Binge drinking, pill popping, and recreational drug use continues to be a major problem among college students, but OSU is hoping to break that trend.
The university is getting a $2 million grant from the Hilton Foundation in an effort to curb drug and alcohol abuse on college campuses.
Ohio State Higher Education Center for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Recovery will develop prevention programs that universities across the county utilize.
The center will help colleges implement best practices including strategies on how to prevent off-campus parties from getting out-of-control.
“There are things like social host policies which hold the landlord and tenant accountable for serving alcohol to minors,” explained John Clapp, associate dean from the OSU College of Social Work and director of the center. “There are noise codes that can go into place and fire codes that can also go into place to prevent these types of problems.”
Experts say alcohol and drug abuse is the number one public health problem on college campuses. Each year, 1,800 students overdose on prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and binge drinking.
OSU was awarded the grant because of its established drug and alcohol prevention programs.
The university was able to get that money, thanks in part to the work of Sarah Nerad, a recovering addict herself, who started the Collegiate Recovery Community.
The program helps students have a mainstream college experience while maintaining their recovery.
“The biggest thing for students in recovery is to have a strong peer network on campus,” said Nerad. "I want students to know that help is available for you on campus if you're ready to make a change and we're here with open arms ready to embrace you."
Collegiate Recovery Community will host a number of sober tailgating events during the OSU football season. They will take place September 27th, October 28th, and November 29th at the Recreational and Physical Activity Center.