Speaker to address substance abuse concerns

Motivational Speaker Dr. Carolyn Cornelison will speak tonight at 7 p.m. in the Mafridge Auditorium in the Smith-Hutson Business Building on the topic of the dangers of alcohol misuse.

“We have seen an increase lately in the drug and alcohol issues at the counseling center along with the deaths of two SHSU students, one after alleged binge drinking, the other after an alleged drug overdose also are part of” said Probst. “We are hoping that this will help to get the attention of students and will be the beginning of a more comprehensive look at alcohol related problems and the beginning of more comprehensive prevention and treatment.”

The program is being co-sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Order (KA) and, according to Deborah Probst, a counseling psychologist at the Counseling Center, it will be a “wake-up” call to the university to address the Greek organizations in particular and the campus community as a whole.”

“We know a lot of people who go home on Thanksgiving and Christmas and get into trouble with alcohol,” said KA Secretary James Cuellar. “There are not many programs like this available. We’re hoping that people learn something and that people can get seriously hurt and that there are serious consequences for the things they do.”

Probst is hoping that this program will reach out to a larger number of students than they are able to reach at the Counseling Center.

“There are only so many small interventions that you can do,” said Probst.

Conrelison comes highly recommended and has the credentials to back it up. Cornelison received her Ph. D. in physical education from Florida State University and has spent the last 12 years traveling the country as a motivational speaker to over 400 campuses talking about alcohol and its effects. She is also the former Director of Special Projects for the BACCHUS & GAMMA Peer Education Network and has also worked with Students Against Drunk Driving.

“She has lots of knowledge and is very well respected and well received,” said Probst. “She just seemed to be the one that fit out campus best and she also has an extensive history of working with students and substance abuse.”

Probst said that Cornelison’s talk will focus on three “keys to caring”: 1. Knowledge: understanding the signs of out-of-control behavior and what you can do about them; 2. Sensitivity: becoming aware of these behaviors in you and those around you; 3. Courage: taking steps to help someone who has a problem with alcohol.

“I feel that students will come away with knowledge on how to be more proactive in talking to their friends about alcohol problems. I think that they will receive it well,” said Probst.

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