Fraternity and sorority life has long been acknowledged as a rite of passage, an opportunity to bond with like-minded kids who are “sowing their oats.” But when a rite of passage becomes a gateway to alcohol misuse and drug addiction, Greek life takes on a new and dangerous connotation.
The frequency of deadly hazing practices seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. Every week, a story breaks about a Greek life related incident resulting in severe injury or death. In fact, according to a November 2017 article in USA Today, four deaths have been attributed to the excesses of Greek life in the past year alone.
The pressure is on colleges and universities to clean up their acts when it comes curtailing such activities. But what will it really take to make a difference? Threats of lawsuits may not be enough. Perhaps it will only come when young adults, who are so susceptible to peer pressure and the need to belong, truly understand the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction.
Before we get into the solutions, it’s important to understand the problem, which, in large part is environmental. In general, Greek life subject to the following influences:
There are certainly many positive aspects of being part of a fraternity or sorority. In larger institutions, they provide a place to belong. They are great sources of developing social and business networking skills that may propel a career. Fraternal organizations contribute to the vitality and economics of educational institutions. Many have also become active in their local communities, (e.g., tutoring kids and assisting with outreach programs), while others have aligned themselves with national charitable organizations. Unfortunately, these good deeds are often overshadowed by horror stories.
It can be very difficult to monitor and control student behavior once they are out of the watchful eyes of those who care for them. But there are some things that can be done.
Cornerstone Recovery Center equips parents, families and loved ones with the tools and strategies they need to support those dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. For more information, please call us at 888-711-0354 or contact us online. All communications with our staff are confidential.