ADAI hopes to make difference in students lives

Sixty percent of SHSU students have not driven a car while under the influence of alcohol, but the SHSU Alcohol & Drug Abuse Initiative would like to see that statistic closer to 100 percent.

Following the success of the first Alcohol Summit held last year, the Initiative will present the Second Annual Alcohol Summit Sept. 7-8 in the Lowman Student Center to educate the university community about risky alcohol consumption.

The summit, open to all students, faculty, staff and community members, will place special emphasis on risk management for young adults and the legal and social ramifications of irresponsible choices.

On Friday, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to receive training on recognizing signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug use, curriculum infusion, and available campus resources. A student track will also be available on Friday focusing on peer education.

The Saturday session is also open to faculty and staff, but is designed to appeal especially to students. T-shirts, prizes, educational material and certificates of completion will be given to participants. Faculty may contact the ADAI to request student sign-in sheets during the educational sessions.

“The 2007 Alcohol Summit will provide students an opportunity to greatly increase their knowledge about alcohol and drugs,” said Michelle Lovering, Initiative member and Student Health Center health programming coordinator.

“However, increasing knowledge is just one goal of the summit. We also hope to change students’ attitudes towards risky drinking behaviors,” she said. “In the end, we want to give students the motivation to make healthier and more responsible decisions.”

The summit will offer more variety within the sessions this year than last year, Lovering said.

Students will have the choice of attending topics from scholarly sessions about the effects of alcohol and drugs in “Chemistry of Alcohol,” “Body Shots 2007,” and “Your Brain on Drugs,” to personal and intimate discussions about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse in “Reaching Others Through Teaching, Tragedy and a Personal Touch,” “Don’t Let the Party Go Down in Flames,” and “My Alcoholics Anonymous Story.”

The keynote speaker is Bernie McGrenahan, an entertainer who has performed for many of today’s top music bands, been featured in Las Vegas, on the David Letterman show, and been on numerous cable comedy shows. He has entertained American soldiers stationed overseas in more than 20 countries and been followed by the major television networks for his educational alcohol awareness tour, “Happy Hour.”

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