New student education program supports drug and alcohol misuse prevention
Modules build on Ohio State’s commitment to health, wellness and safety
The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is instituting a new educational requirement for all first-year and transfer undergraduate students targeting drug, tobacco and alcohol misuse.
The new online educational modules will cover alcohol and other drug misuse prevention, mental wellness and prescription drug misuse. The program will be used on all Ohio State campuses and begin this fall.
“This initiative centers the health, safety and wellbeing of every Buckeye,” said Senior Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers. “We have historically communicated and provided a wide variety of education and prevention information and we continue to identify ways to improve programming to best reach all of our students. Education is critical to creating a community of informed, responsible Buckeyes.”
Students will access the modules through BuckeyeLearn. Incoming students must complete the educational modules to register for classes next spring or fall semester.
“Local and national data demonstrate the growing need for education around alcohol, tobacco and other drug misuse, especially in light of increasing overdose deaths due to alcohol and other drugs,” said Shawnté Elbert, associate vice president for health and well-being, Office of Student Life. “These educational modules are a best-in-class opportunity to help prepare our students for a safe and healthy Buckeye experience.”
Vector Solutions, the provider of the modules, works with 2,200 colleges and universities. The company provides evidence-based education used by millions of students at institutions across the U.S.
The new modules help educate students about a growing problem facing campuses across the country: Nationally, from 2019 to 2021, deaths from synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, doubled. In Ohio, as of January 2021, incidents of opioid overdose were at the highest rate in 10 years.
According to the 2022 National College Health Assessment:
- 72% of Ohio State students drink alcoholic beverages
- 25% report using cannabis
- 3% report misusing prescription stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall
- 1% report misusing prescription opioids
These modules will be an additional requirement to those related to sexual misconduct and hazing, and part of a strong portfolio that builds on Ohio State’s commitment to the health, wellness and safety of the campus community, Shivers said.
While the modules are required for first-year and transfer undergraduate students, Ohio State is making the program available to and will actively encourage completion by any student who wants to take part by summer 2023.