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September 06, 1984 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-06

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Page 12 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September6, 1984

ALCOHOL TOPS LIST OF CAMPUS DRUGS
Substance abuse grows

M irror, m irror Daily Photo by CAROL L.FRANCAVILLA
The Power Center presents a strange reflection of the world in addition to presenting various theatrical and musical
events on the inside.

By ERIC MATTSON
"People like to drink these days -
it's the new drug," said Ann Arbor
resident Derrick Pinnix, an employee
of a local party store.
While Pinnix may not have a medical
degree, he does have a handle on the
drug scene in Ann Arbor and the
University. Use of marijuana has
declined steadily over the past few
years, but alcoholism is still a big
problem.
One out of every nine people has or
will become an alcoholic, according to
Penny Tropman, a senior counselor in
student counseling services.
However, help is available for studen-
ts who become hooked.
According to Dr. Richard Morin,
director of the University Hospital's
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Depar-
tment, alcoholism is a disease which is
treatable.
At Riverview Clinicnwhere Morin
works, between five and ten people
seek out help every week in solving
substance abuse problems.
But those who seek out help are a
minority.
About 90 percent of the people with
alcohol or drug problems do not get
help, Morin said. And while it is im-
possible to determine exactly how
many University students have a sub-
stance abuse problem, the number
ranges somewhere in the thousands, he
said.
Those who abuse drugs usually rely
on other substances, Morin said. Most
also abuse alcohol. On the other hand,
alcoholics usually rely solely on booze
to get high.
Compared to other communities, Ann
Arbor has more than its fair share of
substance abusers. Experts say this rs
largely due to the high number of young
adults here. But considering the num-
ber of young people in Ann Arbor, there
is "probably less (abuse) because of

your educated kids," Morin said.
"A lot of people realize they can't get
involved (in drugs) because they have
to finish school," Morin said.
According to Morin, there are a num-
ber of reasons why social use of alcohol
or drugs can get out of control. For
many, drugs are "a certain escape
from reality," Morin said, and when
someone is totally unable to deal with
reality, the problem becomes more
acute.
Pinnix listed "depression, anxiety,
escapism" as reasons why casual use of
drugs can lead to dependence. "It's just
ari escape," he said.
But "I don't think (drugs) are as
popular as they were," Pinnix said.
"With the price, the conservatives are
the only ones who can afford it."
"Students don't get involved with
narcotics," Morin said. Instead,
students rely on alcohol; but
marijuana, valium, Librium, cocaine,
and amphetamines are the most
popular drugs at the University, he ad-
ded.
Although anyone can become an
alcoholic, Morin said there is growing
evidence that alcoholism is hereditary.
And even though it can be controlled the
problem never vanishes for an alcholic.
"I believe in the old adage, 'Once an
alcoholic, always an alcoholic; once a
substance abuser, always a substance
abuser," Morin said.
There is however, a big difference
between being able to control a sub-

stance and being a substance abuser.
According to Morin, the key differen-
ce between using drugs sociably and"
having a serious substance abuse
problem is control. And once someone
drinks or uses drugs when they them-
selves don't really want to, the problem
escalates rapidly.
Even though Morin said it's easier for
people to admit to substance abuse
problems mainly because so many
celebrities have made their problems
and treatments known, people still
abuse drugs for different reasons.
"Many people abuse drugs becamse
they have a low sense of self-esteem,"
Tropman said. "I think women do have
more problems with self-esteem," she
added. In fact, women become
alcoholics faster than men. However, it
is the male 18- to 30-year-old age group
that has the greatest chance of
developing a problem with alcohol or
drugs.
Tropman attributed some of the
alcohol abuse problem to its relative
social acceptance. "You watch the
Tigers' game and it's Miller time," she
said. "All you see are people having a
good time around drinks."
Students often don't realize that they
have an option of not drinking, Trop-
man said. "It's so ridiculous, the em-
phasis of alcohol being a norm."
- Daily staff writer Georgea
Kovanis filed a report for this story.

PACKARD ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH
2580 Packard Road}
DR. PAUL CALMES, PASTOR
"a church family for students"
providing
opportunities to expand your spiritual knowledge as you
expand your intellectual knowledge at the university.

Stwiibe I#
T4e
764-0559.

SUNDAY
MORNING:
9:45 Student Bible Study
11:00 Worship

Come to a
"CHRISTIAN HAPPENING"
Entertainment and Refreshments
Sept. 14, 7:00 p.m.
Student Union Pendleton Room

Transportation from your door.
Call 971-0773 or 971-0718

Straight So
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