News

Stanford announces focus on campus drinking: 'We cannot turn away from this'

University to examine data, release reports on alcohol consumption

Concerned about the "dangerously high rates" of undergraduate alcohol use on campus, Stanford University announced this week several initiatives underway to combat the issue.

In a message to students on Monday, Provost Persis Drell and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole wrote that the university has become increasingly worried about not only the prevalence but the long-term consequences of drinking for adolescents and young adults.

A "growing body of evidence" suggests that "binge drinking in particular can cause persistent brain injury at the exact time in life when there is the absolute most to gain (or lose) in terms of education and growth," they wrote. "We cannot turn away from this, given we are here to provide the very best environment for your education."

Survey and other data suggest that a "substantial percentage" of undergraduate Stanford students consume alcohol at "dangerously high rates," the two administrators said. Students are regularly brought to the emergency room for alcohol poisoning and this fall, an "alarming" number of students were found alone outdoors, passed out due to alcohol consumption, they wrote.

In 2016, Stanford banned hard alcohol at undergraduate parties and limited the size of liquor containers students are allowed to have in campus housing. The North American Interfraternity Conference, a national association to which Stanford fraternities belong, followed suit and is requiring all of its members — 6,100 chapters across 800 campuses — to ban hard alcohol from their facilities and events by Sept. 1.

While approximately 1,800 college students die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including car crashes, the university is "unaware of any alcohol-related undergraduate deaths in the past two decades," Drell and Brubaker-Cole said.

To address on-campus drinking, Stanford is examining its own data and policies, increasing training and looking to offer students more alternative social options on campus.

Students taking a Stanford Law School practicum course focused on excessive alcohol use among Stanford undergraduates, led by former law school Dean Paul Brest and School of Medicine professor Keith Humphreys, are taking a deep dive into the problem and will release the results of their work and recommendations during the winter quarter, Drell and Brubaker-Cole said.

A new Alcohol Solutions Group made up of students, faculty and staff will work with the law school practicum to "consider steps we should take in light of what we are learning about high-risk drinking here, safety risks such as blackouts and injuries, and lasting impacts on brain development," they wrote. More information about this group, including opportunities for student participation, are forthcoming, they said.

Stanford is also compiling data on student alcohol consumption and plans to release a full report on it this quarter.

Cardinal Nights, which provides non-alcoholic social alternatives in an effort to "challenge the faulty normative belief that alcohol is needed in order to have fun on a college campus," as well as 5-SURE, a free ride service, will both be expanded this year through a one-time donation. In the 2017-18 school year, Cardinal Night events were attended by more than 22,000 students and approximately 10,5000 passengers used the ride service, the administrators wrote in their message.

Stanford also plans to bring together a group of students to suggest how the university can build additional space designed for student events to encourage alternative social options. Students who are interested in getting involved should email Assistant Vice Provost for Strategy and Assessment Jennifer Calvert at jcalvert@stanford.edu.

To better support student well-being, the university is partnering with New York-based youth mental health nonprofit the Jed Foundation, which helps colleges develop strategic plans to address mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention.

All residential student staff are receiving increased training, support and resources related to responding and intervening in excessive drinking that occurs in dorms.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by jet pilot
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 10, 2019 at 10:19 am

We applaud University leadership for seriously addressing this issue!


49 people like this
Posted by Stanford alum
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:07 am

Stunningly missing from Stanford’s analysis and recommendations is any sense that undergraduates should be held accountable for their own behavior. These are not alcoholics in need of treatment and sympathy. The Provost indicates that a fair number of undergraduates are found passed out outdoors on campus. If Stanford would aggressively ask an abuser to withdraw for a quarter, with that to be indicated on the permanent record, behavior might change. These individuals are adults in the eyes of the law. If treated that way by Stanford, different results might be obtained. The worry that individuals might not seek treatment for alcohol poisoning if there were disciplinary consequences simply indulges irresponsible behavior.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:50 am

Stanford should and must do more, the idea of having something on their permanent college record is a good idea, but obviously needs more work thinking it through.

But as a society we need to rethink our attitude to alcohol.

I would like to see if similar problems exist on University Campuses worldwide where the drinking age is 18 and parents are unable to legally give their 16 year olds alcohol in the safe setting of home. I think there are a lot of problems when teens go off to college, told they are adults, and for the first time in their lives they have access to alcohol and yet no personal experience of how to handle it.

