It amazes me the things I never thought I would have to think about as a parent. When I thought about parenting I imagined it was more the “they won’t have a cell phone till they are 16” or “If they get all A’s, I’ll buy them a car” and of course I thought there would be fights for the latest fashion and why on earth should you ever color your hair!?
The drug/alcohol issue in my house, was much more a non-topic. My parents never sat down and said “don’t do drugs, don’t drink.” I don’t know if they were too scared to talk about, didn’t know how, or what? But thankfully, I had a good enough head on my shoulders that I was terrified to ever disappoint my parents and never, ever experimented with drugs. Alcohol… yes. My first visit to Ole Miss as a sophomore in high school has forever been etched in my mind as the last time tequila and I were friends. Seriously. I have not drank Tequila since.
Now that I’m a parent, I’m terrified of the pressure that will ensue with every age. I’m sure many of you parents that have high school and college age children have a much better grip on how to handle these two evils: drugs and alcohol. So, I won’t sit here and preach about how to talk to your child. I’ll certainly leave that up to you! But I would like to mention the immense problem college age kids are having with both, but more so drugs. Drug abuse is at an all time high nationwide, you can't turn on the news without hearing about the latest in the opioid crisis. And yes, that applies to Oxford too. Living in a college town, I’ve seen DEA agents and heard about their raids - I am grateful for their attentiveness. I’ll tell you what terrifies me is the amount of kids driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in this town. The chances of being in a car accident is triple what it would be if I lived in a non-college town. Yes, I chose to live here. But it’s a very real fear for anyone living in a college town.
I don’t want to get too much into the weeds on this, but I most certainly want to shed just a little bit of light on the drug and alcohol issue and it is just as much a problem in the 38655 as it is in other college towns. Don’t be fooled. Abuse and addiction are very prevalent and the first step to putting a stop to this is being aware and knowing your available resources.
The University and Oxford offer many resources for those struggling with the pressures of college life, whatever it may be. The Collegiate Recovery Community offers support for students in recovery from addition. RebelADE offers alcohol & drug addiction education. The Student Wellness Ambassadors offers to educate students about health and wellness whether it be physical wellness, mental wellness, sexual wellness or alcohol and other drugs. RebelWell is a campus and community wellness program designed to help people adapt and sustain positive health behaviors. The University also offers a counseling center on campus that offers to help with a variety of mental health issues. Oxford also offers four treatment centers: Stonewater (pictured below), Oxford Treatment Center and Haven House as well as Alcoholics Anonymous.