Let's start with the basics: ANDI stands for Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Information.
We know that nearly 70% of adults employed at MSU use alcohol, as much as 20% use tobacco, and 8% use recreational drugs of some kind. These are substances that many people find enjoyable, but each pose some health risk to the user.
This section of the site was created to identity alcohol, nicotine, and drug use as issues pertaining to the health and well-being of the entire MSU community, not just students. Use of these substances is just one of many health factors that we focus on, but it is one that is often overlooked in favor of discussions about stress management or nutrition. But, it is one that potentially could have a significant impact on health status, both in the short and long term.
So, we are going to start that conversation here. The site is meant to be non-judgmental and non-prescriptive. We simply present information based on current research and evidence to provide you with the tools, resources, and education you’ll need to make the decisions you need to make for your health.
The site is broken down into three larger sections, each focusing on a different aspect of ANDI:
THINKING ABOUT DRINKING. Most of us who drink don’t think much about it. It’s such a part of our lives, something we have been doing for so long that most of us have fallen into a pattern of use that we don’t pay that much attention to. The trouble is that it’s difficult to assess our own drinking habits to know when we have crossed the line into riskier drinking behavior. Simply put, it’s hard to know how much is too much. That’s what this first section is all about, to give people a safe, confidential way to take stock of drinking habits, using evidence based data and validated tools to help to figure out how drinking could be affecting one’s health, relationships, work, and life.
THINKING ABOUT DRINKING: TIPS AND TOOLS. Do I drink too much?
How would I even know if I had a problem? What is a problem, anyway? Why am I even asking myself these questions? Everyone drinks! Your drinking choices are just that – your choices. But, if you're starting to be concerned about your drinking and are thinking that you may want to make some changes then this might be a good place to start.
The first thing you’ll need to do is consider whether you want to cut down or quit altogether. Then, take a look at the next few sections for ideas about doing either. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself having mixed feelings about this as you go. That’s all part of the process for many people.
And, we should mention that, before making any kind of change like this, you should talk with your doctor first. For some people, it just isn't safe to quit drinking altogether without some kind of medical assistance.
BREATHE EASY. The majority of people who currently smoke have some desire to quit. Whether that’s for health reasons, financial concerns, or more personal motives, most smokers wants to stop smoking someday. But, nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there, and quitting is hard. The Breathe Easy Program offers resources, education, and access to MSU’s multi-disciplinary nicotine cessation program to help you move toward your goals.
Currently, we are developing this area of our site (we don't even have a clever name for this section yet), but eventually we'll apply the same non-judgmental and scientific approach to the discussion of all aspects of drug use, from the use of potentially addictive prescriptive drugs to address pain or other concerns, to the recreational use of marijuana, to the health implications regarding the use of "harder" drugs such as heroin or cocaine.