In other countries, a young person probably has their first taste of alcohol in a safe setting, at home with family, out with parents for a meal celebrating a birthday, or around the tv watching a sporting event. Here it is so taboo for a teen to be drinking that their first experience is most likely away at college with peer pressure when they have no idea how their bodies are going to react.

I would much rather see teens experience alcohol when their parents are around and able to prevent them from drinking too much or acting inappropriately when a little "tipsy". Much better than college binge sessions with peers. Both are underage drinking, but one sounds a lot more wise to me than the other.

So do the same problems exist in Europe and other places where the drinking age is much lower?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:55 am

Sorry, in 3rd paragraph I mean where parents are legally able to give their 16 year olds alcohol, not unable.


7 people like this
Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 10, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

Having alcohol with parents; oh, please. My "kids" use to tell me about parents smoking dope with their kids and that was in the 70s. Did that make a difference to a Paly kid? Don't think so. They were smoking, drinking, blah, blah, blah. Even a neighbor, a Kaiser medical doctor and his wife, who had a big job with the City and County of San Francisco, gave away marijuana to kids who babysat, cleaned their windows, etc. I, a single parent of 3, was trying to keep my kids from smoking, drinking, etc., however, unsuccessful.


5 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Isn't the issue not only excessive drinking, but underaged drinking? Drinking leads to sexual assault, and perhaps that's one of the main reasons that Stanford is finally addressing this.

My daughter is currently a college student and says that many girls just drink until they blackout these days, that is the goal! Drinking seems to have gotten more excessive than in the 80s when I was in college. We would be allowed to drink in the dorms, which brought people together. No one drank excessively into the danger zone. Nowadays, they don't allow doors to be propped open (fire safety) nor do they allow alcohol so everyone's social skills defective. They sit behind closed doors on social media. Students rarely attend dorm events while back in the day, we all did.


3 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 10, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Isn't one of the issues also just the American culture? Parents get drunk so the kids learn that behavior. We heard of a gal who had to go to alcohol rehab in 8th grade!


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2019 at 4:31 pm

I strongly disagree with the comments against my comment about parents introducing alcohol to their teens while they are still living at home.

I am not talking about alcoholic parents allowing their kids access to alcohol to get drunk.

What I am talking about is what so many parents are quite possibly doing anyway and that is how to have a beer with Dad while watching the game on tv, or having a glass of wine with the family on Thanksgiving or family birthday.

In many countries where the drinking age is 18 to buy alcohol, 16 year olds who are in a restaurant setting are allowed a drink when parents are paying for it and food is being served. This can be down to the individual establishment's discretion, but it does give a responsible attitude.

At present the no alcohol before 21 rule sends a different message than responsible drinking in the right setting. For teens who have been denied the responsible teaching experience from parents, they are not going to know how their bodies will handle it when they experience it for the first time with peers on a binging session.

If someone chooses to not drink with their kids, fine. But for those parents who are trying to teach responsibility, it makes sense to allow them to do so.
It just might save the kids from major grief further down the line.


10 people like this
Posted by a bigger problem
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 10, 2019 at 8:30 pm

I strongly agree that individual responsibility needs greater emphasis across the board in our society. Poisoning oneself to the point of losing control should be viewed as the pinacle of stupidity. It should not be celebrated as the obvious outcome of "having a good time".

The excessive drinking problem is not an exclusively Stanford problem. Campuses across the country are facing this issue. But this is even a larger society problem.

It is good the Stanford is publically saying they are looking at this issue again. I do hope they can actually enact some changes not just "study" the problem.


7 people like this
Posted by global problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2019 at 9:19 pm

@ resident
“In many countries where the drinking age is 18 to buy alcohol, 16 year olds who are in a restaurant setting are allowed a drink when parents are paying for it and food is being served. This can be down to the individual establishment's discretion, but it does give a responsible attitude”

Spain and France have huge problems with youth alcohol abuse. Drinking early is not a solution.

I hope the efforts will publicize that alcohol and addiction depend on the individual, family history, etc. For some brains it takes less to have what I would call liquid concussions.

My theory is that social media addiction fuels alcohol addiction and kids simply cannot control it addiction any more than adults. Sorry but the kids who are over drinking need to have AA programs and rehab, just like the 8th grader.

