Professor to lecture about dangers of alcohol and drugs

A lack of information can be the greatest problem facing college students today in regard to alcohol and drug abuse, said USF assistant psychology professor Jack Darkes.

Tonight, Mike Green, president and founder of Collegiate Consultants on Drugs and Alcohol, will speak with students about the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol.

As a former educator, coach and athlete, Green plans to discuss the experiences college students have had with alcohol and drugs. Aside from his occupational and educational experiences, Green is also a recovering alcoholic who knows the first-hand effects of alcohol and substance abuse.

Darkes said one of the main problems first-year college students have is being influenced by peer pressure.

“One of the major reasons students on campus may use alcohol is because they think most of their peers are using alcohol,” said Darkes. “They tend to believe that this is the sort of behavior that most other students in college engage in.”

One of the main solutions to this problem, Darkes said, is that students must be better informed of what the realities are.

Green has brought his message of alcohol and substance abuse awareness to more than 1000 college campuses nationwide. Green educates students through methods that are both educational and informative, while at the same time maintaining a serious message.

“I believe students need to become better informed and learn a little more about what’s happening on campus, as well as what their peers are really doing,” said Darkes.

From the personal effects on students, one of the consequences that people don’t see as a result of alcohol and substance abuse is the effect it has on those who don’t participate in these acts, said Darkes. There is a sort of second-hand effect associated with these abuses.

“A lot of people who don’t drink report being assaulted from people who have been drinking,” said Darkes.

Darkes added that alcohol and substance abuse is not something that is a large problem at USF.

“It is a problem but not as large a problem as it is in other places,” said Darkes. “One of the reasons behind this is that USF is largely a commuter university.”

Darkes said alcohol and substance abuse are increasing for those students who move away from home.

“Freshmen getting involved in these activities tend to do so because they leave home and are away from adult supervision,” said Darkes. “Students who live at home and attend college tend to have lower instances of abuse.”

Green will speak tonight at 7:30 in the Special Events Center.

Presentations will cover a number of student issues, including individual reactions to alcohol, personal responsibility and decision making, gauging and setting limits and dealing with peer pressure.

Contact Gustavo Hernandezat