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Programs educate about drug, alcohol abuse

Interactive presentations inform students

The Battalion

Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Our university is aware of the nights some students spend at Northgate. To shed light on alcohol and drug abuse, A&M is offering programs on campus. 

College is a place for expanding one's educational levels to reach dreams and make something of oneself. The reality of the journey also means exposure to alcohol and drugs, a problem our University is fully aware. In an attempt to address this problem, Texas A&M University provides Alcohol & Drug Education Programs where students can learn — through interactive, fun programs and presentations — of the facts and reality of drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Susan Kimbrough is the coordinator of the program and recognizes that some students do not understand the harm of the alcohol amount they consume. 

"We feel like we should be taking care of our student population and helping them make good decisions," Kimbrough said. "It is another form of education we want to get out to the students."

The Alcohol & Drug Education Programs offer over 15 engaging and relatable programs and presentations available to students such as "Beer Goggles" and "Interactive Bar."

"‘Beer Goggles' is very popular and they [students] like to see what that simulates," Kimbrough said. "You think you can see something fine, just like some people think they can drive fine. [The program] simulates what drunk driving is like without being intoxicated."

A recent article published by The Wall Street Journal sheds light on different universities across the nation that have recovery programs. Texas A&M is no different and is literally taking their programs to the streets to let students know the danger of alcohol and drug abuse.

The Alcohol & Drug Education Program works closely with a student organization called Responsible Aggie Decisions, which began in 2004 and was recently  revamped to be able to fully give back to the A&M community.

"[Responsible Aggie Decisions] strives to educate their fellow Aggies about making responsible decisions regarding alcohol and other drugs," said Tembri McGaughey, advisor to the organization.

Kimbrough believes it is more effective for students to talk to other students, which is why students can find Responsible Aggie Decisions members hailing taxis for fellow Aggies on Northgate, or passing out water bottles to encourage hydration and safe drinking practices.

"I didn't know we had these programs at A&M, but I think it is a great thing because kids these days do not know what they are getting into," said Cameron Biehle, senior communication major. "We teach everything else here, so why not this?"

Kimbrough said that 35 percent of all University freshmen choose not to consume alcohol. The Alcohol & Drug Education Program tries to reach more freshmen by presenting at each Fish Camp session during the summer, through which new students hear about drinking and alcohol laws, about the social, financial and academic effects that drinking and alcohol can have. 

"We incorporate the signs of alcohol poisoning into every program we do because we do not want to see death from alcohol poisoning, which is 100 percent preventable," Kimbrough said.

Sophomore Fish Camp counselor and general studies major, Mia Tomlinson, remembers taking her campers to see the presentation this summer at Fish Camp.

"The alcohol presentation really gave some insightful information that was extremely useful to the new freshman," Tomlinson said.

The Alcohol & Drug Education Programs can be found in Cain Hall and are offered to all University students.

"We want to get the word out there about issues that relate to alcohol and issues that typically come along with poor choices surrounding alcohol," said Kimbrough.

 

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