Good for Stanford taking this on - the mental health problems from alcohol abuse are no joke.


4 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

"In 2016, Stanford banned hard alcohol"

So how's that working out? If they'd take a step book and look at the long term problem they'd see the more they tighten the screws the more they are making the problem worse.


3 people like this
Posted by Roshongo
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 11, 2019 at 6:53 am

Enforce the law, 21! The days of frat parties and togas are dead. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs around and has not gotten the negative attention it deserves! More alcohol education!!! How about a mandatory drug and alcohol education class for freshman!? It helps a lot!


2 people like this
Posted by Global problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

@resident

There’s also research about adolescent drinking - four times more likely to lead to alcohol dependency.

Web Link

Stanford will hopefully update and address the myths of “responsible” drinking before adulthood.


2 people like this
Posted by In all things, moderation
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 11, 2019 at 8:48 am

I am glad that Stanford recognizes its "in loco parentis" responsibility.

I am grateful for this online discussion, which shows differing parental styles: discipline with consequences, and education. As a culture, we are also of two minds about maturity, knowing that minds are not mature until 25 or so, and that traditional cultures which intentionally raise children recognize their ability for adult decisions around 12 or 13. Stanford students, who are more advanced than their peers, at least academically, are jolly well not going to respond well to draconian rules. Education is the surer, if harder path.

Perhaps Stanford should re-evaluates how faculty connect socially with students. In the depression, the trustees were concerned that faculty had sufficient pay to be able to entertain students in their homes. Perhaps social drinking was modeled. In any case, students who have respectful social ties to faculty would be mindful their teachers becoming aware of poor behavior.


2 people like this
Posted by Kids Will Be Kids...Nothing Has Changed
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2019 at 8:56 am

Kids (college-aged kids) will be kids university-authorized mandates will have minimal or little effect to curtail drinking. Prohibition and warnings are useless.

UC Davis back in the 1970s was a semi-dry college town. You could buy beer or wine at the grocery stores but liquor stores with distilled spirits were required to be situated outside of a one mile radius of the campus.

So what happened? Under-aged students simply arranged to have their friends with cars pick-up kegs and booze...the parties and heavy drinking continued, as always.

And let's not even get started with Spring Break and/or Chico State (where drinking is part of the curriculum).

Probably better if college kids just chilled with a few bong hits and some beer but there will always those seeking a stronger buzz.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 9:11 am

I think this is definitely a time for looking into why college students, away from home for the first time, away from the restrictions of high school, away from the fact that their parents will ask where they have been, who they have been with and what they have been doing, and the fact that for the first time in their lives they are living without any restraints of coming and going or curfews in their living arrangements.

The consequences of these facts is the "rebellion" against parental authority and the "freedom" to do as they like.

It doesn't matter whether the freshman student has come from a home with helicoptering parenting style, with the most liberal parenting style, or a home somewhere in the middle, the students all have to adjust to their first experience of adulthood.

Personally, I think the high schools are not doing enough to prepare them for adult life apart from putting the fear of god in them about drugs, sex and alcohol. Living skills, or life skills classes, should be preparing students for real life, not scaring them.

As for colleges, I don't know about the solutions. Perhaps having a dorm mentor who isn't a peer or on the teaching staff, may be a good way to go. Thoughts of a friendly doorman or bathroom cleaner who gets to know the kids by name and is ready to talk to anyone who needs a bit of a parental bit of advice or encouragement come to mind. But really, they need to see older adults as an approachable parental figure who they can see as being on their side with the experience of years and worldly wisdom to encourage and warn them.


2 people like this
Posted by Global problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 9:36 am

@resident

Isn’t fear the motivator that makes kids work as hard as they do to get into college of choice? Fear of not getting in, fear of not being the best at fill in the blank?

At least with alcohol, drugs, and unsafe sex - these are real risks.


4 people like this
Posted by The Olden Days
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

Remember the old days when you took Drivers Education and you saw that movie 'Wheels of Death' - where they showed actual dead bodies on the road? Those deaths were caused by alcohol and speeding. Left a strong impression in me.

