As kids head back to school this month, it is time for us to once again think about the pressures our teens and young adults face each day. While not every young adult takes part in risky activity, many young people are tempted to do drugs and binge drink, especially when they are away from home, at college.
Every year, the Daily Beast compiles a list of the Top Druggiest Colleges. The Newseek affiliate often gets mixed reactions about the list, especially among the officials of colleges that make the list. Topping the list in 2011 was the University of Colorado at Boulder, where officials were not all that surprised to be named. The University said it has taken measures in the past five years to clean up their act.
Methods for Selection
No college wants the title of Top Druggiest College, and many officials question the methods that are used to come up with the list. Colleges that make the list typically are rated high on College Prowler “drug scenes” grade list, have high on-campus arrests for drug violations, and are judged on their surrounding environment using data from the 2008-2009 U.S. Department of Human Services National Survey on Drug Abuse.
Of course, most people dismiss the list as unreliable and amusing, but making the list might actually deter some parents from considering the college for their child, something that frustrates college officials. Anne Lawing, Dean of Students of the University of New Hampshire, said that the list is “neither reliable or credible for UNH or any campus.” Her campus ranked number 19 on last year’s list.
Keeping Campuses Drug-Free
Schools that do turn up on the Daily Beast’s list will no doubt take a closer look at their drug policies and enforcement. Every campus struggles with keeping students safe from drugs and alcohol, and parents want to know that the school their child is attending is not a dangerous place. It is important for both parents and school officials to work to educate students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and to enforce anti-drug policies.