Student Affairs

Substance Abuse: How to Respond Appropriately to Students Who Are Abusing Drugs and/or Alcohol

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron Hughey
Price: $108.00

Add to Cart


“The shocking results: Half of all full-time college students (3.8 million) binge drink, abuse prescription drugs and/or abuse illegal drugs. Almost 1 in 4 of the nation’s college students (22.9%, some 1.8 million) meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence, 2 and a half times the proportion (8.5%) of those who meet the criteria in the rest of the population.” – The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

Unfortunately, the number of college students who are struggling with substance and/or alcohol abuse has increased dramatically over the last few decades. Everyone on campus is potentially affected by a student experiencing an addiction and the potential for harm to self or others often goes unrecognized. This webinar will discuss the extent of the problem, why it has increased in recent years, the current status of treatment, and what faculty, staff, administrators, and students can do to help the situation. The focus will be on helping individual students with substance abuse and alcohol problems; i.e., how to identify symptomology, make effective referrals and appropriate interventions, and consult with mental health professionals. Also included will be how to develop and implement evidenced-based programs and services designed to help all students better cope with the devastating effects substance and alcohol abuse can have on themselves, those who care about them, and their lives and careers.

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to recognize the telltale signs that a student may be experiencing substance and/or alcohol abuse and, more importantly, what they should do to help the student as well as maintain a safe and secure educational environment. Specifically, participants will know how to approach the student, assess the severity of the situation, and make an effective referral if warranted. They will also know how to engage in proactive, preemptive programming designed to address substance and alcohol abuse prevention.

Brief outline:

  • College Student: with Substance and Alcohol Abuse: The Sobering Statistics
  • The Impact of Substance and Alcohol Abuse on the Educational Environment
  • The Symptomology of Abuse Defining Characteristics
  • Effective Intervention: Roles and Responsibilities
  • Referrals: The Key to Getting a Student the Help They Need
  • Consultation: The Key to Supporting Our Mental Health Professionals
  • Responding to Crises: What to Do When the Stakes are High (Life or Death)
  • The Importance of Programming and Other Proactive Strategies

Learning outcomes:

Participants who complete the webinar will be able to:

  • Describe the extent of the substance and alcohol abuse on contemporary college campuses
  • Articulate the reasons substance and alcohol abuse has been increasing among the college population
  • Identify the symptoms of someone who is suffering from substance and/or alcohol abuse
  • Intervene effectively with a student who is abusing substances and/or alcohol
  • Develop and implement programming designed to help students with substance abuse and/or alcohol problems
  • Make referrals and consult with mental health professionals
  • Respond appropriately in emergency situations when substance and/or alcohol abuse can have life or death consequences

Presenter biography:

Aaron W. Hughey is a professor and program coordinator in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University. He supervises the master’s degree program in student affairs in higher education as well as graduate certificate programs in international student services and career services. He was head of the department for five years before returning to the faculty in 2008. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he was the associate director of university housing; he also served as interim director of WKU’s Knicely Institute for Economic Development where he coordinated outreach (training and development) services to business and industry.  He has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 60 refereed publications on subjects including higher education administration, student affairs, counseling and testing, diversity, leadership, teams, and management. He consults extensively with regional companies and schools and provides training sessions and programs on a variety of topics including diversity, leadership/supervision, change management, motivation and mental health issues among both student and employee populations. Working with students who are abusing substances (including alcohol) is one of his specialties.


The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

Add to Cart