Survey reveals students drug use and other behaviors

The 775 students who took the Linfield Health & Wellness Survey helped correct some misconceptions about alcohol use, risky sexual situations and other health-related issues on campus.
“Statistically, the [result of] the survey didn’t really change a lot, but we added new questions about students’ habits and bystander situations,” Christina Ries, Health Promotion and Student Wellness coordinator, said.
Ries said that students have misconceptions when comparing the percentage of students perceived to use marijuana with the actual use of marijuana by students.
Only 16 percent of students use marijuana off campus, but the survey reports that students think that more than 40 percent of students use it.
“The more that students who do use [marijuana] know that actual use is lower than perceived use, the more of them tend not to use again,” Ries said.
According to the survey, 68 percent of the participants were women and 32 percent were men.
The survey’s results about alcohol and smoking remain consistent with years past: 30 percent of students choose not to drink, which has been the same number since 2007. The percentage of students smoking has decreased by 4 percent.
“We also added some questions for students as bystanders, such as risky sexual situations and alcohol consuming events,” Ries said. “Students are more aware of policies and programs on campus.”
The survey reported that students usually stay on campus on Fridays.
“It’s surprising that more than 80 percent of students go to campus events on Friday night, as many students thought people are going off campus for an alcohol-consuming party,” she said.
Despite an overwhelming difference in gender participation, Ries said she thought the results of the survey
accurately reflect student behaviors.
“We see such trends from year to year, and we are using specially designed questions like those asked on national surveys,” she said. “In the years we have taken the national surveys , we find that our trends match what happens at other Oregon institutions that are similar to ours, and we also compare [them] to the overall national trends. We also sample a large group of students on campus.”
The results of the survey help peer education and the administration’s social-norming campaigns, marketing approaches to alcohol and drug-use awareness. And are open as resources for any department and student, Ries said.
For more information, please e-mail Ries at
cries@linfield.edu.
Yin Xiao
Features editor Yin Xiao can be reached at
linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com

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