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What is the most effective way to curb alcohol and drug abuse among students on college campuses?

It’s no secret that drugs exist on college campuses and each institution has policies to discourage drug and alcohol abuse. Universities and colleges have different ways of enforcing these policies, however, and some are more lenient than others. At Oregon State University, the campus police are known for their strict enforcement of the law, particularly when it comes to drinking and driving. Eastern Oregon University takes a more educational approach, rarely involving law enforcement, but instead requiring students caught violating the school’s drug and alcohol policy to meet with a counselor and take an online drug-awareness class.

Following the recent death of a Reed College student from a heroin overdose, the Willamette Week delved into Reed College’s allegedly relaxed attitude about drugs on campus in an article published last week. The article sparked an intense discussion — 444 comments and counting — on the newspaper’s web site. We’ll sift through some of those arguments tomorrow with our guests and broaden our conversation to include colleges and universities around the state.

Are you a college student or a recent graduate? What’s your experience with drugs and alcohol on campus? Are you a parent or a professor? What is the most effective way to curb alcohol and drug abuse among students? How big is this problem, really?


  • Ben DuPree: Reed College graduate (‘06) and former student body president (‘05)
  • James Pitkin: Staff reporter for Willamette Week
  • Peter Steinberger: Dean of the Faculty and professor of political science and humanities at Reed College
  • Ashley Slocki: Senior at Oregon State University and news editor of the Daily Barometer
  • Other guests TBA

Photo credit: adronicusmax / Flickr / Creative Commons

alcohol college drugs reed college

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OPB | Broadcast: May 20, 2008