Prevention

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Consent
Alcohol Use and Abuse
Drug Use
Opioid Use Disorder
Suicide
Mental Health
Resources

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Volunteer State Community College is committed to creating a safe and healthy campus environment for students, employees, and guests. We encourage our students to play an active role in maintaining a culture of respect and integrity. We all have a responsibility to create a safe, supportive, and inclusive Vol State community.

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Rape is a crime. Rape is a type of sexual assault involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.

  • 23.1% of female and 5.4% of male undergraduate students will experience sexual assault
  • 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted
  • Only 20% of female student victims report to law enforcement
  • More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur August – November
  • 75% of rapists on college campuses are serial offenders- with an average of 6 rapes each

If you witness or are a victim of sexual assault or if you feel that you have experienced any form of sexual misconduct we encourage you to seek assistance. Please contact Campus Police (615) 230-3595.

All reports should be directed to our Title XI Coordinator Jill Ferrand at titleixcoordinator@volstate.edu or (615) 230-3592

View Our Sexual Misconduct Policy

*Source: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence

Alcohol Use & Abuse

Drinking affects college students, their families, and college communities. It is estimated that each year:

  • Death About 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes
  • Assault About 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking
  • Sexual Assault About 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape

How much is a drink?

In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12oz of beer with 5% alcohol content
  • 5oz of wine with 12% alcohol content
  • 1.5oz of distilled spirits with 40% alcohol content

Excessive alcohol use (also called binge drinking) is the act of consuming 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for a male, and 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for a female. 

It is never safe to drive after drinking alcohol. 

How do I know if my drinking is a problem?

  • If your drinking interferes with any area of your life such as; relationships, friendships, social activities, school
  • If you cannot stop once you start
  • Your thoughts are constantly on your next drink

You may need to reach out

On our campus you may contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu or (615) 230-3492. We have resources available to help you get the help you need.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use or abuse, please seek help. If you are unsure of where to turn, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu (615) 230-3492, or visit us in the Wood Campus Center 215 to talk. We have resources available to help you.

View our Drug Free Campus/Workplace Policy

*Source: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/index.htm
 

Drug Use

Addiction is a chronic brain disease defined by compulsive drug seeking and use. Drug use can change the structure of the brain and how it works, this can cause long-lasting and harmful behaviors. 

People take drugs for several reasons

  • To feel good- certain stimulants can momentarily increase self-confidence, energy, and power. This is followed by a feeling of relaxation.
  • To feel better- people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other stressors may use drugs to escape the feelings of distress.
  • Peer pressure- young people are more likely to engage in risky behavior for the purpose of “fitting in”
  • Increase performance- sometimes drugs can be used by athletes or students to improve cognitive or athletic performance. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug use, please seek help. If you are unsure of where to turn, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu (615) 230-3492, or visit us in the Wood Campus Center 215 to talk. We have resources available to help you.

View our Drug Free Campus/Workplace Policy

*Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-abuse-addiction
 

Opioid Use Disorder

What are opioids?

Opioids can be prescribed by doctors to treat pain. Common types are oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used to treat severe pain, usually advanced or late stage cancers. Heroin is an illegal opioid.

Statistics show that in 2016 more than 11 million people abused opioids. 

Prescription and illicit opioid drug use are the main cause of death by overdose. In 2016, Tennessee had 1,630 deaths attributed to opioids.  

*Source: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/index.html

If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid dependence, please seek help. If you are unsure of where to turn, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu (615) 230-3492, or visit us in the Wood Campus Center 215 to talk. We have resources available to help you.
 

Suicide

The suicide rate among young adults 15-24, has tripled since the 1950’s. It is the second most common cause of death among college students.

The college environment can be stressful. Many students experience interrupted sleep, eating, or exercise patterns. Combined with anxiety and depression, or another mental issue and the experience can be overwhelming.

Risk Factors for Suicide

  • A traumatic or stressful life event
  • Prior suicide attempt
  • Feeling isolated or lacking support
  • Impulse issues
  • Substance abuse 
  • Poor coping skills
  • Access to a suicide method

Warning Signs in College Students

  • Academic issues
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Disregard for appearance
  • Increased substance use/abuse
  • Increased risk taking

If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out for help! If someone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs for suicide -- ASK THEM! If you are unsure of where to turn, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu (615) 230-3492, or visit us in the Wood Campus Center 215 to talk. We have resources available to help you.

*Source- https://www.verywellmind.com/college-and-teen-suicide-statistics-3570768
 

Mental Health

Mental Health issues typically show up between the ages of 18-24, making the stress of college and emerging adulthood more complicated.

Stress

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Experiencing burnout

Depression

  • Withdrawing
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Thoughts of suicide

Ways to reduce stress

  • Identify the cause - Determine how to address the issues. You may need to create a study schedule, speak to a friend or counselor, thing of small changes you can make in your schedule.
  • Take care of yourself - Exercise, play a game, go for a walk, eat healthy food, get sufficient sleep, and hang out with friends or family.

If these steps do not help you, please reach out for help!

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please seek the services of a mental health professional. Depression is not something you can just “get over”. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, therapy and antidepressants are available to help decrease symptoms.

If you are feeling stressed or depressed, please reach out for help! If someone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs and you are unsure of where to turn, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Support at student.engagement@volstate.edu (615) 230-3492, or visit us in the Wood Campus Center 215 to talk. We have resources available to help you.

*Source- https://www.sharecare.com/health/mental-health/what-age-mental-illness-start

Resources

Life can be hard, combined with college it can seem overwhelming. At Volunteer State Community College, we want to see our students succeed in all facets of life. In the Office of Student Engagement & Support we have multiple resources to assist our students. Whether you are struggling with paying your rent, bills, or have had an unexpected life event, we are here to assist you and support you. You may contact us at student.engagement@volstate.edu or (615) 230-3492.