Probably most of us have either seen the classic John Belushi movie Animal House or at least know about it. While it depicts Greek life on a college campus in a humorous way, there are some scary realities associated with fraternities that involve heavy alcohol and drug use. While of course it is not the case for all chapters of fraternities and sororities, it is definitely a common theme observed on campuses around the country.
There have been two recent deaths connected to fraternity activities on two major universities that have recently drawn national attention. In September, a young man died in an alleged hazing incident at LSU in Baton Rouge, where an autopsy showed is blood alcohol level was .495 – an astronomically high number. His tragic death led to multiple arrests, and the university suspended all Greek activities indefinitely.
Another tragedy struck this past week when a student died at FSU in Tallahassee, also resulting in the indefinite suspension of fraternities and sororities. Florida State University’s president, John Thrasher stated, “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university. There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”
Before someone dismisses these horrible incidents as rare accidents, a recent article outlined some of the troubling behavior connected to Greek activities at LSU, showing repeated negligent behavior filled with intentionally inflicting harm on fellow students through forced drinking and other abuses.
These behaviors point to a much larger problem in our current American culture – a trend in degradation of others and rampant substance abuse fostered by college campuses around the country. Although no college condones such behavior openly, they all know it exists – especially among fraternities – and most do very little to stop it. These clubs also often promote the idea of an elitist mentality where protecting one’s “brothers” is more important than doing the right thing in life.
If it seems like we’re picking on fraternities – it’s because we are. Despite the assumption that most Greek activities are so dangerous, there is definitely plenty of evidence to prove that enough is enough.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that drug overdose deaths hit an all-time high, led by a flood of opiate use. Overall, opiods were responsible for about 60% of the 47,000 overdose fatalities in America in 2014. Deaths from heroin specifically jumped over 25%, topping more than 10,000 lives lost. We believe that those numbers are poised to continue rising despite current efforts to curb overdoses.
It is no secret that many people wind up using heroin after they have developed a dependency on prescription opiates. These painkillers were themselves responsible for more than 5,000 fatalities. Despite roughly half the number of associated deaths, there are more than three times the number of people with substance use disorders involving painkillers compared to the number of heroin users.
According to the latest results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that there were about 600,000 people with heroin use disorders in 2014 and 1.9 million people with pain reliever use disorders. Since having abused prescription painkillers is the strongest single factor contributing to heroin use, there is a very real threat that the number of heroin-related overdose deaths could surge past 20,000 annually if not remedied.
“The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming. The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders. This report also shows how important it is that law enforcement intensify efforts to reduce the availability of heroin, illegal fentanyl, and other illegal opioids, CDC Director Tom Frieden stated in a release announcing the recent findings.
There is no one single way to treat opiate addiction. There are many valuable therapeutic procedures that can help the process and a wide variety of rehabilitation programs available. If you know someone in need of help for an addiction to heroin, painkillers or any other drug, contact us today for help locating a facility.
Call Us Today to Speak With a Drug & Alcohol Addiction Counselor: 1-800-379-8124