Twenty Four Students Report Alcohol Abuse at UF
Alcohol abuse is up at the University of Florida, but UF leaders say that number means their efforts are making a difference. The Community Alcohol Coalition met with UF Officials about an amnesty policy that started last year which allows students to get help for their drinking habit without facing disciplinary action. Students say this is badly needed on campus.
Gator Well Health Officials who provide counseling to UF students say twenty four were taken to the hospital for alcohol related problems and this number was higher than the year before.
"In a sense I do see it as a helpful program to individuals who do need the help," Mitchell Rabsatt, UF Junior, said.
Twenty two year old UF Junior Mitchell Rabsett knows exactly where to get a drink.
"From both downtown and mid town," Rabsatt said.
Rabsatt has seen some UF students drink too much, specifically when he and his friends when out for Halloween.
"I'm not going to talk about how many drinks but we had a few drinks and it got to the point where someone had alcohol poisoning," Rabsatt said.
"They should be able to call 911 and get the help that they need," Maureen Mitchell, Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention GatorWell Health Promotion Services said.
UF GatorWell Officials say the amnesty policy was put in place to help students who may fear the consequences of admitting underage or excessive drinking.They say the twenty four students who got medical attention for alcohol abuse last semester is a sign the new policy could be working.
"Its not necessarily a negative indicator perhaps that really means those are the students who are getting the help they wouldn't normally get and potentially we're really helping those students out in those situations," Mitchell said.
Mitchell hopes her students will get help for her alcohol abuse problems.
"We want our students to really be as safe as possible," Mitchell said.
Which is the same thing what Rabsatt hopes for as well.
"I want individuals who also have these problems to be able to have a few drinks and not go over," Rabsatt said.
UF Officials say this not a "get out of trouble card." If students are caught breaking UF's Code of Conduct, for example fighting or vandalizing businesses, that will be dealt with separately. This amnesty policy is strictly for those students who have been drinking too much and don't know what to do for fear of getting into trouble.
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