Investigators say drugs played a role in bringing the Texas tech shooter in to police headquarters on Monday night. Since the deadly shooting, CBS19 has looked into drug violations on East Texas college campuses.
In 2016 University of Texas at Tyler and Stephen F. Austin State University were tied for the most drug related arrests. Each had 11 arrests on campus. Tyler Junior College followed with five drug related arrests. Texas College only had one and Kilgore College didn’t have any.
“They’re available everywhere, but I would say that people target college campuses more,” said Lewis Wright, a case manager at East Texas Medical Center Behavioral Health.
Wright said it is common for college students to experiment with drugs.
“As young people start growing up they learn a new way to adapt and cope with life,” said Wright. “They learn to have fun by using substances. As they get older, they use more and more substances.”
As for what type of drugs, Wright said there’s a wide spectrum.
“Unfortunately, it runs the gimmick, anything from marijuana and party drugs like ecstasy and things like that all the way up to opiates, heroin, Hydrocodone, you find all of it,” said Wright.
Amanda Kennedy the Assistant Chief of Police at Stephen F. Austin State University says staff on campus works year-round to prevent drug abuse.
“We have drug awareness and alcohol awareness programs where we go and we speak to the students, we speak to them at SFA 101 talks and tell them about drugs, how they’re illegal, how they can affect them and the consequences,” said Kennedy.
Fortunately, Wright says most students who experiment with illegal substances do not become addicts.
“The vast majority of people that dabble or experiment with drugs grow out of their drug and alcohol use,” said Wright.