Carleton implements online drug prevention program for students

A self-check test for pot use that has been put into effect at Carleton University as of February 2012 is one of the first of its kind in Canada.

The test, known as the eCHECK UP TO GO, is a set of programs that work as online prevention and interventions for alcohol and marijuana use. The marijuana eCHECK UP TO GO online survey generates a personal profile of an individual’s marijuana use.

The program is also used by Waterloo University and Memorial University as well.

“Along with Carleton’s commitment to ensuring that the use of alcohol on campus is done in a responsible manner, so too is its commitment to support students who are interested in lowering or eliminating their use of marijuana,” said Nancy Leslie, a spokesperson for Carleton.

Once participants have filled out the survey, the program provides specific information with regards to an individual’s consumption compared to that of their peers, the effects of such consumption and how to go about making a change.

Carleton decided to implement this program in February to ensure that alcohol use on campus is done responsibly as well as to support students who are interested in lowering or eliminating their use of marijuana, Leslie explained.

This policy is supposed to promote self-growth, by using personalized information about an individual’s alcohol and marijuana use and the associated risks to motivate change. The program is meant to be corrective and not punitive, Leslie stated.

Leslie said that the response rate for Carleton’s eCHECK UP TO GO website has been very good thus far. In less than two months, 208 students have completed the survey. She went on to say that Carleton believes that the program is the most comprehensive and in-depth online tool to assess marijuana use.

John Danakas, director of the Marketing Communications for the University of Manitoba, said the university is not familiar with the program, so he could not comment on whether or not the U of M would consider using it for students at the U of M in the future.

However, he explained that the U of M offers counselling services to assist students dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, and also offers several educational programs across campus related to this topic.

He also explained that inappropriate or disruptive behaviour resulting from misuse of drugs or alcohol on university property is punishable under the university’s policy identifying misuse of drugs or alcohol on campus.