One of the biggest challenges colleges and universities face is alcohol and other drug abuse by students. The scope of this challenge was best summarized in a recent report published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Their report, "Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America's Colleges and Universities," reveals an alarming public health crisis at colleges across the country. The report said:
* About half of all full-time college students binge drink, abuse illegal drugs and/or prescription drugs every month;
* Almost one in four of these college students met the medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence (three times the rate found in the general population); and
* * Rates of smoking increased from 25 to 31 percent of students from 1993 to 1999.
Alcohol and other drug abuse are linked to poor student academic performance. But …