Drug violations have dropped at Central Washington University, in spite of recent national news reports on increased heroin use, particularly in smaller communities. During the 2012-13 academic year, CWU recorded not a single report of heroin use by a student.
Drug violations fell 5 percent, from 45 in spring quarter 2012 and to 41 in 2013.
“We begin working with students to prevent drug abuse before they even begin school,” said Richard DeShields, associate dean of Students for Student Living and Senior Conduct Officer. “We involve parents and students in prevention programs during summer orientation and continue throughout the school year.”
Anti-abuse measures include mandatory classes for all first-year students about alcohol and various drugs. During Wildcat Welcome Weekend, when students arrive on campus, students learn about campus drug and alcohol prevention health and information services. The First Six Weeks program helps students deal with a range of issues they may face during the first six weeks on campus, including substance abuse. CWU even makes funding available to support alcohol and drug assessments from community partners.
The university provides late-night activities, from movie nights to basketball, that offer safe and healthful alternatives to parties that could involve drinking and drug use. DeShields said that kind of programming on the Saturday night before finals in June, produced a huge drop in alcohol and drug violations—from 20 in 2011 to none this year.
“Students need to let off steam during finals and we gave them fun and safe ways to do that,” said DeShields. “We’re glad to see these numbers continue to decrease and we’re committed to seeing them drop even lower in the future.”
Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo of Richard DeShields
August 9, 2013