In the Mix with AOD: Season Three
How do you think about substance use? The AOD team and featured guests discuss questions brought to the table both from our campus community and beyond. Tune in to challenge your beliefs about alcohol and other drugs, and gain expert advice on how to be safe, smart, and responsible.
Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite listening platform:
EP 1: Navigating Tailgating Season
Welcome back Lakers! The beginning of a new year is an exciting time and the school spirit is high among us all. As the athletic season kicks off, tailgating is back in full swing. Whether you are new to the tailgating scene or have previous experience, we are going to be navigating through tips and tricks on how to be safe and responsible with substance consumption this season.
EP 2: Alternatives to Weekend Parties
With the school year kicked into full swing and welcome week festivities calming down, the stress of school work is beginning to set in. Homework, quizzes, exams, study groups, on top of taking care of yourself physically and mentally AND having a social life?- it’s exhausting. With our weekdays being filled with classes and homework, it’s completely acceptable to take a much needed break from school on the weekends and go out with friends. It’s necessary to have a balance between an academic and social schedule because burnout can sneak up on all of us without warning. However, students may experience thoughts that the only social gatherings they can find include alcohol or drug consumption. But I am here to tell you that this is far from the truth!
EP 3: Understanding Coexisting Disorders
Mental illness can feel as though there is this weight on our shoulders keeping us from moving forward, and sometimes substance misuse, or even substance use disorder can exacerbate that weight. This combination of substance use disorder and another mental illness occurring at the same time is called coexisting disorders. Either disorder can develop first, andhaving one doesn’t mean you will develop the other. In this episode we are going to dive deeper into substance use disorder, coexisting disorders and their effects on one another, and the supports that are available right here at Grand Valley’s University Counseling Center.
EP 4: Halloween Safety Tips
Growing up, Halloween was all about who could get the most candy when out trick or treating, or who had the best witches or ghost costume in the neighborhood. Our parents used to watch over us as we begged for at least one scary movie on the night of Halloween. Boy have we come a long way from those years. We are not little witches and ghosts anymore as Halloween in college often turns into a week long holiday filled with endless parties, and horror themed everything. Despite parties being an anticipated aspect of college life, research shows that drinking and substance use is used at a much higher, more dangerous rate during the Halloween season. In this episode, we will be discussing a few safety tips surrounding substance use to keep in mind when celebrating Halloween, the signs to be on the lookout for with drink spiking, and how to still have a spooktacular night while in recovery.
EP 5: The Science of Addiction
Now, it’s understood that addiction is a medical disorder that changes the brain and changes behavior. Many biological and environmental risk factors have been identified and the search has begun for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of substance use disorders. Despite these advances, it’s important to recognize that we still don’t fully understand why some people develop an addiction or exactly how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug use. Here in today’s episode we'll be diving deeper into the science of addiction, discussing what an addiction is, what influences these substances have on our brains, why some people develop addictions and others don’t, and resources there are available to help with addiction recovery through Grand Valley’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Services.
EP 6: Overcoming Vaping
E-cigarettes entered the market in the early 2000’s and hit their peak popularity in 2014. With fruity flavors and the promise of less harmful effects compared to traditional cigarettes, there’s no question about the appeal vaping has for young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping in social settings or for fun has become increasingly more prevalent among college students as a way to obtain a buzz that is similar to the “high” that cigarettes offer.
EP 7: Let's Talk Recovery
With 2022 just weeks away from coming to a close, now is a time to reflect on the semester and the year as a whole. This can be a time when people are thinking about their habits and whether or not they want or need to make a change. Substance use recovery can be on the minds of many. In this episode, we will be discussing the stages of change that occur during the journey of recovery, a reminder that relapse is a normal part of this journey, when it may be time to reach out for recovery support, and that there are a variety of recovery support options, with and without religious roots. But first we will be sitting down with Bonnie Dykstra, the Assistant Director of Grand Valley State University’s Alcohol and other Drugs Services to discuss recovery and the options that the AOD office provides to all students.
EP 8: Fighting The Winter Blues
The days are shorter and gloomy with the lack of sun looming over us which can cause many to feel down and have very little motivation. In this episode, we’re going to discuss seasonal affective disorder, what causes this to happen, the symptoms that can occur, and ways to help treat it without self-medicating with substances.
EP 9: Knowing When It's Time To Intervene
As the second semester kicks into full swing, it’s important to be looking out for your friends whose substance use may start to be concerning. In this episode we will be discussing the physical and psychological symptoms to be looking out for, when it’s time to intervene, how to prepare for this conversation, and some options of what could be said. Always remember that family and friends can play an important role in helping someone understand the impact of their substance use.
EP 10: What Are Study Drugs?
With the added stress, turning to study drugs may seem like an easy option to help make the workload a little more bearable. We think that if these can help us just focus a little longer or stay up a few extra hours to get a bit more work done that it must be okay. However, these study drugs can have some harmful risks if they are being abused or misused by those without a prescriotion , and even those who are prescribed them. In this episode, we’re going to discuss what exactly these study drugs are, why students are influenced to take these drugs, the risks that are involved, and how society could possibly be influencing these drugs on younger generations. Then we’ll dive into how you can use alternative strategies to study effectively without substances.
EP 11: St. Patty's Day Safety
It’s that time of year where we are all replacing our laker blue with shamrock green and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! Considered to be one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, St. Patrick’s Day is a time when college students love to go out and have a great time. In this episode, we are going to be discussing some safety tips to keep in mind when celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, the resources that are available right here on the Grand Valley campus to help keep students safe, and also ways to have a fun substance free St. Patrick’s Day if a day of drinking is not something you want to do.
EP 12: Checking In On Our Alcohol Use
April is almost upon us which means that Alcohol Awareness Month is almost here. This month is meant to focus on raising awareness about alcohol abuse and dependence. As this semester is starting to wind down, it’s a good time to look at our own drinking habits and see where we stand. In this episode we are going to discuss why National Alcohol Awareness Month is important, the differences between alcohol use, misuse, and abuse, other terms to use rather than “Alcoholic”, and finally, how to manage urges to drink and use our drink refusal skills.
EP 13: Let's Be Smart With Marijuana
In this episode, we are going to be discussing marijuana, a substance growing in usage rates among college students. We are going to go into more detail about what exactly marijuana is, the effects to expect when experimenting, methods of consumption, the increase in potency over the course of decades, the dangers of mixing alcohol and marijuana, and when cannabis use disorder can develop. We have a jam packed episode so let’s get into it?