Prescription to addiction: the slippery slope 

If you’ve been on a college campus long enough, you’ll know that alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use is no hidden affair. What many don’t see though, are the high rates of illicit prescription drug use among 18-25 year old’s. (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Even in the case of a legitimate prescription for opioids from a physician, these adolescents are still at greater risk of future opioid misuse, regardless of having no prior history of drug use. It ranges from taking your friend’s prescribed Adderall before an exam to popping oxycodone or Xanax at a party. The problem with prescription drugs, especially opioids, is that the user builds a tolerance and needs more and more of the same drug to feel the high. This is not a cheap habit to maintain, and as all of us college students know, the last thing we have lying around is excess money. The cheap alternative that fuels the user’s dependence next is the street drug heroin, which is more potent than almost any prescription opioid you can find and has a much higher mortality rate. In as little as two years, between 2010 and 2012, “the mortality rate from heroin overdose doubled in 28 states” (Ross, 2016). I know what you’re thinking: you’ve never seen anyone use or even talk about using heroin! According to a study conducted between 2011 and 2014 however, on average nineteen new users were introduced to the drug each day; that is 133 new college users each week (NSDUH). Using opioids is not ‘glamorous’ nor normalized like drinking or smoking weed which is why it is not put on display. Fortunately, all hope is not lost and through public education and preventive programs, we can combat this epidemic. The best choice you, as an Ohio State student can make is to stay away from all opioids and illegal prescription use as whole. If you are prescribed medication from your physician, take only the amount you are prescribed and talk to your health care professional about potential for misuse and abuse. Here at Ohio State, the Collegiate Recovery Community is a group that serves students in or seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. There is no shame in seeking support and you can learn more at 


Sania Hussain, Wellness Ambassador 

Let’s Celebrate

So, Governor. Mike DeWine lifted the statewide curfew, and your friends want to get together for drinks to celebrate that grueling assignment you struggled for weeks to research, write and submit? Maybe you’re not entirely comfortable with dining out during a pandemic, or perhaps you want an alternate way of celebrating that doesn’t require drinking. “Let’s grab drinks” is a phrase used too often that it sometimes becomes synonymous with, “I miss you; I want to spend time with you, let’s hang out!” but these two statements are not the same thing, and they don’t have to be. Sometimes, suggesting a night of drinking is the easiest thing to do. Many are even conditioned to look to a night out as a rite of passage in celebrating an achievement, meeting a deadline, letting loose from built-up stress, or seeing friends you may not have seen for a while. The truth is, there are plenty of ways to meet these needs without having to indulge in an overpriced cocktail. 

Virtual Options:  

  • Have a virtual game nightGather a team of fellow students and friends and sign up for OUAB’s Grad/Prof bi-weekly trivia night!  
  • Gather your friends for a movie night. Do you have a favorite comfort film that always helps get you centered after a crazy week? Pick your favorites with your friends and watch them together virtually 
  • Hop on to an online cooking class with friends through OUAB in the Kitchen. After you’ve created your meal, sit down on zoom and enjoy a meal, and the company.  
  • Throw on your favorite songs and have a dance party or share your screen and host a karaoke moment with friends.  

Does the idea of sitting in front of your screen tire you? Are you struggling with Zoom burnout? If your comfortable, here are some in-person suggestions that you could try following COVID guidelines: 

  • Potluck at the park – bring your favorite dish in individual, COVIDfriendly containers and have an outdoor, socially distant meal with friends (when the weather allows!)  
  • Host a private showing at a local theatre. You and three others can rent an entire theatre for about $25 apiece. There is plenty of room for social distancing, and no one to kick your seat, or yell at you for dancing or running through the aisles! 
  • Find a low-risk activity as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. There are still ways to have fun, get out of the house and give yourself a break in these trying times.  

There are many ways to celebrate or catch up with a friend that doesn’t have to involve drinking. In some situations, maybe you’re comfortable with them drinking in their own space virtually and don’t feel the need to participate yourself, or perhaps you’re uncomfortable with the presence of alcohol altogether and want fun options to reflect that. 

If you’re thinking about reassessing your relationship with alcohol, consider joining Beyond Your Buzz, a moderation management program offered by Ohio State’s Alcohol and Other Drug Education through the Student Wellness Center. This drop-in group is built to meet students’ needs who want to explore and make positive changes in their substance use.  

Of course, there are additional resources through the Student Wellness Center if you feel you want to make substance use changes. You can sign up for a BASICS session to explore your alcohol and drug use to reduce harmful consequences of alcohol abuse, or look into the option of the Collegiate Recovery Community if you are committed to an abstinence-based, long-term recovery community.  


