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Hard drug cases on campus trending upward, still down from 2013

October 30, 2016

Every drug except marijuana is included in the MSU police statistics.

As of Oct. 27, there have been 37 reported incidents in 2016, according to MSU police. Eleven of these cases were synthetic narcotic possession related, five were amphetamine possession cases and six cases were classified as “dangerous drug — other.”

East Lansing Police Department Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said his department investigated 52 cases in 2015 and 93 cases in 2014.

These numbers, in contrast to MSU police, include marijuana cases.

“We enforce all laws, and some of those laws are drug-related and we are proactive in our approach and if we come across some narcotics that are illegal, we’ll prosecute people for those,” Wriggelsworth said.

Wriggelsworth noted that although opiate abuse is a “systemic problem” throughout the country, ELPD hasn’t faced many opiate and heroin overdoses in recent years.

For those struggling with addiction, there are services readily available to help, including Olin Health Center’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, or ATOD, program.

The ATOD program provides a variety of services to the MSU community on issues pertinent to drug and alcohol education, substance abuse prevention and collegiate recovery.

“Services range from prevention services broadly, targeted towards the entire student population, as well as individualized educational consultation and recovery supports to students who are struggling with decision-making related to ATOD use, and who would benefit from additional education, motivation, clarification and risk management planning,” Emily Young, MSU Collegiate Recovery Community coordinator, said.

Young said there are an estimated 752 students currently on campus who are seeking help for their substance abuse disorders.

“Because college students make up the age group most susceptible to addiction, here at MSU we have made early intervention and recovery support a priority,” Young said. “With the proper supports in place, students in recovery are extremely successful.”

The results almost speak for themselves.

“A nationwide survey of 26 collegiate recovery programs found that students involved with their school’s collegiate recovery program achieve higher retention and graduation rates than the institutional average and higher average GPAs than their non-recovering peers,” Young said.

Addiction relapses appear to be less common among recovering students than non-students.

Young said the survey showed a relapse rate at less than 15 percent per semester, which is much lower than the 90 percent post-treatment relapse rate for youth nationally.

“Because of recovery, there are a large number of MSU students who are thriving academically, personally and professionally,” Young said.

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