EWU maintains zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol


By Shannon Bedell, Eagle Life Writer


According the National Institute of Drug Abuse, abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other illicit drugs is costing our nation $600 billion in annual related expenses including crime, loss of work and health care.

EWU has a no tolerance policy in regards to the unlawful manufacturing, delivering or use of controlled substances or paraphernalia at a university activity. Alcohol is prohibited on university-owned property and controlled properties unless approved by the university. With the recent marijuana law changed in Washington state, EWU still follows the federal marijuana policy.

With a recent initiative approved in Washington state, there is still some confusion on what the marijuana policies are. In Washington state, marijuana is only legal to be used by people 21 and over in a private setting.

“A lot of confusion we have seen is around the marijuana laws. First of all, a lot of [students] don’t know what the age is. Because the university is federally funded, we still follow federal laws concerning marijuana,” said Tricia Hughes, Director of Health, Wellness and Prevention Services.

According to the Cheney Police Department Activity Overview, there were zero drug or alcohol related offenses in September 2013. There have been 20 drug-related offenses for the year to date and 16 criminal alcohol-related offenses. These numbers compare to the highest reported criminal activity of theft at 162 incidence this year.

“We really are not seeing a lot of abuse of alcohol or drugs among students. Approximately a quarter of our students do not use alcohol or drugs,” said Hughes.

While Cheney is not seeing a rise on drug-related offenses, drug trends are always emerging. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Community Epidemiology Work Group, which researches and reports data on trends and patterns of drug use in major metropolitan areas, there are new drugs and trends that often burst on the scene rapidly. One of the most recent drugs to come up is desomorphine also known as krokodil.

Krokodil is a homemade synthetic heroin-like drug. It is made from combining codeine tablets and other toxic chemicals like lighter fluid and industrial cleaners. The name krokodil comes from the the scaly green dead skin that forms at the injection sight. In some cases the drug destroys the flesh causing means for amputation.

Other emerging drugs include “N-bomb” an LSD substitute that often causes seizures and has been the cause of 14 deaths from March 2012 to April 2013, and syrup or purple drink most known for being used among the rap scene.

EWU campus offers many services available for students about safe alcohol use. Counseling and Psychological Services offers individual and group counseling and sponsor seminars throughout the year. Their office is open for walk-ins Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. Counselors are also available by appointment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health and Wellness provides private seminars to groups and classes on campus. They can also be seen around campus in the dorms, PUB and other areas handing out pamphlets and holding mini seminars.

“Through Health and Wellness we do a lot of educational programs and we’ll go anywhere we are invited. We have a how to use alcohol safely program. We also try to bring in speakers for the students,” said Hughes.

Health and Wellness also offers online education to students and education programs for students who have a drug or alcohol related offense. The group helps provide students with assessment on drug and alcohol tendencies if a student feels that they might be abusing a substance.

For more information on services offered through Health, Wellness and Prevention Services visit them on the EWU website or stop by their office in the Recreation Center room 201. Students can also reach out to the Counseling and Psychological Services through their page on the EWU website or stop by their offices in Martin Hall room 225.