This week officials from area colleges are attending a seminar at the National Harbor in Prince George's County, Md., to help them combat drug and alcohol abuse on their campuses. Experts say the nation has lost momentum in efforts to reduce substance abuse.
In the '90s, the nation's colleges made headway and reduced levels of substance and alcohol abuse on campuses, but education officials report abuse rates have since plateaued. David Clurman, co-chair of the alcohol and drug committee at the University of Maryland, says the key to keeping campuses safe for all students is having support systems in place early.
"You have to be proactive because a number of students are coming in with prior use and they have their own patterns established. And when you look at the overall community and how their behavior can impact others as well as their own success, you need to be able to address that," Clurman says.
The Department of Education is advising area colleges to provide alcohol-free activities on weekends and enhance their campus recovery programs.