By Andres Ibarra |Staff Writer|
More than a thousand college students die from alcohol related incidents each year, according to the National Institute of Health.
The CSU Chancellor’s Office held its 13th Annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) conference at California State University Channel Islands last Wednesday.
The conference also discussed alcohol and drug related trends among students, substance abuse prevention strategies, bystander intervention training programs, and college student mental health and wellness.
Established in 2001, the ATOD conference is a CSU system wide effort to prevent students from using harmful substances.
Helga Kray, associate VP for student development, attended the conference on behalf of CSUSB.
This year’s conference highlights the CSU system’s collaboration with Aware Awake Alive, a peer-to-peer alcohol education program.
Aware Awake Alive, or AAA was founded by couple Scott and Julia Starkey and their family after their son Scott, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student, died of alcohol poisoning.
The conference featured several keynote speakers such as the CSUCI President, Dr. Richard Rush, the Starkey Family, and Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr.
Current CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White committed to implanting the program into the entire CSU system last year.
Besides AAA, Chancellor White also admitted several other programs into the CSU system in an effort to encourage safer and healthier experiences.
Chancellor White said that the system is committed to providing an environment suited to help students thrive academically and gain skills that are necessary for a successful life, according CSU Public Affairs.
The conference also featured an awards ceremony presented by Gossett.
Awards included the ATOD champion, Chancellor’s Award, and the Student Leadership Award.
While substance abuse may not be as big of a problem on this campus as opposed to other CSU campuses, it is still a prevalent issue, according to Jaworski.
CSUSB also has several substance abuse prevention programs like the AAA on campus such as the recently formed Students Together Advocating Recovery 2014, a program headed by health educator Albert Angelo.
The program held every Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. at the Lower Commons Oak Room.
Advising and Registration, the school’s student orientation program, also discusses the problems of substance abuse and ways it can be prevented.
SOAR is also working to make sure that new students can enjoy living on a substance free campus while also making sure that they don’t encounter any drug issues.
“It’s a bad and dangerous thing to do,” said one student who asked to remain anonymous. Many students try to abstain from substances, and he did believe it was ultimately one’s own choice.
In its 13-year history, this year’s ATOD conference was the largest yet, with 400 registered attendees.