Hard drug usage is not a problem within the residences at Durham College and UOIT. At least according to Marc Athanas, the Residence Life Manager it is not.
“I could count on one hand where these drugs have openly been being used in a room,” he proudly says.
Unfortunately that does not mean that students are not using these drugs off campus. Approximately 47,000 Canadians die annually to hard drugs, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). These drugs include MDMA, Liquid X, and Roofies (date rape).
People who use these hard drugs are usually very loud and uncontrollable, says Athanas, adding the reactions tend to be very intense. As a result, this may push kids away from taking these drugs onto campus.
“We try to do as much as we can,” says Athanas, addressing the issue of party drugs on campus. The Student Association and Residence Life start off with subtle advertising to bring awareness to party drugs. Athanas says that they will publish posters and awareness boards that provide information on different drugs, the dangers of these drugs and the effects of these drugs.
Athanas also says that sometimes Residence Life runs drug awarness events. He recalls one time when each student was given some juice and inside the juice was a different coloured skittle. The skittles were used to symbolize different kinds of party drugs, including date rape.
Athanas says that the Student Association will bring in guests to speak to students about drugs as well as their own personal experiences with these dangerous and illegal drugs.
It is not taken lightly when a student is found using such hard drugs on campus. Athanas says that in the case a student is found with hard drugs, it’s never just the one student, it has a “ripple effect,” he says.
Athanas says that with all drugs, including marijuana, students always claim that they only tried it once. Just once is enough to end your life., he says. Unfortunately, many teens have the mindset that they are invincible, he adds.
Athanas says that Residence Life, the SA, and Campus Security ensure that they will do their best to educate students on the dangers of hard drugs as well as make sure that our students stay safe on and off of campus.