Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Substance Abuse Growing in Colleges

Substance abuse on college campuses is nothing new, but it is taking a more extreme and dangerous form, with higher rates of frequent binge drinking and prescription drug abuse, and more negative consequences for students such as arrests and risky sexual behavior.

That's the portrait painted by a comprehensive report tying together a range of recent research on substance abuse by college students and new survey data.

The report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University argues that substance abuse isn't an inevitable rite of passage for young adults. But the report concludes that a culture of excessive consumption has flourished on college campuses, and it calls on educators to take bolder stands to combat the drinking.

"If they make this a priority they can do something about it," said Joseph Califano, chairman and president of the center. Among other steps, he called on colleges and the NCAA to stop allowing alcohol advertising during high-profile events such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament.

The report, being released today , relies largely on research that has appeared in various forms, but assembles it to emphasize findings particular to college students.

Among the highlights:

The proportion of students who drink (about 68 percent) and binge drink (40 percent) has changed little since 1993. But substantial increases have been made in the number of students who binge drink frequently (take five drinks at a time, three or more times in two weeks), who drink 10 or more times a month, and who get drunk three or more times in a month.

Though still used by far fewer students than alcohol, hundreds of thousands of more students are abusing prescription drugs including Ritalin, Adderall, and OxyContin than during the early 1990s. The proportion of students using marijuana daily has more than doubled to about 4 percent.

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