CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Every year, 1,700 college students die from alcohol related injuries, including motor vehicle crashes. In order to help reduce this number and shine a spotlight on unsafe alcohol use in college settings, the Islanders Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (I-ADAPT) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted the Communities Talk for Action “Preventing Underage and High Risk Drinking” Town Hall Meeting and Panel Discussion on April 19 in the University Center.
“I-ADAPT was formed to support the mission of TAMU-CC by promoting healthy choices and reducing the harmful effects caused by abusing alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through various programs across campus,” said Dr. Amanda Drum, Executive Director for Student Engagement and Success and main event organizer. “This event brought together leaders in our government, schools, area prevention coalitions and the community to discuss the issue and identify possible solutions.”
Panelists included State Rep. Todd Hunter, District Attorney Mark Skurka, Corpus Christi Independent School District Police Chief Kirby Warnke, Tiffany Collie from Project HOPE and Claudia Ayala, Assistant Director of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University Counseling Center.
“It’s important to remember that most adults drink at low-risk levels or do not drink at all,” said Ayala. “For the less than 30 percent of adults who do drink at heavy or high-risk levels, they are at risk for alcohol disorders and health problems. Town hall meetings are a great way to come together as a community to talk about ways to support those who choose not to drink or engage in low-risk drinking and promote resources for those at risk for problems.”
High-risk drinking refers to any alcohol consumption which can lead to negative effects on an individual, such as binge drinking and heavy drinking, and according to the National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about half of the college students who drink take part in binge drinking. Binge drinking can lead to many serious problems like assault, sexual abuse, injury, academic and health problems, and sometimes even death.
The event also included community resource tables staffed with representatives from I-ADAPT, Project HOPE, The Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse of the Coastal Bend, I-CARE, Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, Youth Network Out Together (YNOT), Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Safe Communities, Texas Department of Transportation and the U in the Driver’s Seat organization.
To see more photos from the event, click here.