Universities need to focus more on preventing drug use among students. This is the advice of the Trimbos Institute in the recently published Strategic Exploratory Study into Recreational Drugs 2015. Still, Erasmus University isn’t taking any action.
The knowledge institute for drug use notes that in recent decades it has become easier for large groups of young people to get hold of recreational drugs like XTC. After surveying various studies and publications, Trimbos gets ‘the impression that there has been a rise in use’ of such recreational drugs among students. However, the Strategic Exploratory Study does not contain new statistics about national drug use among students. Previously Trimbos concluded that around 60 percent of young people occasionally use drugs on a night out.
Nevertheless, the study was sufficient reason for Trimbos to issue advice to State Secretary for Health, Martin van Rijn. The institute concludes that much can still be done with regards to prevention. They propose a national recreational drug directive for municipalities. Universities could also do more to prevent drug use, particularly because of the resulting financial benefits for universities, according to Trimbos. Recent studies claim to have demonstrated that drug use is harmful to the health and study success of students.
On Monday, the State Secretary responded to the study conducted by the Trimbos Institute, which he had requested last year. He was particularly concerned by the ‘normalisation’ of drug use among young people. “We must reverse this trend as soon as possible. Recreational drugs are dangerous, particularly in the very high strengths in which they are now available”, says Van Rijn.
No measures at EUR
Even though a survey among students by faculty society Cedo Nulli concluded that one in three EUR students use hard drugs, Erasmus University isn’t taking any measures. According to a EUR spokesperson, “the University will take action as soon as we learn that drugs are used on a wide scale among students. So far, these signals haven’t reached us.” EvR