As part of a new educational requirement, all first-year and transfer undergraduate students at Ohio State University will need to complete a new education program on the prevention of drug, tobacco, and alcohol misuse. Specifically, the new online educational modules will include alcohol and other drug misuse prevention, mental wellness, and prescription drug misuse and will be offered this fall.
“This initiative centres the health, safety and wellbeing of every Buckeye,” said Senior Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers in a news release published on the Ohio State University website. “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.”
The educational modules were created by Vector Solutions, a company that works with 2,200 colleges and universities and provides evidence-based education for students at institutions across the U.S. The results of the 2022 National College Health Assessment show that 72% of Ohio State students drink alcoholic beverages, 25% report using cannabis, 3% report misusing prescription stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall and 1% report misusing prescription opioids.
“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.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio has one of the highest overdose mortality rates in the U.S., with 5,204 overdose-related deaths recorded in 2020, surpassing 2017 as the highest year for unintentional drug overdose deaths in the state.
“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.
If you want to learn about how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose DATAC offers a free course, here.