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UT Austin Launches SHIFT Initiative to Change Substance Use Culture on Campus

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WHAT: UT Austin will launch SHIFT, a new initiative aimed at changing the culture of substance use on campus, at a kickoff event Sept. 24. Students, faculty members and staff members are invited to the program launch to write their thoughts on substance use and enjoy giveaways.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

WHERE: Perry-Castañeda Library Plaza, 101 E. 21st St., Austin, TX 78712

MEDIA: The event is open to the campus community. Parking is available at the Brazos Garage.

WHO: Interviews with SHIFT staff members and student leaders are available upon request

BACKGROUND: According to the Center on Addiction, the national trends are clear — binge drinking among students has remained at around 30%-40% for the past 30 years, and the use of cannabis and prescription drugs (especially stimulants) is steadily on the rise. SHIFT is ready for a new conversation. SHIFT is a new initiative at The University of Texas at Austin aimed at “shifting” the culture of substance use on college campuses. SHIFT is not another acronym; it is a bold call to action.

Through the unique and groundbreaking synthesis of the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Division of Student Affairs, SHIFT engages students holistically both inside and outside the classroom. From classroom discourse on decision-making, to the formation of partnerships both on and off campus, to cultivating fresh ideas from the students themselves, SHIFT’s six innovative pilots are changing the way students think about and engage with substances on a daily basis. It creates a culture of care centered around student well-being as a way to reduce substance misuse and its harms. SHIFT is funded through a gift from the Hildebrand Foundation.