Drug- and alcohol-related reports have decreased by 40 percent since fall 2014, according to the UTA Police crime log.

There were 63 reported offenses between Aug. 27 and Nov. 30 2014, and 38 reported offenses between the same dates in 2015.

Alcohol-related offenses make up the majority of reports, with marijuana coming in second, according to the UTA Police crime log.

Marijuana is historically the most common drug found on students, UTA Police Capt. Mike McCord said. The police department partners up with organizations on- and off-campus, such as Health Services, to address drug and alcohol abuse.

Latoya Oduniyi, health promotion and substance abuse coordinator, said she sees about 80 percent of students caught breaking drug and alcohol laws. Oduniyi is the campus alcohol and other drug counselor. Once a student has dealt with the Office of Community Standards for disciplinary action, he or she is required to attend two meetings with Oduniyi to discuss school policy and expectations regarding the use of drugs and alcohol.

She said she can’t say the decrease in drug and alcohol offenses means there are less students abusing them on campus, but she has noticed a decrease in the amount of students sent to her from Community Standards.

“This year, I haven’t been as busy as I have in years past,” Oduniyi said.

Oduniyi said most of the students she has seen this semester are there because of incidents involving alcohol. Those students don’t necessarily have a drinking problem, but made poor decisions, she said. Surrounding themselves with good friends and knowing limits can help them avoid making the same mistakes.

“It’s mixing your drinks properly and pacing yourself,” she said. “You can still go out and socially drink, enjoy yourself, but still keep control.”

Health Services holds a student assessment every two years that gauges the campus climate on alcohol and drugs, she said. For the most part, UTA is beating national averages for students who don’t see the glamour of drinking or don’t want to do it.

Casi Kriewall works for Challenge of Tarrant County and is director for Sensible Mavericks Acting Responsibly Together, a coalition of students, faculty and staff who promote responsible drinking. The coalition created a campaign called Not Everyone’s Doing It, which spotlights students who don’t drink or do drugs..Based on the dozens of students she has spoken with, the attitude toward drugs and alcohol is fairly consistent and echoes responsibility, she said.

“The vibe that I get is that they choose to be responsible because it reflects on who they are as a person,” she said. “It affects aspects of their lives and their family lives, so they choose to do things that are going to better them and benefit them in the future.”

Mechanical engineering senior Ricky Carreon is president of the fraternity Lambda Theta Phi and is drug- and alcohol-free. He said he made the choice not to drink before he was even legally allowed to.

He has seen the problems that drinking can create among family and friends, he said. He chose to keep that out of his life and focus on his education instead.

“Why get into a problem that’s not necessary?” Carreon said.

@BraulioATellez

braulio.tellez@mavs.uta.edu

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