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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation gives $2 million to Ohio State to establish national collegiate substance misuse prevention, recovery center

Columbus, Ohio – The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded a grant of $2 million to establish The Ohio State University Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD).

The Ohio State center will serve as the premier alcohol and drug abuse prevention and recovery resource for colleges and universities across the nation. The mission of the center will follow that of HECAOD: to help college and community leaders develop, implement and evaluate programs and policies to reduce problems experienced by students related to alcohol and other drug use. HECAOD is a collaboration among Ohio State’s College of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Life, Generation Rx Initiative and Collegiate Recovery Community.

“We are immensely grateful for the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said John D. Clapp, director of HECAOD. “In addition to working quickly to provide colleges and universities across the nation model prevention programs that include variations of the SBIRT–Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment—model, we will work diligently to get college alcohol and drug issues back on the national agenda. The resurrection of this critically important center would not have been possible without Conrad N. Hilton Foundation support.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 1,800 college students nationwide between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes, and more than 690,000 students nationwide between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report unintentional drug overdose as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports the average age of prescription drug abuse onset is 22. Students who engage in heavy alcohol and drug use often fail academically, which has long-term consequences.

“It is well established that substance use on college campuses leads to a number of negative outcomes and can interfere with the academic success of students,” said Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We are pleased to support the launch of a new national center to ensure colleges and universities across the country are equipped with the information and resources they need to support prevention, early intervention and recovery.”

“College can be challenging, especially for students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction,” said Sarah Nerad, head of Ohio State’s Campus Recovery Community and nationally recognized for her participation in furthering recovery programs on college campuses. “Recovery programs and support services will be an integral focus of the HECAOD. Our goal will be to ensure that schools can support their recovering students as they pursue academics alongside their recovery.”

The HECAOD will take a four-tiered approach to servicing health care providers and students, folding services into the areas of education and training, research and evaluation, technical assistance and technology development.

“Before they lost federal funding, the HEC was a national leader and resource for college administrators and health professionals in the area of alcohol and drug prevention,” said Clapp. “HECAOD will capitalize on the synergistic collaboration of Ohio State’s substantial resources, including national experts and nationally recognized programs like our Generation Rx prescription drug abuse prevention program and our Student Wellness Collegiate Recovery Community. We have also begun working with Ohio State’s College of Engineering to create smart-phone apps and simulations to support alcohol and drug prevention efforts.”

The HECAOD will be guided by Clapp, who is also professor and associate dean of research at Ohio State’s College of Social Work. Clapp, who formerly served as the Department of Education’s HEC director, is a member of the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Clapp is also an expert in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and has managed more than $8 million in SBIRT-related projects.

The HECAOD will have two associate directors, Connie Boehm and Hale. Boehm is the director of the Student Life Student Wellness Center The Ohio State University and currently serves as the national co-chair for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Wellness and Health Promotion Knowledge Community. Hale is the founder of the Generation Rx initiative, widely recognized as the nation’s leading prevention program for prescription drug abuse among college students. Nerad, a current Ohio State graduate student recognized nationally for her participation in furthering recovery programs on college campuses, will serve as the program director for recovery efforts.

The Ohio State University College of Social Work

First accredited in 1919, The Ohio State University College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country. The College of Social Work, through excellence in teaching, research, and service, prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized college, we build and apply knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, or learn more on our website.

About The College of Pharmacy

Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is a global leader in pharmaceutical education, research and clinical practice. As part of one of the most comprehensive health sciences campus in the nation, the college is home to world-class faculty, dedicated researchers and top students, It is currently ranked 7th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or learn more on our website.

About The Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life is dedicated to creating the extraordinary student experience at Ohio State. Student Life’s more than 30 departments provide the support, programming, resources and services to help students transition into and through college and prepare them for their chosen profession as well as a lifetime of learning and contribution as global citizens.

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.

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Dr. John Clapp
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