Today's education mantra is based upon just saying 'don't do it - it's bad'. We need to stop sweeping the damage under the rug and show students the true and real horrors of what these alcohol and drugs can do - they might learn to slow down. (of course, they're exposed to social media that show 'stupid drunks' (which minimizes the dangers of alcohol) and video games that you reset after you die.

What Stanford and other schools (especially high schools - Gunn and Paly) should do are to take their students to take their students to alcohol centers where they'll hear firsthand from victims who've lost their lives over alcohol and substance addiction. Give them actual case studies and let them meet the victims of alcohol addiction. Let them hear the stories of damage caused in sexual assaults caused by alcohol and drug abuse.


These future 'leaders' of our society need more than textbook education. they need to meet firsthand the experience of alcohol and substance abuse.





3 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Some things never change. The first campus-wide alcohol prohibition occurred in 1908. The following is an article from the Stanford Daily announcing the new rules:

The Stanford Daily, Volume XXXII, Issue 48, 12 March 1908 — HERE ARE THE RULES USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS PROHIBITED ON CAMPUS. Student Affairs Committee Takes Exceedingly Stringent Action In Regard to Drinking. [ARTICLE]

HERE ARE THE RULES
USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS PROHIBITED ON CAMPUS.

Student Affairs Committee Takes Exceedingly Stringent Action In Regard to Drinking.
The intention of the Committee on Student Affairs, as evidenced by the tenor of a communication mailed today to the various organizations on the Campus, is to effectually stamp out drinking at the University and to suppress any but the most moderate use of intoxicating liquor off the Campus. The communication, which is printed below, is worded carefully, and Professor Clark intimates that it will be interpreted strictly. A letter accompanied these instructions, the last, sentence stating that "the further discussion of this matter in the newspapers is undesirable." The following is the statement issued by the Student Affairs Committee: "The Committee on Student Affairs respectfully calls the attention of the students to the following resolutions, which were adopted on February 14, 1908, without dissenting vote, by the Academic Council of the University: " 'The Academic Council of the University is in thorough sympathy with the policy of eliminating the drinking of intoxicating liquors from Encina Hall, fraternity houses, and other student lodgings, and of the removal of students guilty of drunkenness from the institution. " 'The Council hereby urges and instructs the University Committee on Student. Affairs to use all practicable means to this end, and pledges its support to the President and Committee on Student Affairs in their efforts toward freeing the University from the burden and disgrace of student, drunkenness.' "This Committee, in considering the interpretation it should place upon these resolutions, believes that all drinking of intoxicating liquors in Encina Hall, the fraternity houses, or other student lodgings is obviously inconsistent with the spirit of these resolutions and should therefore be discountenanced by all loyal members of the University community. "The known occurrence of a so-called 'beer-bust' or other drinking party, which results in disorder or drunkenness in any degree, upon premises under the control of any student club, fraternity, organization or group, will be treated as an offence for which the members of such club, fraternity, organization or group shall be held responsible. Furthermore, any student who is known to have been noticeably under the influence of intoxicating liquor in any place, or to have participated in a so-called 'beer-bust.' or other drinking party, from which resulted disorder or drunkenness in any degree, shall be considered a subject for discipline at the hands of the Committee. The Committee would have it clearly understood that all students violating the spirit of the resolutions of the Academic Council do so at their peril, and that whenever disorder or drunkenness In fact results from such violation, an intention to avoid such disorder or drunkenness will be regarded as no excuse. "The Committee hopes that, the voluntary co-operation of the students will make further restrictive measures unnecessary.

(Signed) "A. B. CLARK.
-----



12 people like this
Posted by Unsafe Sex
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm

WARNING: "Consuming alcoholic beverages before pregnancy can cause pregnancy".

This happened to me.


3 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm

I was in Safeway Menlo Park around 10pm on Sat once. I was so many Stanford students buying many cases of beer at check-out.


12 people like this
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

When I was a college student in Boston in the 1990’s, there were a few alcohol poisoning deaths of college students, two years in a row. It was shocking. A group of local student leaders from the area’s colleges and universities were asked by the Mayor of Boston to join his council on underage drinking. I was one of them. He asked us to come up with some ideas and suggestions to help with this public health issue.

