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Substance Use 101

About the Program

- Casey Cline, Substance Abuse Counselor and Prevention Specialist

Are you aware that Nazareth College has a comprehensive alcohol and other drug prevention program on campus? Well, we do! Nazareth follows the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools recommendations for evidenced based programs and utilizes a comprehensive approach that focuses on educating not only students about the harmful effects of substance use, but the Nazareth and  local community as well.

What else should you know? Nazareth College employs a full time Substance Abuse Counselor and Prevention Specialist who works with faculty, students, and staff to raise awareness of substance related issues on campus. In addition we provide prevention education, harm reduction tools, and substance free events. The Substance Abuse Counselor also provides assessments, support and referrals to community providers when needed. Substance Free Support Groups, Adult Children of Alcoholics Support Groups and other stress reduction workshops are just some of the additional opportunities provided to all Nazareth students. In addition, Nazareth hosts 10 weeks of AA meetings on campus during the spring semester. This is done in collaboration with the New York Rochester Intergroup.

Students’ use of alcohol can cause significant negative consequences, both on campus and in the surrounding community. To help reduce these consequences, Nazareth has developed the Substance Abuse Education Committee, a group of faculty, staff, and students that meet on a regular basis to determine which areas of the campus are most at risk for alcohol and substance use and how we can provide evidence-based programming to target these concerns. High risk populations are determined by a thorough review of student surveys, incident reports, focus groups, and program evaluations. 

What’s the buzz on our campus?

All undergraduate students are asked to participate in an anonymous online survey called the CORE Alcohol and Other Drug Survey every two years. This helps Nazareth to continually assess alcohol and substance use specifically on our campus in addition to benchmarking with national college statistics. Good news: 92% of Nazareth students report consuming alcohol one time a week or less, Nazareth students report having 0-3 drinks when they consume alcohol, and 80% of Nazareth students report that they do not use marijuana. We also found that students often misperceive how much alcohol and drugs are used on our campus - they think that there is more drinking and  drugging going on than there actually is - and now that we know of this misperception, we can create programs that more accurately represent campus culture and decrease the notion that substance use is common and widespread on our campus.

How can you help?

In order to comprehensively address the ongoing issue of alcohol and drug use in the Nazareth community, we need to utilize all of our resources, including faculty, staff, parents and community. You can help by choosing to talk about alcohol and drug use on campus and other alternatives to harmful behaviors in your class, to your peers, to your child. This is not a one-time conversation but should be ongoing throughout students’ educational years. By making these efforts you can help spread awareness and help Nazareth students to make healthier choices!


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