About Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Need a good rule of thumb for drinking responsibly? One drink per hour—if at all—reduces many of the risk factors that go along with alcohol consumption. The legal age to drink is 21. Keep in mind that the vast majority of Otterbein students drink responsibly or not at all; the legal age to drink is 21.

Parents: Talk soon, often about college drinking

College is exciting! Homecoming, Halloween, Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day, and Greek Week are just a few of the events students relish during the academic year. Otterbein Student Affairs recognizes the critical role parents play as their students navigate exhilarating college experiences.

Parents are key to student decisions to drink responsibly—or not at all—in the days ahead.

“Student health and safety are priority at Otterbein. We engage parents and guardians by enlisting their help in addressing student alcohol use,” says Julie Saker, Interim Dean of Students. “We aim to minimize the negative effects of this serious public health issue by encouraging you to talk with your student in a meaningful and productive way.”

Thanks to a grant and partnership with Prevention Action Alliance in Columbus, parents now have access to a publication that will help them do just that. A Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students about Alcohol is rooted in years of research and provides a variety of strategies and topics designed to assist parents when they talk to their college-age children.

Electronic copies of the handbook are now available.

“While we recognize that every parent has their own unique style and relationship with their student, we think you will find the contents of this handbook helpful,” says Saker. “Research shows having an honest, face-to-face conversation with your student has a positive effect on their attitude toward alcohol … and it is essential to continue the conversation throughout college.”

A parent may be the first person to detect if something is wrong, Saker says.

“Such a time would be ideal to bring up college drinking. Let your student know that your concern is coming from a place of care, and be upfront about how you feel and what you expect. Talk soon and often,” she says.

Below is the link to a free E-copy of A Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students about Alcohol. For more information, please call Student Affairs at 614-823-1250 or email jmccullough@otterbein.edu.

Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students about Alcohol (pdf)

Prescription Stimulants

Believe it or not, there is little or no academic benefit associated with non-medical use of prescription stimulants. A Study from the University of Maryland examined the non-medical use of prescription stimulant medication and its impact on grade point averages (GPAs). It found that students who abstained from non-medical use of prescription stimulants had improvement in GPA, while students who engaged in non-medical use showed no increases in their GPAs and gained no advantage over both groups of their peers tracked in the study. What’s more, students with ADHD and a valid prescription feel enormously pressured to share:

  • More than half (60%) of the 192 students surveyed with a valid prescription for stimulants have been approached by their peers to divert their medication. Of those students who have been approached, 65% felt pressure to divert their medication even though they did not want to.
  • 63% of students with a valid prescription for stimulants always take as prescribed.

Taking medications that are not prescribed to you is dangerous and illegal. If you are worried about yourself or a friend, a Wellness Staff Member will be happy to help (614-823-1250).


No one plans to be an addict. Addiction is sneaky. It can start with a sports injury, a wisdom tooth extraction, an accident, an ache or pain. Too often, an appropriate prescription pain medicine turns into something else. Addiction. Overdose. Death. A simple surgery or injury can turn into addiction if one is not vigilant. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, people prescribed opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin.

If you or someone you know suffers from opioid addiction, there are a number of on- and off-campus resources available, including:

On-Campus Resources

Student Wellness, 614-823-1250, wellness@otterbein.edu
The Counseling Center, 614-823-1333, counseling@otterbein.edu
Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, 614-823-1409
Otterbein Police Department, 614-823-1222, police@otterbein.edu
Student Affairs, 614-823-1250, wellness@otterbein.edu
Student Health Resources
Women’s Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, 614-823-1028, wgsrc@otterbein.edu

Off-Campus Resources