After many meetings with the other student leaders, we felt that the best solution was alcohol education. Freshman year alcohol education should be part of student orientation. We thought it should be led by an upperclass student and a medical professional. Give the chart that shows how many drinks per hour with various body weights. Give these kids tips and advice. Let them ask questions without judgement. What do you do if your roommate is passed out? When do you call 911 and when does someone just need to go to bed? Many first year college students have never been to a party with alcohol, let alone have been drunk before. No one wants to pass out under a tree and be left for the night. No one wants to drink until they poison themselves.

My freshman orientation leader actually told my group to always leave a party with the people you came with. Period. Even if they turn into drunken a-holes, it’s your responsibility to get them home and help them. No matter what they say, you go together and you come home together. Leave no friend behind. That rule saved a lot of us from risky situations. Education also comes in navigating life experiences.


1 person likes this
Posted by Global problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 10:18 pm


Good points

But the media competition and peer pressure is intense (to what unfortunately looks like boring education or "fear" mongering as some see it) , no fried egg commercials for this generation.

If Stanford really wants to do something, they should also take a tiny bit of the endowment, ask other Universities to take a bit of their endowments and put a treasure chest to reaching kids where they are at today.


10 people like this
Posted by Cheers
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Italians & French youths don't seem to have this problem.

Is it because many of them sample/drink alcohol (i.e. wine) early on?

Prohibition (of any kind) creates its own set of problems.


9 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 12, 2019 at 5:26 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

Good luck trying to curtail excessive college drinking...like you're going to resolve/curtail 150+ years of a traditional pastime?

"I don't think so, Tim."...Home Improvement


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 13, 2019 at 11:24 pm

If Stanford eliminated sports teams and "Greek" associations, they would see a huge drop in the number of students using alcohol.
The campus would be filled with students who are serious learners, and not just a place for kids to get away from home, stay out all night and drink and party until they black out.

If I were a parent having to pay Stanford's tuition and housing costs, I would be floored to learn that my kid spent their time drinking and blacking out.

Sports and scholarship money - powered by Alumni and athletic apparel companies.


2 people like this
Posted by Employee
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2019 at 6:16 am

I cannot believe one word of this statement until I no longer see Stanford sponsored events for seniors with open bars and required numbers of ambulances present for expected numbers of passed out students.

These are events for 21 year old students with open bars, alcohol laid for by Stanford itself. As well as all of the reunions each October.

I’ve seen it more times than I can count to believe that Stanford will ever make any changes to the role alcohol plays in “a good party”. For staff to be required to make sure the ratio of attendees to paramedics is so high is astounding.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2019 at 8:20 am

Posted by Employee, a resident of another community

>> I cannot believe one word of this statement until I no longer see Stanford sponsored events for seniors with open bars and required numbers of ambulances present for expected numbers of passed out students.

>> These are events for 21 year old students with open bars, alcohol laid for by Stanford itself. As well as all of the reunions each October.

Stanford has been a real trendsetter with respect to fundraising, combining the most lucrative aspects of traditional alumni sports-oriented bonding, corporate donations, serious research funding, and Stanford-as-a-business. In any war, a few casualties among the innocent are inevitable. I expect to see nothing change.


5 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 14, 2019 at 9:32 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: I cannot believe one word of this statement until I no longer see Stanford sponsored events for seniors with open bars and required numbers of ambulances present for expected numbers of passed out students.

These are events for 21 year old students with open bars, alcohol laid for by Stanford itself.

How ironic...being that its founder Leland Stanford Sr. dismissed Mayfield as a site for his new university based on the town's refusal to prohibit alcohol.

And now, 100+ years later...Stanford University is boozing it up.


1 person likes this
Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 14, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Excessive and binge drinking is a much larger issue in the U.S. (and the U.K.) than it is in countries like Spain and France where the drinking age is 18 or lower with parental supervision. It's true also that some of us are more predisposed than others to become addicted... however... the larger issue that needs to be examined is why? Most folks drink because it feels good (at least for a while). It's relaxing, takes away inhibitions (both good and bad here) and because it relieves the pressure of their jobs/studies/life. In short, they're self medicating. Society needs to address the root cause. Why do we need to escape life? Why don't we feel comfortable enough to deal with problems without self medicating? I would love the intelligent minds at Stanford to put some thought behind an approach that looks more at the cause than the symptoms.


8 people like this
Posted by Moderation Is the Key
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:14 pm

> Most folks drink because it feels good (at least for a while). It's relaxing, takes away inhibitions (both good and bad here) and because it relieves the pressure of their jobs/studies/life. In short, they're self medicating. Society needs to address the root cause.

