Information on Drug  and Alcohol Abuse Prevention,
Intervention and Education at SMU

As the new academic year begins, we are issuing reminders of our programs aimed at drug and alcohol abuse prevention and education. This is also a reminder of our collective efforts to address the problem of substance abuse, a challenge shared by schools and colleges throughout the nation. SMU is committed to helping its students pursue their education with good health and lifestyle habits.

  • As outlined below, SMU offers extensive programs and resources offered to new and continuing students. These include discussions, films, on-line resources, required wellness courses, counseling, assessments, peer intervention and special training for leaders in residence halls and Greek houses, as well as faculty and staff.
  • SMU enforces its Student Code of Conduct and residence hall guidelines through its Judicial System, and those with drug policy violations are subject to drug testing.
  • The SMU Police Department enforces the laws regarding alcohol and drug use, as do police departments in nearby University Park, Highland Park and the city of Dallas if violations occur in those jurisdictions.

Programs of the SMU Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention:

The SMU Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention provides awareness and training programs, assessments, counseling, interventions and referrals. Its mission includes promoting activities and programs with student support to focus campus attention on alcohol and drug abuse.

The Center is in the process of hiring a full-time health educator, who will join two full-time licensed counselors on staff.

Education and Campus Awareness

The Center offers education about alcohol and other drugs, chemical dependency and substance abuse, including:

  • Orientation programs to incoming students and their parents during July and August. The programs include the award-winning film Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, which was produced after the alcohol-related death of an MIT freshman in 1997. Parents receive a copy of “What Should Parents Know About Alcohol and Drugs on Campus” and are mailed a list of campus health resources from the parent liaison.
  • AlcoholEdu, an online, science-based education course program, required for all new students.
  • The “Social Norms Campaign,” in partnership with the SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute, focusing on correcting student misperceptions about alcohol and drugs.
  • Wellness Choices I courses, required for all first-year students, which address alcohol and drug abuse prevention each semester.
  • A program on Healthy Habits, which covers the topics of nutrition and alcohol.

Training and Peer Educators

The Center trains students, residential assistants, faculty and staff to help others who may have a substance abuse or dependency problem through programs including:

  • TIPS, or Training in Intervention Procedures, for student leaders in residence halls and Greek houses to assist in preventing alcohol misuse.
  • “Because I Care,” a drug-specific program the Center piloted this spring and will launch this fall to teach students the information and skills they need to intervene with peers who are using drugs.

Assessment and Intervention

  • By working with friends, family, faculty and staff, the Center assesses student problems with alcohol and other drugs and provides access to appropriate help, including online screening programs such as E-Chug and E-Toke and on-campus substance abuse prevention classes.

Counseling, Referrals and Support

  • The Center provides short-term counseling to students on substance-abuse issues and offers referrals for outside support and treatment when necessary. It supports self-help groups on campus and in the community, including Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups, and works with recovering students on relapse prevention and on re-entry to college after treatment.
  • The Center also is a member of the North Texas Consortium on Substance Abuse Prevention in Higher Education and the Alliance on Underage Drinking (ALOUD), The SMU Center was one of eight nationally to be recognized for excellence in alcohol education programming from Outside the Classroom, the developer of an online prevention program used on more than 450 college campuses around the country.

Important Contact Numbers:

  • For personal assistance with alcohol or drug abuse problems, or to learn how you can help guide others, call 214-768-4021.
  • For assistance with mental health issues, call 214-768-2277.
  • To report imminent danger related to drug or alcohol abuse, call 911 immediately or the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3333.
  • Learn more at

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