By Erik Luna
Students should not attend school under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Obvious as it may be, it definitely needs reiteration.
I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with the intoxicated at East Los Angeles College. I usually just shrug it off because it really didn’t affect me.
This was outside of the classroom, yet when I run into someone that is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs inside the classroom and is being a distraction, that’s where I draw the line.
Students coming in from break giving the whole class a hint of that all-too-familiar aroma of marijuana is borderline disrespectful. It’s disrespectful to their fellow classmates, who are there to learn, and to the instructor.
It was estimated that around 23.5 percent of male 18-22-year-old full-time college students use marijuana, and 16.1 percent of female 18-22 year-old full-time college students use the drug.
This is according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations’ 2012 “National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.”
Many try to hide behind the security blanket of a medical marijuana card, yet students have to know that having the card does not allow them to smoke wherever they please.
Smoking marijuana or being under the influence of alcohol is violating ELAC’s student code of conduct, which could result in expulsion from the school.
Students who decide to drink before class are taking even greater risks with their education.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism, about four out of five college students drink alcohol.
Having a beer or a cocktail while going to get something to eat is understandable. I’m not arguing for total abstinence, but students shouldn’t be stumbling or causing a distraction because of their alcohol consumption.
Around 25 percent of students in the United States say that their drinking causes problems with their education, according to the NIAA’s 2012 study.
This includes missing class, falling behind, failing exams and receiving lower grades overall.
People drink or indulge in drugs for various reasons. Some use it recreationally, some do need marijuana as a medicine and some use it as a coping mechanism.
The latter is usually where drug problems begin.
It’s a slippery slope, yet drug and alcohol abuse isn’t the only option.
There are other methods out there to cope with the problems dealt in life.
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol due to anger. If that’s the case ELAC offers anger management sessions at the Student Health Center G8 107 from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.
The Psychology Department runs a club called Students Against Substance Abuse, in F7 224 from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Whatever the case may be, illegal drugs and alcohol should not be used on campus because it’s detrimental to the users and their classmates’ education and is a risk they should not be taking.
For more information on drug and alcohol abuse visit: www.niaaa.nih.gov or www.samhsa.gov.