What We Know about Drugs in Tennessee and at MTSU

Transitioning into college is a significant milestone in a person’s life. Whether you are fresh out of high school or going back to school after spending some time in the work force, the level of safety provided on campus is extremely important to your educational experience. For this reason, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has instituted a zero-tolerance policy for drug use in the residence halls.

MTSU Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment

Written by Lauren Villa, MPH

MTSU strives to provide students with a safe learning environment free from drugs and alcohol. MTSU prohibits the use, possession, and distribution of alcohol and illegal drugs on all properties owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the campus. In addition, violation of any local, state, or federal law (including those related to drug paraphernalia and public intoxication) will result in disciplinary  action by the university.1 

While school policy may not prevent 100% of alcohol and drug use among students, it does significantly decrease the chances that you or someone you know will face an unsafe situation at school. Abusing drugs and alcohol while in college is very risky and can quickly lead to addiction. Some college students may be predisposed to addiction development because of:2

  • A genetic or familial susceptibility.
  • A history of alcohol use while in high school.
  • Exposure to a variety of stressors (both school related, and otherwise).

Other factors that play a major role in the prevalence of college student drinking and drug use behavior are campus norms related to drinking, as well as campus policies and penalties for underage drinking.2 When students drink heavily, they put both themselves and those around them at risk. A large body of research shows the association between drinking and injuries. Alcohol use is associated with an increased risk for accidents, which are often a result of drunk driving.3 On college campuses, the association between drinking and sexual violence is also a serious issue, as young adults are more likely to commit acts of sexual assault when they are under the influence.4