Grant will fund program to address substance use

INDIANAPOLIS – Trine University is one of five Indiana colleges and universities receiving a grant from the Indiana Collegiate Action Network (ICAN) to address substance use on campus.

The grant is part of $40,000 in funding awarded to five campuses and one campus/community coalition by ICAN with support from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction. In addition to Trine, the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium, Manchester University, Oakland City University, Purdue University and Valparaiso University received funds.

At Trine, the money will be used to purchase giveaways and promotional items to encourage each student to think about his or her actions. Items will be given out during key times of the year, including Alcohol Awareness Week, Sexual Assault Awareness Week, Orientations and Safe Spring Break week.

The grant is part of the “Supporting Healthy CHOICES among Trine University Students” program to address, reduce and prevent high-risk drinking among Trine University Students. In addition, the project will increase students’ awareness of the risks associated with heavy alcohol and marijuana use with the goal of increasing the number of students who make better choices regarding substance use.

A 2016 survey conducted by the Indiana Collegiate Action Network reported that more than half of the underage students who responded reported drinking alcohol. Nearly 20 percent of students reported using marijuana and 13 percent reported tobacco use. More than 5 percent of students reported misusing prescription drugs. Over one-third of the surveyed students reported binge drinking.

Each campus will address substance use through evidence-based programs and initiatives, joining with others on their campus and in the community.

“The drinking culture has changed – students are drinking more alcohol on one occasion and liquor has now replaced beer as the alcoholic beverage of choice. Alcohol is available and accessible, as are other drugs, and we can’t tackle these problems using the same strategies that were used a few years ago,” said Lisa Hutcheson, Director of ICAN. “These grants will help campuses tailor their strategies to meet the needs of their students.”

The Indiana Collegiate Action Network is a network of campuses across Indiana addressing substance use through education, advocacy and evidence-based programs and policies. ICAN is a program of the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.