NEW ALBANY, IN, (Nov. 22, 2013) – A recent substance use survey showed a decrease in cigarette and overall drug use among Indiana University Southeast students over the past three years.
Additionally, IU Southeast students are using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol at a far lower rate than their statewide peers, according to the 2013 Indiana College Substance Use Survey.
The fifth annual Indiana College Substance Use Survey was conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center in the spring of 2013. The results were released in early November. Eleven Indiana colleges participated in the survey, including six public and five private schools.
The 2013 results showed that IU Southeast’s rate of alcohol use was 75.4 percent, compared to the statewide rate of 81.4 percent. The use of cigarettes at IU Southeast was 22.3 percent, compared to the statewide rate of 27.5 percent.
Marijuana use and prescription drug use at IU Southeast also were significantly lower than the statewide average at 22.7 and 8.5 percent respectively, compared to the state averages of 33.5 and 12.7 percent.
Compared to 2010 numbers, cigarette and overall drug use were down, while the rate of alcohol use increased slightly but remained far lower than the statewide average.
In the monthly prevalence results, IU Southeast saw a decrease in all categories (alcohol, overall tobacco and overall drug) since 2010. The monthly rate of cigarette smoking alone decreased by nearly half (24 percent in 2010 to 12.8 percent in 2013).
“These results are encouraging,” said Seuth Chaleunphonh, dean of Student Life at IU Southeast. “We’re not perfect, but these results indicate our students are responding to the programs and tools we have in place to help them remain healthy and responsible during their time at college.”
IU Southeast offers several preventative programs to help guide students to a healthy lifestyle. This includes alcohol education and voluntary screening, a monthly newsletter called Student Health 101, and online prevention courses through MyStudentBody.com.
Chaleunphonh believes that MyStudentBody.com in particular is having an impact on alcohol and drug rates on campus.
“Alcohol violations on campus have dropped significantly compared to fall 2012, decreasing by 87.5 percent,” he said. “It is early in the academic year, but we hope that the education through the MyStudentBody.com online module has benefited our students. To date, 518 or about 50 percent, of our first year students have taken courses through the module. ”
See the statewide 2013 Indiana College Substance Use Survey results at http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/indiana-college-survey/substance-use-survey.