Drinkinson No More


Photo by Dickinsonian

Students at Dickinson no longer use drugs and alcohol at a higher rate than peer institutions, according to a survey completed by the Wellness Center.

Based on self-reported survey results, the majority of students drink in moderate or low risk ways. 77 percent of students claimed to have four or fewer drinks the last time they participated in drinking, while 44 percent said they did not drink at all within the past few weeks. 

In addition, Dickinson is comparable to other small liberal art schools in terms on marijuana use; Just 40 percent of surveyed students had tried marijuana in their lifetime, while 34 percent had used it within the past month. 

Dr. Missy Stine, Psychologist and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Prevention Education Coordinator at Dickinson’s Wellness Center, oversees a peer substance use education program. The program receives grants from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and Stine uses this this grant money to employ students, purchase educational games, and purchase materials for such as drunk goggles, weed goggles, and a mock beer pong table, as well as popular shirts that read “#nomoredrinkinson.”

The shirts and hashtag were created last year by a peer educator. The back of the shirts display informational facts about alcohol tolerance and the number of drinks which is safe to consume in a single day, which four for men and three for women. Dr. Stine said, “What we left off, which will be on the new T-shirts, is ‘no more than seven in a week.’ So it’s not three [drinks] every day.”

Stine is aware of her audience when it comes to planning events for the college. “We use those [shirts] to entice students to come, because nobody wants to learn about drugs and alcohol…We try to do cool, interactive stuff like that, so you can learn and see how things can be messed up from drinking.” 

Stine said, “We don’t take a ‘you shouldn’t drink approach.’ That doesn’t work. We take a ‘if you’re going to drink let’s learn how to do it in a way that you’re not going to have negative consequences.’”

Upcoming events hosted by the Wellness Center, Dr. Stine and her student team include bingo, bake sale on April 19, and drunk goggle Wii. Information on workshops with Dr. Stine and additional drug and alcohol information can be found on the Wellness Center website.