July 7, 2009
There are 50,000 college-eligible kids in America today who are too strung out on alcohol or other drugs to get in let alone make the grade.
Fortunately, change is in the air, and there is a better option. A major university — Texas Tech in Lubbock — has a heartwarming success story, which it has begun to replicate on other campuses, that could ultimately help transform some of our 4,000 colleges and universities from “party cultures” to “learning cultures.”
Joseph A. Califano Jr., CASA’s chairman and the author of the best selling book, “High Society,” has been a leader in addressing the high cost of substance abuse in America — a trillion dollar a year problem — and he has taken a special interest in addiction in adolescents and young adults.
After two morning sessions, one on “Getting the High out of Higher Education” which was directed at college presidents, trustees and alumni and the second on, “Parent Power The Role of Parents,” Lesley Stahl, co-editor of 60 Minutes and a member of the CBS News staff, took the podium to talk about “Substance abuse Among American College Students.”
Among Stahl’s five panel members was 22-year-old Anna Thomas, a vivacious 2008 graduate of Texas Tech University and a person in recovery. She is on staff at the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery (CSAR) at Texas Tech.
The Center presently serves about 80 students who are in recovery and enrolled in its Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) program. Most of these students live off the Texas Tech campus, avoiding the typical college dorm life that consistently tolerates drug and alcohol use.