Essay: Alcohol and Drug Policies at Drexel

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Alcohol and Drug Policy in Drexel

Drug and alcohol policy

I like where the paper ends up . . . As I see it you're arguing that the current system at Drexel treats drugs and alcohol as fundamentally different problems, and that this crude distinction leads to misperceptions: 1) that alcohol isn't really as serious a concern as it should be, but also 2) that some drugs are realistically worse than others. An approach that labeled all of them as "drugs" but treats them on a sliding scale from least to most offensive would help to remedy both issues.

I like that idea, but it seems like very little in the paper leads us there. When you're arguing for a policy change like this it makes sense to name what that proposal is up front, so that everything we read in the essay lends support to it. After the first paragraph we get a description of the drug and alcohol policy at Drexel (but with little discussion as to why it's a problem), and then this is followed by the summary of a lot of information about alcohol and drugs from the AA website which just talks about why drugs are a problem in the workplace. Some of this is indirectly useful, but you need to make the effort of explaining how it relates to students, and it would be better to simply start with a source that talks about student drug and alcohol use in its own right. The bottom line though is that several pages come off as being just about why drugs and alcohol are a problem, not why one policy may be better than another for addressing it. I feel like you there are good arguments you can make in defense of your policy statement, but you have to actually make them: how might you demonstrate that students have misconceptions about how harmful alcohol is in relation to drugs? What have you read that confirms that this kind of misconception is harmful -- and often stems from poorly designed drug and alcohol policies? In what ways have Drexel students been harmed by the one-size-fits-all-zero-tolerance policy for drugs? Can you think of specific instances or students whose stories you could tell? This might also help us see where you're coming from and give you the opportunity for stronger appeals to pathos.

Grade: C

Justin Cohen

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