Drug arrests rise, booze decreases

Disciplinary referrals and arrests for alcohol violations significantly declined at Chico State last year, while drug arrests increased, according to an annual crime report released by the University Police Department.

The 2013 Annual Security Report, compiled in accordance with the Clery Act, was released on Oct. 1. The report details crime statistics gathered by university police from 2010-2012.

Referrals for on-campus liquor law violations saw a 36 percent decrease in 2012, dropping from 111 referrals in 2011 to 71 referrals last year. Four arrests for alcohol violations were made last year, down from 11 in 2011.

University police have been noticing fewer minors in possession of alcohol and fewer open container violations, said Lt. Corinne Beck of the University Police Department.

Beck said she hopes that programs like Freshman Safe Start have helped to curb citations and arrests.

“We’ve been really trying to educate students,” Beck said. “Hopefully some of that education has paid off.”

The report also indicates that drug violations have steadily increased on campus, with 23 arrests being made in 2012, up from 7 in 2011.

“We’re seeing more meth and more heroin,” Beck said. There has also been an increase in the prevalence of drugs such as marijuana and prescription drugs like Adderall.

The cause of the increase is unclear, Beck said. She speculated that the trend could be a reflection of a greater societal drug
“pandemic.”

A rise in drug abuse is being observed on both a national and international level, said Trisha Seastrom, program manager for the Campus Drug and Alcohol Education Center.

More Americans die from drug overdoses than car crashes, and one fatal overdose occurs every 19 minutes in the U.S., Seastrom said, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You take those into consideration and it’s not really surprising to see spikes,” Seastrom said.

University Police will be assessing how to reduce drug violations for 2014, Beck said.

“It’s definitely an area we’re going to be looking at,” Beck said, adding that university police will be looking outside of the campus to find strategies for addressing drug abuse.

 

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mzarate139 on Twitter.