Corona Beer Will Not Get Rid of Coronavirus Fear 

Even though coronavirus includes the name of a beer, it is important to know not to turn to alcohol to deal with the stress this virus has caused. The rise of 2020 COVID-19 pandemic came with a huge economic recession which has negatively affected mental health in addition to worsening the mental health of people who have already been suffering with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, in turn increasing the consumption of alcohol. In mid-July, a KFF Tracking poll was conducted and found that 53% of adults in the United States felt as though their mental health had been negatively impacted due to the stress that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted. Much of this can be attributed to social distancing and isolation, which has heightened feelings of loneliness. In addition to loneliness, job loss elevated feelings of distress, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem which leads to higher rates of substance and alcohol abuse.  

Unfortunately, us college students are subject to experiencing these emotions at a higher rate. Due to the decline in people’s overall mental health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption and substance abuse increased by 12%. Many students feel the need to turn to alcohol as it is a depressant and induces feelings of relaxation. However, it can also reduce judgment, inhibition, and memory. Turning to alcohol to cope with unfavorable feelings in times like these can ultimately lead to problematic drinking in the future.  

While alcohol is not wrong to consume in moderation, using it as a coping mechanism has extremely adverse consequences. A physical dependence on alcohol can form, thus creating an addiction. Overusing alcohol can contribute to anger and irresponsible or destructive behavior that may be harmful to yourself or others. Using alcohol as a crutch can pose barriers to developing healthier coping mechanisms.  

If you or anyone you know has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and considers turning to alcohol, suggest alternative coping mechanisms. On campus, students can reach out to the Collegiate Recovery Community to find support as it relates to their alcohol and other drug use, attend Zoom fitness classes such as yoga to practice mindfulness, engage in physical activity such as going for walks, and reaching out to friends for support and comfort or a trained Peer Access Line peer.  

-Hansika Vamaraju, Alcohol Education Wellness Ambassador 

National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month has been celebrated every September for the past 31 years, and Ohio State is once again proudly supporting this national movement to celebrate recovery in our community. It is a time to reflect on the healing power of recovery and celebrates individuals who have reclaimed their lives through the process. Most some Buckeyes, this could be celebrating their own journey to recovery from substance use disorders. For others, it may be celebrating a loved one who has found recovery – as so many of us are touched by the impact that alcohol and drugs in our lives.   

Together, the Collegiate Recovery Community and partners from across campus have put together a schedule of events that celebrate those in recovery as well as provide ways for everyone to learn more about what it means to be a Recovery Ally. The schedule can be found at  

What makes a recovery ally? A recovery ally is a person who strives to eliminate the injustices faced by people in or seeking recovery from a substance use disorder by championing efforts to support recovery, empowering individuals and creating recovery friendly environments where individuals, families and communities can thrive. We have trained over a thousand individuals on campus through our recovery ally training, and we continue to grow that number.   

Some of you may not know what the CRC is, and want to know more. The CRC is a place where students are empowered to be their authentic selves and support one another while navigating their college experience free of alcohol and other drugs. During these uncertain times, we have focused on making our supports and programming virtual and feel lucky to say we have continued providing all we would normally provide in person. We have a 24/7 virtual drop-in center exclusively for our community, a weekly mutual aid meeting, are continuing 1:1 coaching meetings with each of our students regularly. 

Why do we find it important to celebrate recovery on our campus? Our students in recovery at Ohio State are accomplishing amazing things. They are leaders in our campus communities, including in many pockets of student life. They are working towards degrees in a variety of fields – including law, medicine, social work, and engineering. Many of our students are working on critical research in labs across campus, and others are working on their dissertations. We have had over 50 CRC students graduate from Ohio State, all of which have gone on to be highly successful in their respective fields. What they all have in common is a celebration of their recovery as the foundation of the life they lead today. To us, that is worth celebrating!  

If anyone would like to learn more about how we support students, or would like to get involved in the CRC, please reach out to us at recovery@osu.eduWe know that now more than ever, students in or seeking recovery need our support and the community that the CRC provides.  

National Collegiate Recovery Day 

Today we celebrate the inaugural Collegiate Recovery Day! The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) states that today is “an opportunity to celebrate collegiate recovery programs, and shine a spotlight on the key staff, students, and other supporters who make this work possible.”

Today, and always, we celebrate our Collegiate Recovery Community for working tirelessly to support students in or seeking recovery, rallying recovery ally’s on our campus, and supporting any and all students, staff and faculty impacted by substance use disorders.

Over the past 7 years, our CRC has supported over 100 students on their path to graduation, provided financial support through scholarships, service opportunities, and most importantly fostered a family amongst students in recovery.

This couldn’t be accomplished without the support from our campus partners and people like you (yes, you, taking the time to read this).  Today, wherever you are we hope you take a moment to celebrate your personal recovery, the recovery journey of someone you know, or your work as an ally. We celebrate today and will continue celebrating Collegiate Recovery!