The inherent problems & issues of everyday life (i.e. 'the root cause') creates a need to relieve certain pressures. There's nothing wrong with having a couple of beers or glasses of wine or cocktails to 'chill'. The key (as with anything) is not to overdo it.

> Why do we need to escape life? Why don't we feel comfortable enough to deal with problems without self medicating?

Perhaps easy for you to say if you happen to be leading an idyllic existence. For others, heaven & hell are places on Earth.

Moderate self-medication is probably safer than some of the Rx currently being prescribed by doctors.

Smoking a joint & having a beer shouldn't pose a problem unless one has an addictive personality. Outside of state/local taxation opportunities, why do you think pot was legalized in the first place?

Some people choose yoga, meditation, church and/or other outlets to deal with their everyday 'realities' & anxieties. Getting away from certain realities (especially if they happen to be a drag) is not a unrealistic or outlet.

"I think, therefore I am."...Descartes illustrates that we are all living in our own private worlds. And each one is different.

"Get Off of My cloud." by the Rolling Stones also speaks volumes.

Stress kills...and I happen to enjoy escaping the mundane world from time to time.


Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 14, 2019 at 2:01 pm

Yes, Moderation is the Key, I couldn't agree more. So the take away is not prohibition or abstinence (excepting folks with addiction issues, which is a slippery slope in and of itself) but education. Education on alternative ways to self medicate, alternative options for dealing with strong emotions and impulses (you mentioned meditation, yoga, spiritual, etc.) Education on the risks of over indulging in any one of the escape routes...Education on stress relief, life lessons on life (it's heaven and hell, but both are mental constructs), etc. Descartes may have gotten it wrong on the last point. We think, therefore we suffer is more apt. However, if we examine our thoughts and take a more introspective approach to which wolf (or angel or devil) to listen to. A drink and a joint are good short-term solutions, but they still don't get to the root of the issue.


2 people like this
Posted by Lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 15, 2019 at 3:04 am

However, recreational marijuana is now legal in California so that's good right?


2 people like this
Posted by A Green Environment
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 15, 2019 at 8:46 am

> However, recreational marijuana is now legal in California so that's good right?

In moderation and if so inclined.

> Moderate self-medication is probably safer than some of the Rx currently being prescribed by doctors.

e.g. medical marijuana


Like this comment
Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm

maguro_01 is a registered user.

There are a few more possibilities -

Requiring transfer after completing a 2 year program, then having universities with 3 year programs to a Bachelor's degree could work with a tuition reduction. Most of the 2 year programs might be from commuter schools.

Do undergrad foreign students have these problems to the same degree? Likely not. Why? Are they the same age?

Another possibility is for students with these problems to have to leave for a year with assistance getting a job carrying boxes at Amazon or Walmart, or bagging and stacking at a supermarket. That should be a great motivator and they would meet a greater assortment of people for perspective. Too bad we don't have a way of signing up for a couple of years of National Service or a CCC.

OT: Universities are still hung over from Vietnam War days. They learned the wrong lessons for their usual mission. Tuition is so high and the number of student loans so high is entirely for social control. It's dysfunctional in normal times though it still is working for social control of ordinary people.

State institutions are there as a path for social/economic mobility and a way of assimilating people of all backgrounds as long as they maintain standards. That has hugely contributed to the stability and economy of the United States. Or it did. Real talent is well distributed among people. Look at the accomplishments of land-grant colleges in past generations or commuter colleges and universities in the cities then. Look at the accomplishments of the immediately post WWII GI Bill. Those are closer to today's needs - the Vietnam War is long gone.


2 people like this
Posted by The Seminole Way
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Stanford student drinkers are a bunch of lightweights...can't hold it down.

Come to Chico State or Florida State for the real deal. They do pretty well in Texas too.


1 person likes this
Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm

maguro_01 is a registered user.

Apparently real binge drinking can start in high school and continue. Some posts hinted that it caused low grade brain damage over time - "liquid concussion". Will that manifest as premature dementia or even Alzheimer's some day? Such drinking may have a higher cost than just never getting someone's best work. How about binge drinking football players?


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Do Palo Altans still love their city? If not, what should the city do?
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 576 views